Monday, January 17, 2011

Sweet layers of goodness

So, last Thursday night I hosted my book club - Salem Book Trials here at my very own little home.  I've been meeting with this lovely group of women once a month to discuss our chosen book for over a year now and have thoroughly enjoyed it - but I digress!  This post is not about my book club, or how much I like my friends, or even about how cute my house is (because it IS cute just in case you were wondering...), no this post is about what I served my book club and that my friends is Tiramisu!
And right here I have to take a slight tangent because I'd like to get straight once and for all what the proper pronunciation of Tiramisu is?  Do you say Tir AH mee sue or Tir E mee sue?  Or are both of those wrong?  I've been saying Tir AH mee sue but I heard Tir E mee sue thrown around quite a bit the other night and to be honest I found it a bit snotty sounding.  A bit of an elitist take on the word - but since it is somewhat of a fancy dessert maybe that's the correct way to say it!
O.k. - back to this concoction!  First of all let me just say it was AHH MAZE ING and completely worth the scavenger hunt I went on to find all the ingredients.  The hardest was finding the Marsala wine (there's two kinds sweet and regular - who knew?) and the ladyfingers (found at Cost Plus), easiest to find was the Mascarpone cheese which was just sitting there in the fancy cheese case looking all innocent.  And I thought   - " Where have you been all my life?". 
So without further adu - here's the recipe taken from who else - The Pioneer Woman



  • 5 whole Egg Yolks
  • ¼ cups Plus 4 Tablespoons Sugar, Divided
  • ¾ cups Marsala Wine, Divided
  • 1 cup Whipping (heavy) Cream
  • 1 pound Mascarpone Cheese, Softened (room Temperature)
  • 1-½ cup Brewed Espresso Or VERY Strong Coffee
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 1 package (7 Oz.) Savoiardi Or Ladyfingers
  • Cocoa Powder, For Dusting

Preparation Instructions

Note: Cook time is actually chill time in the refrigerator.
In a saucepan, bring some water to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Find a mixing bowl that will fit over the top of the pan, but not sink all the way in. (A poor man’s double boiler!)
Put 5 egg yolks into the mixing bowl. Add ¼ cup sugar and whisk until pale yellow in color. Place the mixing bowl on the saucepan with the simmering water. Add 1/2 cup Marsala wine gradually, whisking constantly as you do. Cook over the simmering water, scraping the sides and bottom occasionally for 5 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, or until cool.
Place mascarpone cheese in a bowl and stir until smooth. In a mixing bowl, combine whipping cream and remaining 4 tablespoons sugar. Whip until soft peaks form. To the bowl of whipped cream, add the softened mascarpone cheese and the chilled zabaglione (the egg yolk mixture). Fold mixture gently. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Measure 1 ½ cups brewed espresso or VERY strong coffee. Add remaining ¼ cup Marsala and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Arrange the savoiardi or ladyfingers in a single layer in a 9 x 13 pan. Spoon 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of the coffee mixture over each ladyfinger (keep it under 1 tablespoon per cookie and you’ll be fine). Plop 1/3 of the cold cream/mascarpone/zabaglione mixture on top and spread it into a layer. Sprinkle a thin layer of cocoa powder. Repeat the process two more times.
Cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. This allows for more moisture to soften the cookies and the whole mixture to meld together. To serve, spoon out helpings onto individual plates.
Note: tiramisu does not last beyond 24 to 36 hours, as everything eventually starts to break down and become soupy. (In other words - eat up!)

And here's a picture of how mine looked before it was completely destroyed....

Seriously, the picture does not do this justice and it really didn't look all that pretty sliced up, but whatever it lacks in beauty it more than makes up for in taste!  And I am not too proud to admit that I maybe had a ginormous bowl full of this goodness on Friday night and it was so so good and made me feel so so happy that it didn't matter that I had a tummy ache afterwards or that my jeans felt tight or that it might be pronounced Tir E mee sue.  In that moment all was right with the world.   The end.

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