I have two stories about this recipe I want to share with you. Fellow food blog fans - have you ever stopped and thought about all the food blogs you read and love and realized that you've never tried a recipe that they've shared or a restaurant that they've reviewed? Looking back, I've used Deb (Smitten Kitchen)'s recipes quite a few times, tried a couple recipes from Orangette, a few from 101 Cookbooks, and some from lesser-known blogs. But Gluten-Free Girl (and the Chef)? Backseat Gourmet? Patent and the Pantry? Does this sound like a New Year's resolution a-brewing? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
Anyway, so here I had an occasion where I wanted to make some tiramisu and coincidentally the only recipe under my "tiramisu" tag on Google Reader was this one by David Lebovitz. David Lebovitz worked for a long time as the pastry chef at the famous Chez Panisse and has written many cookbooks, most of them dessert/pastry-related, including The Perfect Scoop, which is an entire book dedicated to recipes for ice creams and sorbets. David has lived in Paris since 2002, so I find more often than not, he likes to share his favourite shops, restaurants and nuances of French and European culture than recipes on his blog. I guess that's probably why I've never tried one of his recipes - because I never thought of his blog as one that is "recipe-oriented", and also because pastries and French cooking are both intimidating things, whether it's the steps involved or the ingredients I need to acquire, non? But now after making the little individual tiramisus, I can happily say that I've crossed off another blog on my Reader from which I've tried a recipe, and I think maybe I will eventually try a couple more.
So that first story really came about because I didn't really want to tell this second story, but then I found out Not Eating Out in New York is giving away Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys, which is a cookbook with recipes and strategies for feeding those in our lives who carry the Y-chromosome. Upon closer examination I think Cathy is looking more for hearty, filling recipes that can fill even the most seemingly bottomless pit of a stomach, but I tend to feed men for more selfish reasons, and if you've known a guy's favourite dessert since the day you met him...
Other reasons why this recipe is dude-worthy:
1) It was created by a dude... who likes other dudes. (Well, ok, maybe just one dude, by the name of Romain.)
2) There's booze in it. Mixed with caffeine.
3) There's protein in it to help you build muscle. Literally.
But then I gave up.
4) Most guys hate to admit it, but I think they like chocolate as much as girls do. (I got this bar for just $1.99 at Superstore! Oh Loblaws and your purchasing power/economies of scale... it is a very acidic chocolate though; not very high-quality.) And cheese... guys like cheese.
5) It's actually surprisingly easy to make!
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Makes 6 servings
- 125 mL (½ cup) espresso, at room temperature
- 30 mL (2 tbsp) dark rum
- 15 mL (1 tbsp) cognac
- 2 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 90 g/105 mL (7 tbsp) sugar, divided
- 250 g/250 mL (1 cup) mascarpone
- 12 ladyfingers (9 cm/3½" or 70 g/3 oz)
- 30 g (1 oz) bittersweet chocolate
- Unsweetened cocoa powder and instant espresso or coffee powder, for serving
Nutrition Info (per serving): 331 calories, 17 g fat (10 g saturated), 149 mg cholesterol, 31 g carbohydrates (1 g fibre, 17 g sugar), 9 g protein, 127 mg sodium. A good source of vitamin B12.
- Mix together the espresso, rum, and cognac. The mixture should taste strongly of alcohol. If not, add more until it does. (That flavour will tone down when mixed with the other ingredients, but feel free to adjust to taste.)
- Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they begin to get stiff. Beat in half of the sugar (45 g, or 3½ tbsp) until stiff. Scrape the egg whites into a small bowl.
- In the same bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until stiff and light-coloured, about three minutes. (If using a standing electric mixer, you may need to stop and scrape down the sides.) By hand, beat in the mascarpone with a spatula or whisk, until lump-free.
- Fold in half of the beaten egg whites, then the remaining half, just until fully incorporated.
- Put a heaping soup spoon, of the mascarpone cream into each vessel. It is tempting to be greedy here, but don't! Remember to save a fair amount to layer on top of the ladyfingers.
- Submerge each ladyfinger in the espresso mixture for 5-10 seconds, until completely, utterly soaked. (Dried ladyfingers will take longer to saturate than softer ones.) Break the ladyfinger in half to be sure; they should be dripping wet, and can't be saturated enough. Layer them over the mascarpone cream in each vessel. Use two ladyfingers per.
- Grate a generous amount of chocolate over each. You may chop the chocolate instead if you want a bit of texture in your tiramisu.
- Top with remaining mascarpone cream, cover, and refrigerate at least four hours, but preferably overnight.
- Right before serving, shake powdered cocoa and instant espresso/coffee generously on top.