Sunday, July 15, 2007

6 Years and Tiramisu

Yesterday marked the 6-year anniversary of Nick's and my first date. For anyone who cares, our first date consisted of going to play miniature golf at Wildwood, dinner at The Clubhouse, and then back to my house to watch Gone in 60 Seconds. Last night we celebrated the occasion by having dinner at Outback Steakhouse and coming back home for dessert and to watch The Prestige.

The happy couple, now married... 6 years later...

And now, for the REAL reason you are actually reading this blog... you were hoping there was something about tiramisu in here! I had never attempted it before but have been wanting to for a long time, and thought that it would be a perfect dessert to top off our celebratory dinner. Nick really liked it, but I was very disappointed with how it turned out.

I judged my tiramisu by the standard that I love - the desserts served at The Olive Garden and Bravo! restaurants. Each of their tiramisu desserts absolutely melts in my mouth and I was hoping to achieve that same result. Unfortunately I did not do a good enough job at soaking the lady fingers - the recipe specifically said to just dab the bottom in the coffee/liquor mixture, so that is what I did. However, this definitely did not soak them and they were still a little "solid" when we ate it. Also, the custard mixture just tasted WAY too cheesy and dense for me - not light and airy like I was hoping.

I am posting the recipe below and would love for any feedback or suggestions if you have made a successful tiramisu before, because I really want to try to perfect it. I AM Italian, after all ;-)

Olive Garden Tiramisu (adapted from International Recipes)

3 egg yolks
1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups mascarpone cheese
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
20 to 24 lady fingers
1/4 cup cold espresso
1/4 cup Kahlua coffee liquor
2 tsp. cocoa powder

1. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat so water is simmering. Whisk egg yolks, milk and sugar together in a medium metal bowl, then place the bowl on top of the saucepan. Stir the mixture often for 10 minutes. After the sugar dissolves the mixture should begin to thicken and turn light yellow. Remove it from the heat to cool.

2. Use an electric mixer to combine mascarpone, cream cheese and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix until mostly creamy, but with a few small chunks remaining.

3. Add egg yolk mixture to the cheese mixture and mix just until well-combined.

4. Combine espresso and Kahlua in a small bowl. Pour this mixture into a shallow plate or pan. One-by-one touch the bottom of each lady finger in the espresso mixture. The lady finger will quickly soak up the espresso/Kahlua mixture, but you don't want the entire lady finger soaked - just a dab will do. The top half of each lady finger should still be dry. Arrange the soaked lady fingers side-by-side on the bottom of an 8x8 pan.

5. Spoon half of cheese mixture over the lady fingers, then add another layer of soaked lady fingers on top of the cheese mixture.

6. Spoon the remaining cheese mixture over the second layer of lady fingers and spread it evenly.

7. Put 2 tsp. of cocoa powder is a sifter or tight-mesh strainer and gently tap the side to add an even dusting of cocoa powder over the top of the dessert.

8. Cover and chill for several hours.

Yield = 9 servings.

Nick's Grade: B
Nick's Comments: If the lady fingers had been soaked the whole way through this would be an A+. The flavor is great.

Unfortunately, I didn't like the flavor as much ;-)

UPDATE!! I took the tiramisu out of the fridge around 5pm which was about 24 hours since I originally made it, and the lady fingers were perfectly soft. So that might solve my lady finger problem (let it sit overnight) but the tiramisu overall was still too cheesy-tasting for me!


Kayte said...

looks soooo yummy!

Amber said...

I can't say that I have ever had this before since I do not like coffee. But this looks mighty tasty..

DeborahSW said...

Mmm, tiramisu... looks wonderful! And happy anniversary! :)

MrsSisler said...

Yay, glad your back to posting! Everything always looks great!!

Happy Anniversary, too!

Kate said...

I don't know if this helps or not, but I have an amazing tiramisu recipe. I looked at it too see what differences are and
1) There is no heating of egg/sugar/milk
2) Mine mixes 6 egg yolks and sugar (no milk in the recipe at all), then adds marscapone, and then folds in 6 egg yolks that have been whipped until stiff peaks form
3) Half of this marscapone mixture is mixed with cocoa powder
4)When dipping the lady fingers in espresso, both sides (front and back) are quickly dipped
5)Half the lady fingers are just dipped in the espresso, and the other half are dipped in an espresso/marsala mix

Anonymous said...

I just tried Tiramisu myself for the first time (from Ina Garten). Her version calls for just mascarpone, rum (?!) and chocolate shavings.

There is no shortage of versions to try, that's for sure! :o)

Jenny said...

Hi, I just started reading your blog a couple of weeks ago. I love it!
You should try the Tiramisu recipe on the William Sonoma website.
That is the recipe I always use and it's fantastic! It also makes two whole 9x13 trays of it which can be good or bad depending how you look at it. It uses rum but I also add rum and kahlua to the coffee as well. It is a really great recipe.