Friday, April 27, 2018

Tiramisù for My Love

Picture this: I walk into a room with a piece of paper and a pen. "I'm going to the store to pick up groceries for tomorrow. What do you want? Anything at all," I say.

I get a blank stare in response and, then, a quizzical, Why? So, I write the number 43 on the piece of paper and hold it up. Oh, is that tomorrow?

"Yes. Tomorrow is your birthday and I'm taking requests for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert." Most people would jump at the opportunity to name whatever they want to eat for an entire day...from my kitchen. Seriously. The boys make requests down to the snacks on their birthdays.

But my husband just looked at me and said, "I can only think of two things right now: tiramisù and beer." Fine. 

Twenty years ago, I took my new boyfriend on a birthday camping trip. On the morning of his 23rd birthday, he woke up and told me that he was going to marry me. I almost left him there...on the bank of a river. I'm glad I didn't. So for the birthday boy, here's some tiramisù. I learned to make this when I lived in Rome, but this version is slightly less potent than my usual because I used decaf espresso and Frangelico instead of brandy.

When we served it, I offered a shot of Frangelico and a shot of espresso that Jake and I could pour on our servings. The boys' pieces were not so boozy that way!

Ingredients serves 12 
(this made a large trifle bowl full and four mason jar servings)

  • 2 packages of lady finger cookies (I only used 1-1/2)
  • 1 C espresso or strongly brewed coffee
  • 1/3 C liqueur (I used Frangelico for this version)
  • 4 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  • 4 T organic granulated sugar
  • thee 8-ounce tubs mascarpone cheese
  • 2 C organic heavy whipping cream
  • unsweetened cocoa powder


Combine 2/3 C espresso and 1/3 C liqueur.

Make a zabaglione. Place egg yolks and granulated sugar over a double-boiler (or a mixing bowl over a pot is fine). Heat and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is frothy. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the yolk and whites together. Set aside.

Beat mascarpone cream with 1/3 C espresso. Set aside.

Beat heavy whipping cream into stiff peaks. Set aside.

Now you're ready to assemble!

Layer one: arrange lady fingers in a single layer in your serving bowl. You can break the cookies as needed to cover as much of the base as you can. Moisten each cookie with a wash of the espresso-liqueur mixture.

Layer two: add a couple of dollops zabaglione and spread across the cookies as much as you can.

Layer three: spread 1 to 2 T mascarpone mixture over the zabaglione.

Layer four: add a couple of dollops whipped cream and create a layer. Sprinkle with 1 to 2 t unsweetened cocoa powder.

Repeat until your dish is full or you run out of ingredients. As I mentioned, this ingredient list gave me a full trifle dish an four mason jars that I put in lunchboxes.

I hope this is exactly what he wanted. Happy birthday, my Love!

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