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Sunday, October 16, 2011


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Confession time. Two Christmases ago, my brother-in-law Justin gifted Ryan and I with an espresso maker. Espresso? For Natalie, the non-coffee loving girl? Well, my half of the gift included a few packages of ladyfingers and Justin's favorite tiramisu recipe, straight from the kitchen of one of his friend's wives. We said thank you, I tucked the recipe away, and promptly forgot about it.

Occasionally I'd flip through my recipe binder and pull out the piece of paper labeled "tiramisu" and tell myself I must make tiramisu sometime soon. Or, I'd be moving things around in our pantry and the ladyfingers would fall to the ground, serving as yet another reminder that I still needed to make tiramisu.

One Christmas passed. No tiramisu. We moved. The ladyfingers moved with us.

Finally, about a month ago, I was flipping through my recipe binder on a Saturday morning when I once again pulled out the little piece of paper. Tiramisu. Today was the day. And so it was. I gathered the ingredients and set to work (yes, using those same ladyfingers. They were packaged well--no staleness, I checked ;)).

Hours later, we dug in for dessert, and after a few bites I kicked myself for not making it sooner. Though I actually preferred it on the second day, after it had time to really soak, the dish was perfectly flavored. The recipe called for Kahlua, but I used the chocolate liqueur that I had so much success with in these brownies. Also, the original called for mascarpone OR a cream cheese/heavy cream concoction. I opted for the latter this time, since I had the ingredients on hand, but I'm eager to give it a go with mascarpone next time!

So Justin, I owe you another thank you for the creative and delicious gift...as well as an apology for my tardiness! ...and now that I've finally made my tiramisu, are you going to hang the wine rack we gave you?!? ;)

One Year Ago: A Chocolate Review
Two Years Ago: Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

from Justin's friend

-2 cups mascarpone cheese (or 8 oz. cream cheese beat with 1/2 cup heavy cream that has been whipped)
-3 eggs, separated
-3/4 cup sugar, separated
-3/4 cup espresso
-1/2 cup chocolate liqueur (or Kahlua or coffee liqueur)
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 1/2 packages of Savoiardi ladyfingers
-cocoa powder, for sprinkling

1. Beat the egg yolks until light yellow. Add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until smooth. Add mascarpone (or cream cheese mixture) and beat together. Set aside.
2. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Folk the two mixtures together until smooth.
3. In a wide bowl (with room for dipping), combine espresso, liqueur, vanilla, and 1/2 cup sugar.
4. In a 9 x 9 inch dish, spread a thin layer of the cheese mixture. Sprinkle cocoa powder on top. Dip ladyfingers into the dipping mixture completely to lightly soak. Lay cookies in the dish, covering the cheese mixture.
5. Top with another layer of the mascarpone and cocoa powder, followed by another layer of dipped ladyfingers (stack cookies directly on top of one another in the same direction to make it easy when you serve it). Finish with a final layer of the mascarpone and cocoa.
6. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.