One of the really cool things about the (food) blogosphere is that you “meet” other like-minded people whose acquaintance you otherwise would not have made. One such blogger friend is PolaM of “An Italian Cooking in the Midwest”. I featured her as part of my “Bloggers I Follow” mini-series a few weeks ago, and she was also instrumental in creating an ethnic food blogger group called “World on a Plate” (our last post was “picnic food”).
When a comment on my pancake post from Ramona of “Curry and Comfort” prompted a discussion on “ethnic fusion” posts between us, we decided to do a spin-off on the topic. We are calling this effort “Cooked in Translation” (thanks, PolaM for the title idea – I LOVE IT!).
Here’s how it works: On the second Sunday each month, we are posting a blog hop, hosted by a selected blogger. This month that is PolaM, next month it will be me – but we’re hoping for lots of participants in the months to come. The host picks an authentic ethnic dish the month prior to the blog hop. That can be anything from “mac & cheese” to chicken curry to German cheesecake and beyond. The host posts the recipe/dish as it is typically made, the others interpret the dish from a different culinary perspective. More details see here.
This month, PolaM (being Italian) picked tiramisu. I LOVE that dessert, and it just so happens that I had an original recipe that I created last year for a big event here in town: orange/dark chocolate tiramisu. The executive chef of a well-known local restaurant had invited me to participate in a charity event, and I made 10 half-sheets of it. It was a HUGE success, and developing the recipe must have made me gain at least 100 pounds.
Tiramisu has two parts to it: ladyfingers biscuit cookies and a mascarpone crème. Traditionally, the crème is made with raw egg to make the dessert light and fluffy. However, that means that the dessert basically has to be eaten the day it was made, and I have a certain apprehension to using raw eggs from chickens I don’t know personally. Or better, where I don’t know how they were kept.
Since this was to be plated originally, I made it like a cake and not in a deep dish. Also, I don’t have ready access to ladyfingers, so I had to make them myself. You have two options for the biscuit: pipe them as cookies or make the biscuit as one continuous sheet. Since they are used as a cake base, the question is: why bother piping? So I didn’t. You can see the two versions here:
There are two schools of thought on how to make biscuit: either you beat it to death with a hand mixer in a normal bowl to make it thick and creamy before you fold in the egg whites, or you do the same thing in a double boiler. I have tried both (you see a double boiler in these pictures), and in my estimation it doesn’t make a lick of a difference.
Bottom line: a half sheet of biscuit will give you a quarter sheet of tiramisu. Dig on in! (Of note: this freezes really well apparently!)
Have you had tiramisu? What is your favorite one?
- 5 egg yolks
- 120 g (2/3 cup) sugar
- 15 g (1 tbsp) orange flavor (optional)
- 40 g (2 tbsp) hot water (2 “real” tablespoons)
- 5 egg whites
- 180 g (1 cup) sugar
- 125 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 250 g (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
- 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
- 3 g (1 tsp) cream of tartar
- 453 g (1 1-lb container) mascarpone
- 250 g (1 cup) milk
- 150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
- 200 g (about 1 cup) dark chocolate, melted
- 1 shot = 40 g orange liqueur (Grand Marnier or something similar)
- 15 g (1 tbsp) vanilla flavor
- 340 g strong coffee
- 40 – 80 g (1 – 2 shots) orange liqueur
- In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with the first measurement of the sugar and the hot water and flavor (optional) until thick and creamy. The mixture should look white and cream-like.
- Slowly drizzle in the remainder of the sugar and keep beating for 2 – 3 minutes for a total of up to 10 minutes.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff. Spoon ⅓ of the egg whites onto the egg yolk mixture, sift the flour on top and fold everything in. Add the remainder of the egg whites and fold these in as well.
- Preheat your oven to 355 F. Line a half sheet pan with a piece of sheet liner and thoroughly spray everything with cooking spray. (It is easiest to use a sheet extender for this, but it is not crucial.)
- Evenly spread the biscuit batter on the sheet and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Turn the biscuit out onto a kitchen towel sprinkled thickly with sugar and let cool.
- Beat the whipping cream, first portion of the sugar and cream of tartar until stiff. Let rest in the fridge.
- Melt the chocolate by breaking it into pieces, then just about covering it with boiling hot water. Let stand for a few minutes, then drain as much of the water as possible.
- In the meantime, mix the mascarpone, rest of the sugar, vanilla, orange liqueur and milk. SLOWLY pour in the melted chocolate. Keep beating until thoroughly combined and creamy. Let rest in the fridge.
- Fold in the whipping cream with the mascarpone cream.
- Cut the biscuit in half. Drizzle half of the coffee/liqueur mixture onto it evenly.
- Cover the biscuit with half of the mascarpone cream. Cover with the other half of the biscuit and repeat.
- Optional: decorate by drawing a decorating comb across the top of the dessert and sprinkle thickly with cocoa.
- Let rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
This is a blog hop!