Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Best Damn TIRAMISU Ever



Memorial Day weekend should be a relaxing time to spend with friends and family, a time to unabashedly stand by the barbecue with two beers in one hand, a glass of red wine in another and a hot dog dangling from one's mouth, a time where sunburns and babies run amok and the scent of toasted fireworks fill the air. Memorial Day weekend is relaxing, of course unless you offer to bring tiramisu to a friend's barbecue party. I'm not saying I did not enjoy making the dessert, I am simply saying that running around to store after store to purchase the ingredients was a huge pain in my ass.

I had to visit ACME for the ladyfingers, cocoa, instant espresso powder (which was oddly placed in the "ethnic" aisle rather than the coffee aisle), eggs and heavy whipping cream. Then I had to visit two liquor stores for the coffee liquor and the dry marsala. But where can I find marscapone cheese? Thankfully, Mancuso's on Passyunk Avenue answered their phone at 7:00 as they were closing and told me to rush over there before the Flyers game started. As I illegally parked outside, I had someone run in to purchase the Marscapone cheese and the necessary homemade lemon water ice loaded with bits of fresh lemons (not a necessity to the dessert, but oh so good).

My list is finally complete. Now, to the kitchen!!

Here's a list to bring with you to the Grocery store(s):

Dry & Baking Goods:
6 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder for Dusting
40 Ladyfingers
1 Tsp. vanilla Extract

Dairy:
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Pound Marscapone Cheese
5 Egg Yolks

Liquor:
1/3 cup Dry Marsala Wine
8 Tbsp. Coffee Liquor

Other:
1/8 Cup Orange Juice
4 cups boiling hot water


Directions:

Over a pan of boiling hot water, beat 5 egg yolks, Marsala, and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan for 7 minutes or until pale yellow in color and remove from heat.**
**This is called zobaglione, which by itself tastes great when served alongside fresh fruit and a dollop of whipped cream.

Add vanilla extract to tub of mascarpone cheese and stir until combined.

Add mascarpone mixture to pan of zobaglione and stir until combined.

In a separate pan, whip heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form, which is approximately 5 minutes.

Fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture.

In a separate pot, boil 4 cups of water over high heat. When water comes to a boil, remove from heat and add espresso powder, 4 tbsp sugar, orange juice and coffee liquor and stir until sugar and espresso powder have dissolved. Let cool.

Set aside a 13x9x2 baking pan

Dip each ladyfinger into espresso mixture for 6 seconds.
**While soaking each ladyfinger, hold a firm grip on the ladyfinger, so to tell when the the cookie starts to loosen up from being soaked. Once the pressure gives way, remove it from mixture and immediately set it into the pan. This procedure causes the cake to become very moist and irresistible, not crunchy and heavy.

Fill the bottom of the pan with the ladyfingers using approximately 20 for each layer

Spread ½ of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfinger mixture.

Add a second layer of dipped ladyfingers over the mascarpone mixture and end with a second layer of mascarpone mixture.

Liberally coat the top with cocoa powder using a sifter

Cover with foil or plastic wrap in refrigerator overnight

Before serving, add a second coating of cocoa powder to the top of the dessert and create designs in the powder if you like using a fork.

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