Thursday, September 4, 2008

My all time favorite

Ok, you probably wonder what my favorite all time dessert is... well, it's (drum roll please) Tiramisu!

Yep, to me it's definitely the taste of heaven in your mouth. In fact, I stole that line from another website Heavenly Tiramisu which you should visit if you want to find their 'best ever' Tiramisu and, if you're daring, some great recipes for making the stuff on your own. If you do, don't skimp! Buy the freshest ingredients, and don't buy the store's brand of Mascarpone as you will regret it. It's actually relatively inexpensive to make an entire Tiramisu - when you look at the price per slice in a restaurant. I'm a bit of a Tiramisu purist as well. I don't eat mine with Caramel, brownies or multiple layers. That's not Tiramisu, though it might be tasty. If it doesn't have individual lady fingers at the bottom, mascarpone in the middle and chocolate dusted on the top - then it's not Tiramisu.

This recipe has some good advice, though I admit I haven't made it. One of the recipes I have made a few times is SUFO's Tiramisu. SUFO = Stand Up Flip Over. Now, I admit - my first few times - it didn't go so well.

Mistake #1 - I used soft lady fingers and let them soak.
Mistake #2 - I used a french press to make strong coffee, instead of espresso.
Mistake #3 - I used too much of a very dark rum, which overpowered the taste of the Tiramisu.
Mistake #4 - I let the Mascarpone get too warm - always, always keep it cold!

When you make Tiramisu - use hard ladyfingers and just touch them to the espresso/rum mixture. Just dip, flip, dip. Dip it in for about 1/2 to one second, flip it over and dip it again for another 1/2 to a second. That's it. Then drink the rum/coffee mixture if you want when you're done - Julia Child would... Actually if the rum tastes good when drinking, then it will taste good in the dessert - so be like Julia, sample - then adjust. Use a rum that's flavorful enough that you would drink it by itself. Something you would, or could, sip. You're not doing shots here (yet) so anything clear or highly flammable is out.

A note to anyone who has eaten Tiramisu from a supermarket or Chain Restaurant (like Olive Garden)- that's not really what I would call Tiramisu. Tiramisu is much more delicate and has much more of a custard type texture to it. If you want to taste a real Tiramisu - find the best Italian restaurant in your area, ask them if they make their own, and then try that. If you don't have one, look for one in a local gourmet store. If it says 'Tiramisu cake' it may not be the real thing, though it might be tasty! Oh - and never eat Tiramisu frozen - it's not meant to be eaten frozen and you will miss out on most of the flavor if you eat it that way.

Enjoy, or as the Italians say.. Enjoy. Something seems missing there - but then all the Italians I know are all like 5th generation Americans now.

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