Monday, February 21, 2011


So last week one of my interns told me that if I could successfully make tiramisu and post about it, his wife would officially start following/reading my blog. Well! I'm never one to turn down new readership, so....challenge accepted.

If I had known how difficult it would be to track down all the ingredients for tiramisu, I probably wouldn't have been quite so enthusiastic about accepting the challenge. I had to hit up to two different Safeways before I managed to get my hands on marscapone cheese, and then neither store had ladyfingers. In fact, none of the store employees had even heard of ladyfingers. "Lady Bingers?" one guy repeated in confusion. "No. Lady FINGERS. They're cookies that look like fingers? No? Nevermind." In the end, I had to just make my own. Oy.

So...espresso is basically just really strong coffee, right? I didn't have a fancy espresso maker, but I did have an electric drip coffee brewer. I also had a giant tub of Folgers coffee grounds from BJs, but I didn't think that would taste very good in a dessert, so I bought some espresso grounds and hoped that would make a difference. The espresso certainly smelled significantly better than the Folgers. And then when a splash of rum got thrown in the mix...yum! No wonder everyone likes tiramisu.

Aside from the grocery store debacle, tiramisu-making proceeded smoothly for the most part until the very end. Then, as I began building the cake layers, I realized that (1) I had made too few ladyfingers, so the tiramisu was going to be significantly more cream than cookie; and (2) the baking dish I was using was too long and shallow, so the whole thing was going to be a lot flatter than those gloriously thick cakes you get at Italian restaurants. Bummer! Still, it was too late at that point to change anything, so I just barreled onwards and hoped that even if my tiramisu didn't look great, it would at least taste good.

And it did! Shockingly good, in fact. 12 hours in the fridge had firmed the cream up to the perfect consistency, and while there was very little sugar in both the ladyfingers and marscapone cream, the whole concoction was pleasantly sweet, with distinct notes of coffee and rum. Mmm, rum. My tiramisu was definitely rummier than the usual restaurant version, but the stronger boozy flavor was not at all off-putting. Delicious! Are you reading yet, Heather? :)

Recipe can be found here, courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa.


heather said...

Oh I am reading :) I guess the next hubby request will be to make it! Looks awesome and way better than my attempts which have turned out to require a straw...thanks!! heather (intern's wifey)

Tina said...

I think overnight refridgeration would really help with your straw/pudding issue ;) Mine was soupy too until it got cold and firmed up.