Another Year, Another Birthday

Phew, the last six months took a little bit out of me and I have to apologize for my lack of action here on WATP. After having a very exciting summer learning about the reality (the good and the bad) of food entrepreneurship and working at Plum Bar in Oakland, last fall was my time to get back into the academic grind. I started interning for a company called Party Earth as a marketing and photography intern and have really been lucky about the fun work that I get to do. Additionally, I was fully invested in my fine arts photography in the capstone photography class available through USC’s Roski School of Fine Arts. All of the busy schedule aside, my cooking was a bit dismal and not very blog worthy! That being said, this past December I really revved things back up, especially on the baking side of things. Since it has been roughly a year since WATP was birthed from my imagination, and the first post was in honor of my 21st birthday, I thought it appropriate to celebrate my blog’s anniversary with another birthday post.

For my 22nd birthday I was determined to make classic tiramisu. As much as I adore this luxurious dessert, I realized that I had never once attempted to make it. Perhaps it’s because there’s a chilling period and it’s best served the day after preparing it that always deterred me. After all, when I crave sweets I want them ASAP, not 24 hours later. This time, however, I was determined to succeed and the more time my tiramisu chilled, the better it would be for all those who enjoyed it. The end result was a rich and fluffy (yes FLUFFY, not dense!) coffee wonder. I can’t decide if it’s coincidence or not that one year ago I made a 12 layer mocha cake and now have followed up with another coffee dessert…I guess when a girl loves her coffee there’s no stopping her!

A few notes on the recipe…The blog that I found this recipe at suggested that his cake served 8-10 people, however I served 20 or so! I was also portioning out the slices to be quite small. Know that this tiramisu is serious in its flavor and intensity, so sometimes large slices aren’t the way to go, despite how delicious it may be.

Tiramisu – serves 10-12 (adapted from Chew Out Loud)

**Note I did not sprinkle any chocolate shavings on top, but I think that it’s a delightful idea.
3 cups very strong coffee, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 rounded tablespoon sugar, 4 tablespoon Kahlua liquor, 3 tablespoon rum, 4 large egg yolks, 1/3 cup dry (not sweet) marsala, 2 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese, 1 cup chilled heavy cream, 2 pkgs (about 14 oz total) crisp ladyfinger cookies, unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting, semi sweet chocolate for shaving, if desired
Stir strong coffee, 1 TB sugar, Kahlua, and rum until sugar is dissolved.   Cool.

Beat egg yolks, Marsala, and 1/2 cup sugar in a metal bowl.  Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water.  Using a handheld electric mixer or whisk, mix until tripled in volume.  This takes about 8 min.  Remove from heat and beat mascarpone in until just combined. Do NOT overwork your mascarpone!

Put heavy cream in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters.  Beat until stiff peaks.

photo (4)

Fold whipped cream in mascarpone mixture gently, taking time to fully incorporate it. This step must be done very carefully to ensure that your mascarpone cream is nice and light.

Mascarpone Cream

One at a time, very gently dip both sides of each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture, lining bottom of a 9-10 inch Springform pan (I use a 9 inch).  Dip and line as you go.  A 2-second dip on each side will do the trick, too much time and they will break apart. Keep in mind that the lady fingers will continue to absorb any additional liquid as the tiramisu chills.  Trim any ladyfingers as needed so that it fits comfortably in pan.  Split mascarpone filling in half.  Spread half of the filling on top of ladyfingers.

photo (2) Repeat dipping and lining for second layer of ladyfingers.  Spread remaining mascarpone filling on top.  Dust with cocoa.  Sprinkle with chocolate shavings.  Chill overnight in springform pan to set.

Ready to Chill

Carefully release sides of springform.  If your sides are slightly haphazard, no worries.  Take leftover ladyfingers, slice them in half, and use them to wrap around your tiramisu.  Enjoy!Birthday Tiramisu