Wednesday, April 6

Tiramisu

"Tiramisu" in Italian literally means "pick me up."  And with a combination of sugar, cream, espresso, and chocolate, that's exactly what it is.  Oh, and the a splash of rum or brandy helps.  It's like the Red Bull of Roman Gladiators.  (We'll just ignore the fact that the first documented Tiramisu seems to be in the '70s...)

Two days ago, at Rugby practice, I managed to be the one of the participants in a mutual head butting.  So now I have a concussion and swelling all around my forehead and nose, plus my forehead split just above my right eye.  But you should see the other girl.  (She was shaken but otherwise seems to be totally fine.)  I went to the hospital, hung out for about seven hours, and the ER doctor finally glued my forehead (apparently this is what they do now instead of stitches) around 4 am.  It looks like I'll have to wear sunscreen or a hat at all times for the next six months to prevent pigmentation (yay for having the pallor of...I don't know...a really pale person).  Regardless, I'll have some sort of scar over my right eye.  Which is exactly where Harry Potter's scar is.  Score.

After stumbling back to campus, taking a shower, and sleeping the day away, a pick-me-up was exactly what I needed.  So my lovely friends came over and we made tiramisu from a website called Cooking for Engineers.  Mock all you want, but the recipes are fantastic and has a well-made chart ever really hurt anyone?!

According to the terms of the website, I'm not allowed to repost the actual recipe and I'm not willing to risk the privilege of viewing this gift from the graphically-oriented culinary gods.  So here is the recipe.  Go crazy.  It's super easy and very delicious.  It's kind of a pain to beat the whipping cream with just a whisk, but this is why we have friends!

What would Italian dessert be without Italian music?  Here's a popular Italian song by the artist Neffa.  It's called "Cambier√†" (which means "things will change"):


It reminds me a tiny bit of Randy Newman, at least in the beginning.  If you like song, listen to "La mis signorina," which I also like.  It's interesting because Neffa's songs are classified in a range of genres, from funk to R&B to hip-hop and rap.

Caitlin mixing the mascarpone, sugar, and rum 

The soaked lady fingers

For those of you that do not know, tiramisu is a dessert that is composed of layers - usually two different layers repeated twice.  The first is a layer of lady fingers that have been dipped in a mixture of coffee and espresso.  The cookies are extremely delicate, so they absorb the liquid and begin to fall apart, especially under the weight of the rest of the dessert.  The second layer is generally a combination of mascarpone cheese, sugar, rum, and eggs, although in this case we used heavy whipping cream (and thus did not eat raw eggs and toned our biceps).

Whipping the cream.  This took awhile.

Still whipping the cream.  Ariana is laughing concernedly.

Caitlin's hands folding the mixture.
What would her mother say about those chipped nails?

One thing I will say about the recipe: I've made this recipe twice now, and the type of lady fingers you purchase really makes a difference.  The first time my sister and I made it, the lady fingers were incredibly light and airy, so dunking them in coffee sometimes resulted in their disintegration if we weren't careful.  Last night, the lady fingers I bought had a layer of sugar on top that made it more difficult for the cookies to absorb the coffee and espresso mix.  It resulted in a tiramisu that had some very cookie-like layers.  That said, the lady fingers became spongier over night, so it didn't really matter.  And guess what?  Pretty much all of the ingredients can be purchased at Trader Joe's!

The extra lady fingers and the tiramisu, in all its glory

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