Sunday, August 20, 2006

The party's over


The Ugly Binder, clipped from the ladyfinger package

To make Tiramisù, begin by making zabaglione cream as follows:
5 egg yolks from Large Grade eggs
¼ cup sugar
½ cup Marsala

In the top part of a double boiler, beat eggs and sugar together until the mixture is pale yellow in color. In the bottom part of the double boiler, bring water to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Place egg yolk mixture over water and gradually add Marsala, beating continuously. Scrape bottom and sides of pan occasionally and cook 6-10 minutes or until soft mounds can be formed. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

1 cup whipping cream, chilled
4 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1 lb. Marscapone Cheese (if unavailable, substitute two 8 oz. packages cream cheese combined with ½ cup whipping cream and 5 tbsp. sour cream) I always use Marscapone
1 recipe Zabaglione
2 cups (16 oz) freshly brewed espresso or other strong brew coffee
½ cup Brandy or Marsala I usually use Brandy but this time I used rum
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 14 oz. package Alessi Savoiardi Cookies (or any crunchy ladyfingers you can find)
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder

Whip cream with 2 Tbsp. sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in Marscapone and Zabaglione and mix till well blended. Cover and refrigerate one hour. In a separate bowl, mix espresso, 2 Tbsp. sugar, Brandy and vanilla. Arrange 16 cookies on the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan. Carefully spoon about 1 Tbsp. of the coffee mixture over each cookie so they are saturated but not falling apart. Spoon 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the cookies and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp cocoa. Repeat two more times ending with cocoa. (I only put the cocoa on top this time - I forgot to add it between the layers. ) Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 5 hours so that cookies can soften as they absorb moisture.

Makes 12 servings.

A couple of years ago when I first decided to make Tiramisù for my annual cookout, I spent hours searching the internet for that perfect tiramisù recipe. I wanted the eggs cooked but I also wanted to stay close to the traditional version. After all that time wasted searching, I bought the ladyfingers and the perfect recipe was right on the bag. Luckily I clipped it and saved it in The Ugly Binder because the ladyfingers I use are getting hard to find around here. I don't even remember where I bought the ones I used this time since I bought them a while ago when I saw them somewhere in my travels, knowing I would need them for my cookout.

I tripped up a bit this year, probably because I was making 1 1/2 times the recipe since I bought a bigger dish for this year. I forgot the cocoa between the layers and accidentally added all the sugar to the whipped cream instead of separating it. I usually dunk my cookies but they were getting too soggy (and I was running out of coffee because I was short on that and I didn't feel like making any more) so I decided to brush on the coffee mixture after the first layer and I didn't add enough as you can see in the picture. (This was a picture of the leftovers - it's a little crooked but it's all I had to work with.)

None of these indiscretions seemed to impact the final product. It was still the most popular dessert. The extra sugar wasn't needed but it didn't hurt since there isn't a whole lot of sugar in the recipe compared to many desserts. I used rum instead of Brandy this time since I had a wonderful version made with rum in a restaurant sometime this past year. It was very good with rum but not a huge difference (although I wasn't tasting the two versions side-by-side). Personally, I wouldn't use marsala in the coffee mixture, but that's just my own preference.

So it's over. We had a few raindrops but we did our best to ignore them. By the end of the event, it was actually quite nice out and that's how I'm going to remember it. As usual, I was too busy to take any pictures and as usual, I regret that. I think the final total was 25 adults and older children, plus 4 little ones. Not a bad turnout.

I'm not cooking this week again but I have a few other recipes from the cookout to share.

Oh yes, since we were both off Friday, I finally got to go to 'The Auction', a local farmer's market that's only open on Fridays that my husband has been talking about for years. OMG! Such gorgeous produce and I didn't need anything (well, I bought the corn on the cob for the cookout there). My son was in a terrible mood too since we interrupted his nap to go. I did buy two gorgeous light purple eggplants since they were only 75 cents each. What am I going to do with them? I swear, this Friday, as soon as Hubby gets home from work, I'm heading off to the auction alone.

Question of the Day: Do you have any good eggplant recipes?


MommyProf said...

I've never made it, but baba ganooj is great in the summer...

Annie said...

I love Tiramisu! I'll have to print this recipe to keep in my ugly binder ;)
I make a twice baked eggplant parm which I really like. It's posted on my blog.

Unknown said...

This looks SOOOO good. I've never made tiramisu and would like to try some time. Eggplant parmesan is an easy thing to do. Just bake slices of eggplant and then put them in a dish with spaghetti sauce and cheese. Then bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes. That's what I'm making tonight, so I'll post that probably today.

Here's a link to another recipes I LOVE. It's an eggplant spaghetti sauce recipe that was given to my college cookbook by the Carters (president that is):

Randi said...

The tiramasu looks good. I made one for a catering job. it was barefoot contessa's recipe and it came out really good. No eggplant recipes because I hate it, but eggplant parmesean is always popular. Giada de laurentis has one that is baked and not fried like most.

Heather said...

I hope that your barbeque was a success! I was thinking about it all weekend.

Anonymous said...

I have been on a eggplant kick this summer....grilling them. first i slice them about 1 forth inch thick..then sprinkle salt on both sides and then let them sit for 30 mins. then rinse them( this gets rid of the liquid in the eggplant.) i pat them dry. then brush then with olive oil and sprinkle italian seasoning on both sides( i also use fresh herbs from my garden. then grill them for about 5-7 min. on each side. sprinkle them with bleu cheese or goat cheese, whatever u perfer..hummgood.
i'm really enjoying your recipes.thanks...kay

Anonymous said...

It's been ages since I made tiramisu. I, too, use the recipe from the ladyfingers package. Works for me!

Anonymous said...

I make eggplant parmiagiana - same as veal parmiagiana but with eggplant as your base. Super yummy and always a hit.