Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Thursday's adventure

Friday night is the big fat lasagna dinner night that I'm helping Joyous with. For my part, I'm preparing...for the first time...a tasty "pick-me-up," Tiamisu.

From Fine Cooking Magazine

Serves ten to twelve

This recipe calls for uncooked eggs, so keep the tiramisu refrigerated and serve it within 48 hours.

5 cups hot brewed espresso (or double strength drip coffee made with espresso roast)
1 cup plus 2 TB granulated sugar
2 TB rum, ore more to taste (optional)
4 large eggs, separated*
16 oz mascarpone cheese (2 cups)
About 46 ladyfingers or savoiardi cookies, preferably Balocco, Bonomi, or Elledi brands
2 TB unsweetened cocoa powder

Pour the coffee in a large bowl and add 2 TB of sugar while it’s still hot. Stir well and let it cool to room temperature. Add the rum, if using.

Combine the egg yolks and the remaining 1 cup of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until the yolks are pale yellow and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (The mixture will be fairly thick at first). Add the mascarpone and beat until fully incorporated into a smooth cream, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl.

Thoroughly was and dry the stand mixer bowl and whisk. Put the egg whites in the bowl and whip on medium-high speed until they form medium-stiff peaks when you lift the whisk (the tips should curl over onto themselves a little). With a rubber spatula, fold about one-quarter of the beaten whites into the mascarpone cream to lighten it. Then gently fold in the remaining whites, taking care not to deflate them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Submerge one ladyfinger in the cooled coffee until the coffee penetrates about halfway through, leaving the core dry (break it to check). This can take from 1 to 12 seconds, depending on the type of ladyfinger. You don’t want the lady finger to get completely soaked or it’ll become soggy and fall apart. You should be able to feel that the outside is soft, but the inside is still firm.

Once you’ve determined the correct soaking time, submerge each ladyfinger individually, gently shake out excess coffee, and immediately set it in a 9x13 inch baking dish; continue until you have one tight layer that covers the bottom of the dish. (You may need to break a few ladyfingers to fit in snugly). Spread one-half of the mascarpone cream evenly on top of the ladyfingers.

Repeat the soaking procedure with the remaining ladyfingers to create a second snug layer, arranging them on top of the mascarpone cream as you did the first layer. Spread the rest of the mascarpone cream evenly on top. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Before serving, sift the cocoa powder over the top to evenly cover.

*If the uncooked eggs in this dish are of concern, use pasteurized eggs (Preggers, elderly, compromised immune system, etc.)

Sounds pretty straight forward and easy enough! I'll let you know how it goes!


DC Food Blog said...

As I despise yolks on principle, I usually make the filling, like I would a creme anglaise. Over a double boiler, I whisk the egg yolks until they get thick and add some cream and whisk until the mixture gets even thicker. Then I take the whole thing off the heat and add the marscapone.

Demetrius said...

DC Food Blog makes a great suggestion. I will have to add this to my list of recipes to follow. Right after the carrot cake recipe.

Lady Brandenburg said...

Brave soul! I heart tiramusu.

Lady Brandenburg said...

How'd it go?

ScottE. said...

I'm exhausted. It took us 4 hours to make two different lasagnas and the tiramisu...and to have dinner in the middle of it! But they lasagnas look good and the tiramisu should be good as well. After I get a taste tonight I'll make some comments on both items!

Chilefire said...

Sambuca, perfect for a good tiramasu! A nice warm glass with a couple of coffee beans... yum yum yum...

Dancer in DC said...

It was very tasty, and surprisingly light. Good stuff!

ScottE. said...

The Tiramisu was really good! I was a little worried that it would be "soggy." I dipped the lady fingers in the coffee for a dip, a second...and within seconds after they were virtually mush! In the future, I might lay them down in the pan and then brush them with the coffee.

The marscapone/egg/sugar mixture seemed to be missing a little something, so I added a little of some really great vanilla extract which was wonderful!

During assembly I felt that I ran out of the marscapone mixture for the very top layer. So either caution on filling the middle layer or make extra.

When dusting the top with cocoa, really do wait until the very end to do that. I did it about two hours before we arrived at the party and some of it was soaked through already. Tasted great, but the look was "off" a little.

As Jlo said, it was really light. I was suprised! I cut the pan (13x9) into 16 pieces...the one piece I had...tasted great and i didn't feel like I'd eaten a brick! So I had a second piece.