Hi everyone!! Thanks to my friends who encouraged me to start a blog and to my 3-weeks worth of research which just went down the drain, I get to stop doing experiments and have some free time to start a blog :D Anw, I'm just a regular graduate student in a small college town who is bored to death with my research. So what do I do outside of my lab? I bake. Every day, sometimes even twice a day, doesn't matter morning, noon, or night. I'm not professionally trained, I just LOVE baking. When you open the oven and see your cupcakes rise as high as Mount Everest.. (well maybe not Everest, but you get what I mean) it's an indescribable feeling of triumph and joy. The first cake I baked was a Black Forest with a soupy filling and a cake that is as hard as a brick. I'll never forget the look on my friend's face for whom the cake was made. Poor him, it was his birthday and he had to eat the disaster. Should have bought an ice cream cake instead.. Too bad, I don't have the picture of that cake..
Well, after that incidence, I tried a lot of different recipes to improve my baking skills. One of the first few recipes was Tiramisu. Tiramisu, really? Isn't it extremely difficult to make Tiramisu? Trust me my friend, it's not as hard as you think. It doesn't even involve baking. Technically you can bake your own ladyfingers, but I'm too lazy and I think store-bought ladyfingers taste fine. I got this recipe from www.allrecipes.com and modified it to my taste. I included some tips, that I think will help you even more, in the directions . So, here it goes:
Yield: 1 9-inch springform pan
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup whole milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound mascarpone cheese (I use Bel Gioioso)
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
2 tablespoons rum
3 (3 ounce) packages soft ladyfinger or 1 1/2 (7 ounce) packages of hard ladyfinger
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Take the mascarpone cheese out of the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature until soft.
2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture boils. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
3. After the egg yolk mixture is cooled, whisk in mascarpone until smooth. If lumps form, strain the mixture. Do not blend the mixture using a food processor, otherwise you'll end up with mixture that won't firm up.
4. In another bowl, beat heavy cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form and fold it into the yolk mixture. You can spread the yolk mixture and whipped cream separately, but I like how the whipped cream lighten up the yolk mixture.
5. In yet another bowl, combine coffee and rum. You can replace coffee and rum with 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoon coffee liquor (Kahlua).
6. Line the side of your springform pan with ladyfingers. Line the bottom of the pan with ladyfingers, break them into pieces to fill gaps if necessary.
7. Using a pastry brush, brush the coffee-rum mixture on the ladyfingers at the bottom of the pan. Do not brush the ladyfingers on the sides of the pan and make sure you don't dip the ladyfingers in the coffee-rum mixture or you'll end up with a pool of coffee at the bottom of your fridge (this happened to me).
8. Pour 1/2 of the yolk-cream mixture on the ladyfingers and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
9. Put another layer of ladyfingers on top of the cocoa powder, brush with coffee mixture, top with yolk-cream mixture, and lastly sprinkle with remaining cocoa powder.
10. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight to let the flavors meld together.
11. Unmold the Tiramisu and Voila!
Fheewww... Looks complicated? Don't worry, if you follow the directions carefully, you'll be absolutely fine :)
Here is a picture of my first attempt
My second attempt
I hope you like my first post. Now, go to the grocery store, buy the ingredients, and start making your own Tiramisu. Remember, FACE THE BATTER!!