Monday, February 4, 2013

Mini Monday: A Mini Valentine's Day

I don't know about you, but I think there's something so romantic about sharing dessert with someone you love.  And, for some reason sharing an Italian dessert is extra romantic.  Maybe because Italian is the language of love.  Maybe it's because you can pretend you're in Venice on a moonlit gondola ride.  Either way, Valentine's Day is the perfect time to make a delicious dessert that's just big enough to share with the one you love.  Plus, if you stay at home and make it yourself you don't have to deal with all the crowds at the fancy restaurants.  And if you feel like getting a little "romantic", well you're in the privacy of your own home.  Go right ahead.

If all of that sounds good to you, then you're going to love this recipe for tiramisu.  This recipe is for a full 9x11 pan of tiramisu, but for Valentine's Day making it into a heart shape big enough for two to share takes a delicious dessert and "kicks it up another notch," to borrow a phrase from Emeril.  

 Valentine's Day Tiramisu
(adapted from Jessica Lynn Writes)

What you need:
1 1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee (room temperature)
5 T Kahlua
Lady fingers (about 30)
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 T vanilla
16 oz marscapone
6 T cold heavy (whipping) cream

What you do:

Mix coffee and 3 T Kahlua in a shallow bowl and set aside.  

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks at a low speed until just combined.  Add sugar and salt and beat at medium-high speed until it becomes pale yellow.  Next mix in the remaining 2 T Kahlua along with the vanilla.  Then add about two-thirds of the marscapone and mix until well combined and there are no lumps.  

Now, this is wear my version of the recipe differs.  The original recipe calls for raw eggs.  If I bought high-quality farm fresh eggs, I'd probably be fine with keeping the eggs raw but I buy my eggs from Walmart.  I'd rather be safe than sorry.  If you're fine with using raw eggs go ahead and feel free to skip this next step.  Anyway, transfer the egg and marscapone mixture to a glass bowl and cook over a double boiler.  Make sure you whisk the mixture the entire time, we're not trying to make scrambled eggs here.  The objective is to heat the mixture up enough to get the "rawness" off the eggs.  You'll know it's done with the mixture kind of "breaks" and thins out.  Once that happens, remove it from the heat and put it in the fridge to let it cool.  Once it's cool transfer it back to the mixing bowl and mix in the rest of the marscapone.  Once it's mixed smooth, transfer it back to the glass bowl.

If you're keeping the eggs raw, join back up with me here.  Pour the cream in the mixing bowl (don't worry about cleaning it out), and mix on high until it will hold stiff peaks.  Gently fold about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the marscapone mixture using a rubber spatula.  Then fold in the rest until there are no white streaks in the mixture.  

And now it's time to assemble the tiramisu.  Take a heart shaped cookie cutter and place it on a plate.  Take lady fingers one at the time and drop them in the coffee/kahlua mixture, quickly flip them over then remove from the coffee.  This whole process should take 2-3 seconds.  You don't want them soaked, just damped.  Place lady fingers in the cookie cutter in one layer, breaking up the lady fingers as necessary.  Next put a big scoop of the marscapone mixture on top of the lady fingers and spread it out.  Next sprinkle some cinnamon on top of the marscapone mixture, and then sift a layer of cocoa on top of that.  Put down another layer of lady fingers, then carefully remove the cookie cutter.  Next, put another layer of marscapone.  Top with some more cinnamon and a thick dusting of cocoa (enough to cover the whole top of the heart).  Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

If you want to make a pan of tiramisu, you basically do the same exact thing as above, except you lay the lady fingers in a layer on the bottom of the pan and build up from there.

Happy Valentine's Day