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Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Most Impressive Tiramisu

The theme for this vegetarian Supper Club was Italian food. *YUM* Dinner was exceptional--oh, I wish you could have been there...

THE MENU:
* Caprese salad with imported mozzarella di buffala
* Antipasto salad
* Bruschetta on Crostini
* and.......a gorgeous plate of ravioli hand-stuffed and pressed with butternut squash and topped with shaved truffle cheese, toasted and crushed hazelnuts, parsley and a fried sage leaf:

The ravioli was so delicious, but what really made me swoon was the salty fried sage leaves which brought the flavor of the dish to new heights....My friend, Lindsay, doesn't know it yet, but I plan on shamelessly begging her for the recipe for a Guest Spotlight. You want the recipe, don't you?!

And since I can always count on my supper club friends to go the extra mile when its their time to cook for supper club, I wanted to make something really special for dessert. In addition to bringing a 2003 Chianti Reserva and a white wine called Venetian Moon, I made tiramisu (from scratch) for the first time. It really is an easy dessert to make despite a prevalent misconception that it is a complicated dessert.
THE MOST IMPRESSIVE TIRAMISU:
Adapted from Food Network's Barefoot Contessa

INGREDIENTS:

* 6 egg yolks (room temperature; save the egg whites to make yourself a yummy protein-filled omelette)
* 1/4 cup organic evaporated cane juice (or sugar)
* 1/2 cup dark rum (I used Myers)
* 1.5 cups cups brewed espresso (if you use a drip coffee pot, use enough water for 4 cups of coffee and 1/2 cup espresso)
* 16 ounces mascarpone cheese
* your favorite dark chocolate bar (to make shavings for garnish)
* 4 Tbsp. powdered sugar (half for whipped cream and half for garnish)
* 1 cup heavy whipping cream
* 2 tsp. vanilla extract (imitation will never live up to the real thing)
* 1 package of 24 Italian Ladyfingers (Savoiardi)

DIRECTIONS FOR ESPRESSO CREAM:

* Whisk egg yolks and sugar for a few minutes until thick and creamy.
* Add 1/4 cup of the rum, 1/4 cup of the espresso and all of the mascarpone.
* Whisk until smooth and put espresso cream in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.


DIRECTIONS FOR WHIPPED CREAM:

* Put the heavy cream, 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar and 1 tsp. of vanilla in a bowl.
* Use an electric mixer (or a whisk and some serious elbow grease!) to whip until the cream is stiff enough to form stiff peaks. refrigerate until needed for the top layer.

DIRECTIONS FOR LADYFINGERS:

* Put the remaining 1/4 cup of rum, 1.25 cups of espresso and 1 tsp. of vanilla in a shallow bowl.
* Break ladyfingers in half.
* Dip one side of each ladyfinger in the rum/espresso/vanilla mixture (you do not want to oversoak them!)

Note: If you don't want to discard the remaining liquid (i.e. throwing away perfectly good rum makes you frown), freeze it in ice cube trays and then put them in a glass with some Coke for a roasty, yummy twist on a Rum and Coke!

DIRECTIONS FOR ASSEMBLY:

* If you are using a glass or wine goblet, you will want to put a layer of lady fingers on the bottom and then cover it with espresso cream and then use lady fingers to go around the inside of the glass--gently press it up against the glass so it sticks.
* Repeat layers until you reach about 2 or 3 inches from the mouth of the glass.
* Fill in the rest of the space with whipped cream until it is almost overflowing.
* Use the straight edge of a butter knife to scrape across the top of the glass to make a very flat surface.
* Place glass on a flat surface and use a sifter to cover the top with a fine layer of cocoa powder.
* Use the powdered sugar to make another optional design and/or add chocolate shavings.
* Freeze for 15-20 minutes to let it set together.
* Refrigerate for up to 4 hours before serving.
* If you want to use a small glass pan, start with the dipped ladyfingers on the bottom and layer in the same order as above.

Note: Tiramisu will also freeze well if you want to make little individual servings and freeze them for up to 4 or 5 days.

Buon Appetito!

Nota Bene: Whole Foods has an excellent recipe for Vegan Tiramisu.

2 comments:

Laura said...

Okay, few things: 1) are you kidding me? That tiramisu blew my mind, so beautiful! So artistic! 2) tell me more about this supper club? Is this you and a few friends hanging out, or is this one of those VIP top-secret supper clubs that are cropping up? 3) Who made the ravioli dinner?

Morgan Lee said...

1) To be honest, I was blown away myself at how easy it was to make and how really, really decadent and delicious it was....you can do this! 2) The Supper Club is something I do with some friends of mine--we take turns cooking about once a month and the people who don't cook generally bring some drinks and desserts to match the theme chosen by the hosts....I always really look forward to Supper Clubs! 3) my friend Lindsay made the ravioli and I will be sure to guest spotlight her recipe soon!