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Sunday, November 27, 2011


Last weekend my friend asked me if I had ever made tiramisu before. Turns out its her favorite dessert (you learn something new every day!) and she wants to learn how to make it. The truth of the matter is that I have tasted tiramisu before - and enjoyed that bite or two - but I find it too rich and I'm done after those one or two bites.

Despite the fact that it's not my most favorite dessert, I decided that it would be a great idea to make it together.  First of all, happens to be that my mom loves tiramisu.  Secondly, I'm not one to shoot down a baking challenge!  So, we put a date on the calendar to make a tiramisu. We divided up the shopping list, and planned to meet at my apartment on the Sunday afternoon of Thanksgiving weekend to make a tiramisu.

Tiramisu is an Italian dessert made from mainly mascarpone cheese and ladyfingers, with some coffee flavored liquor and cocoa powder (and a few other ingredients). Although I seem to remember tiramisu having cinnamon in it, I looked up several recipes and none of them call for cinnamon.  My mom confirmed that there is, in fact, no cinnamon in tiramisu.  Silly me!

Since I usually bake alone, I was looking forward to the company in my (very small, although decent-sized by Manhattan standards) kitchen. I figured a bottle of wine - Italian, of course - would make the afternoon more fun, yet my presentation in two days is not done, so we skipped the bottle of wine and set out to make a tiramisu!

We used a tiramisu recipe I found online - one by Giada De Laurentiis from Food Network - without reading the reviews first (oops!).  We used a pan a bit smaller than the one the recipe called for and we still ran out of lady fingers.  We also used up the espresso-rum dipping mixture by the time the first layer of lady fingers had been dipped, but had all the ingredients on hand to make more of that mixture (but not enough lady fingers).

                                 Layering the lady fingers                 Covered in Chocolate Shavings


All in all, I think the tiramisu came out well.  In the future, I'd definitely make a double batch of the espresso-rum mixture, buy extra lady fingers (and not soak them in the mixture too long), and 1.5 times the cheese mixture.  Or just use a smaller pan.  But if any of you have a family recipe for tiramisu, I'd love it if you'd pass it along...

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