Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Reservations for Two Release Day Tiramisu!

It's been such a wonderful release day! Reservations for Two is officially out in the world (see purchasing options here).  I got to swing by a nearby Barnes & Noble location (our closest bookstore) and see copies on the shelf! So wonderful.

It's been a busy few few days - yesterday I appeared on our local morning television show, AM Northwest, and did a short cooking demo.

I'll post more fully about that experience tomorrow, but until then you can see the clip of me cooking and putting-together-sentence-doing here.

But back to Reservations for Two - it's officially out and about in the world, and to celebrate, I'm sharing the Home-style Tiramisu that Juliette enjoys during a visit to family in Tuscany.

~ Home-style Tiramisu ~

Tiramisu, translated “pick-me-up,” is very popular throughout Italy. It’s quick and easy to assemble, and easy to make for a dinner party. It utilizes the Italian tradition of making a “cake” by soaking something crisp in a full-flavored liquid. In this version, Italian savoiardi cookies or crisp ladyfingers are dipped quickly in brewed coffee and layered with a simple custard.

The standard Italian version uses very fresh, un-cooked eggs for the custard. Because the eggs are raw, just take the same precautions you'd take when buying or preparing sushi - organic eggs are recommended; farm-fresh eggs are ideal if you can get your hands on them. The filling also relies on creamy mascarpone cheese, the Italian take on cream cheese. Look for it near the ricotta in well-stocked grocery stores.

2 ½ cups mascarpone
6 very fresh eggs
20–22 savoiardi or crisp ladyfinger cookies
1 ½ cups brewed coffee or espresso
1/2 cup sugar
½ ounce shaved dark chocolate (optional)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Wash the eggs with soap and water before cracking. Separate egg whites into one mixing bowl and yolks into another.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add most of the sugar and beat until egg whites are glossy, about another fifteen to thirty seconds.

Beat egg yolks until pale and creamy. Add mascarpone and remaining sugar and beat until well incor-porated. Grate dark chocolate over mascarpone mixture, if using.

Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture, folding gently until fully incorporated.

Pour coffee into a shallow bowl. Set out a 9x9 or equivalent-sized baking dish to assemble the cake. (Note: if you double the recipe, a 9x13 works great).

Dip the unsugared half of the cookies into the coffee and then place them snugly against each other until the bottom is covered, about ten or eleven cookies. If necessary, break cookies in half to fit.

Spread half of the custard mixture over the cookies, and repeat with a second layer of coffee-dipped cookies, followed by the last of the custard.

Cover and refrigerate for 1–2 hours. One hour leaves the cookies a little structured still, while two hours gives a fully softened cookie. Sift cocoa powder over the top.

Keep cake chilled.

Serves 4–6.

(Note: when I made this yesterday, I made it with jumbo-sized eggs. And while they were delicious, it turned into a bit of a space issue -

But never fear! If you wind up with extra cream, simply set it aside and enjoy it with some fresh fruit. And if you have jumbo-eggs in your fridge, consider decreasing it to just five eggs.)

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