When You Need a Little Pick Me Up

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, but I don’t love to order it everywhere.  Food Snob alert! I like my recipe for tiramisu a lot, and sometimes a restaurant’s tiramisu just can’t hold a candle to mine.  Do I sound arrogant? Probably.  But after you try this recipe you’ll understand what I mean.

Fun fact! Tiramisu means “pick me up” in Italian.  I learned this from my two new friends on the Cooking Channel, Debi and Gabriele.  So, it’s true, I am addicted to the Food Network and more recently, the Cooking Channel.  And it’s also true that I auditioned to be on the Food Network.   Yes, this Bite-Sized Blonde has dreams of having her own cooking show.  But that’s another day…another post.

There is a cute show on the Cooking Channel called “Extra Virgin.”  I use the term cute loosely since I am still developing my opinion on it.  It’s entertaining, if you dig the adoring couple kind of a thing.  And the recipes are easy and relatable.  With that said, they are few and far between.  The majority of the show is really just the hosts, Debi Mazar, the actress who plays Shauna on Entourage, and her Italian husband, Gabriele Corcos, interacting.  It feels like a reality show with some cooking interjected.   It’s a good beginner show for those of you who are new to Food TV.   I digress, on a recent episode they made Tiramisu, which is when I heard my little fun fact.   So, when you need a little “pick me up” you know where to turn!

32 ounces of mascarpone cheese
½ cup heavy cream
8 ounces of grated bittersweet chocolate
24 ladyfingers (savoiardi)
2 cups of your favorite coffee
2 tables of Kahlua or coffee liqueur
4 eggs, separated
6 tbsp. of sugar
Pinch of salt

First, make the coffee, and make it strong!! Add the Kahlua and let it cool.  Lightly toast your ladyfingers.  Be very careful if they have sugar on them.  They will burn quickly.  Set them aside when they are all toasted.
Beat 4 tbsp. of sugar and eggs yolks in a mixer until the sugar dissolves and the mixture looks creamy.  The next step is to fold in the mascarpone cheese.  Make sure it is at room temperature so there are no lumps.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites, 2 tbsp. of sugar, and a pinch of salt until you have soft peaks.  You’ll know you have soft peaks when you turn your whisk upside down and the peaks are just starting to hold. They will be soft and melt back into themselves after a second.  Gently, fold this mixture into the mixture of egg yolks and sugar until combined.
Now it’s time to assemble this beauty! You can use a 7 x 11 Pyrex to show off the layers, or ramekins if you want to make individual servings (this is my preferred serving style).  Start by dipping the ladyfingers into the coffee and Kahlua mixture.  Do this very quickly; if the ladyfingers absorb too much liquid they will disintegrate.  Place the ladyfingers in an even layer in your serving dish, one by one.  Once you have an entire layer of ladyfingers in your dish, spread an even layer of the mascarpone mixture over them.  Dust this layer with the grated chocolate and start the process all over again until the serving dish is full.

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