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Friday, November 18, 2011

Chew on This | Tiramisu

This post is going to be a tiny bit awkward. 

Not for you. For me.

I love the smell of coffee. Rich, dark coffee, so pungent and lovely. Flavored coffees, sweetly aromatic and amazing. And all those funky creamers, creamy smooth and neat-o. 

I, however, would not ever ingest any of that stuff. No way, no how. Gross. How can something that smells so great taste so horrid? How? How? I can hear you gasping now. 

I have tried to love, then like, and finally tolerate coffee to no avail. It just tastes like bad burnt water to me and there's not a chance you'll find me ever coveting a cup.

So why in the world would I make Tiramisu - a dessert laced with coffee and coffee flavored liquor? Because when I first made this recipe some years ago I was told it was pretty darn good. And I really like positive reinforcement.

For me, the beauty of Tiramisu lies in the delicious, light and addictive mascarpone cream. It is scrumptious and I have a hard time allowing it to be covered with coffee soaked lady fingers. For everyone else, this classic layered dessert just wouldn't be what it's supposed to be without the coffee and Kahlua. 

So here I am, a woman who shuns coffee, presenting you with a coffee lovers delight. Awkward for me but good for you. Enjoy!


Here's our recipe:

1/2 C granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
8 ounces mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese), softened
1 1/4 C heavy cream

36 lady fingers
1/4 C Kahlua
1 1/2 C strong coffee (or espresso)

cocoa powder
serving dish (I used a 9" round  by 3" deep dish)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the sugar and egg yolks until sugar dissolves. Your mixture will be a lovely light yellow color. Add your softened mascarpone cheese and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

In another bowl, pour in your cream and beat until soft peaks form. Now you can gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Spread two large spoonfuls of your cream mixture onto the bottom of your serving dish.

In a shallow bowl, combine your Kahlua and coffee. Dunk your lady fingers into the coffee mixture and place in a single layer over the cream in your serving dish. Pour a 1/3 of your cream mixture over the lady fingers and spread until smooth. Repeat steps, dunking lady fingers and placing a single layer over the cream, pour on more cream....  Finish with your final cream layer and smooth the top. 

Cover dish with plastic wrap and pace into the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, sift cocoa powder over the top of the tiramisu and dig in.

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