“…food is not simply organic fuel to keep body and soul together, it is a perishable art that must be savoured at the peak of perfection.”
– E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly
“Change is inevitable”, they say. Well, I’ve never been the type who fancies coffee. I’ve always been more of a “tea girl” and I still am. Naturally, I wasn’t the least bit motivated to indulge in a dessert that owes part of it’s magic to coffee. Nevertheless, a couple of months back, at an authentic Italian restaurant, as I debated with myself whether to opt for a gelato with biscotti or a tiramisu, something came over me and prompted me to finally take the plunge and give this age ol’ dessert a chance. I haven’t looked back since. My palate ostensibly decided to go on an adventure and Tiramisu for some reason decided to placate itself into a personal favorite. As you will see me describing further below, what caught my attention in particular was the perfect balance of the sweet & the bitter.
We all know Tiramisu, translates to “pick me up”. Undoubtedly true, since one of the primary ingredients is caffeine. The history however is an incident of conflict because according to some, the origin of this Italian dessert dates back to the 1970’s when a restaurant called the Le Beccherie is credited to have invented it. Others say that it originated during the WWI when they were made & sent off with soldiers to provide them with a much needed caffeinated energy & thereby a safe return. Whatever be the origin, we are immensely thankful!
Savoiardi or lady fingers, espresso, rum, mascarpone & whipped cream(generally egg yolks are used) and a little bit of sugar make this dessert what it is. A mixture of rum & espresso soak into the spongy lady fingers, giving them a tad of bitterness. The mascarpone & whipped cream together with moistened Savoiardi create the perfect balance of sweet & bitter and will have you craving for more. They were skillfully served in little jars and topped with a blanket like coating of cocoa powder at the restaurant where I first tried them. I decided to stay inspired & do the same.
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
When you take your first spoonful, a tinge of bitterness from the cocoa is quickly followed by the smooth, creamy, slightly sweet mascarpone mixture, followed by a faint bitterness from the espresso’ed, Savoiardi. This dessert is flawless to me and I’ve tried to incorporate it’s authenticity in my version. I’m tempted to call this an eggless dessert but the lady fingers I’ve used contain egg in them and hence I’m going to refrain from doing so.
I do hope you like it & try it and as always, I love me a feedback!
|RECIPE FOR TIRAMISU(Makes 3 Jars each measuring 8cms in diameter & 8cms in height)
3/4 th cup heavy whipping cream
1.5 tbsp sugar
1/2 pound or 225 gms Mascarpone
3/4 cup espresso
2 tsp dark Rum
18 large Lady fingers/Savoiardi
1.5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp of grated chocolate shavingsMETHOD
1. First, place a large empty bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
2. Take it out and place sugar & whipping cream in that. Whip until peaks are formed.
3. Gently fold in the Mascarpone into it and combine half a tablespoon of espresso into it. Keep aside.
4.In a shallow dish, combine rum & espresso.
5. Take a jar of your choice, place a layer of lady fingers. Since the lady fingers are more elongated & the jar is a perfect circle, you will need to cut the ladyfingers accordingly.
You will need 2 for each layer and hence 6 for each jar.( Please have a look at the picture BELOW- I have cut off the edges on all sides and placed them before soaking just to make it a little more clear)
6. Dip the ladyfingers in the espresso-rum mixture for 5 seconds only and place them at the bottom of your jar.
7.Next pipe a layer of your mascarpone-whipping cream mixture.
8. Repeat the whole process. For the jar that I used, I repeated this two more times which means- 3 layers of soaked lady fingers and 3 layers of mascarpone.
9.Cover with a plastic wrap and chill for 2-8 hours.
10. Sprinkle cocoa powder & grated chocolate before serving.
1.The lady fingers contain EGG.
2.Do not discard the edges of the lady finger biscuits. They go great with a glass of tea. If not, add all the soaked crumbs into a big cup, top with the leftover mascarpone-whipped cream mixture and enjoy!
This recipe is a culmination of two recipes from two wonderful chefs who with their eloquence & ease in the art of cooking, made boring, drowsy afternoons not just interesting but taught me more than a thing or two about international cuisine -Giada De Laurentiis & Nigella Lawson.
Be sure to stop by my other blogs on travel & art,
The Travel Bug Bit Me
1 part ingredient 9 parts love