Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Sweet Finish--Chef Titina's Tiramisu

Americans love this desert. There's a version on almost every Italian restaurant menu, and in almost every Italian cookbook. Capri Flavors cooking students who sign up for the Fiesole menu (featured again next week--see details below) are always excited about the Tiramisu.

Chef Titina's take on the famous desert is classically simple and traditional. As in most of her cooking, ingredients are very important. They should be of the highest quality and as authentic as possible.

Don't skimp on the cocoa Titina advises. She always reaches for the one pound bag of imported Cacao from Elenka that Capri Flavors sells to pastry shops, restaurant chefs and home cooks who really like chocolate

One more hint--if you want the authentic Italian "pick me up flavor" of Tiramisu, use espresso beans to make your coffee. (Also available at Capri Flavors. Coffee is one of their biggest sellers.)

Here's the recipe Chef Titina's cooking students always can't wait to taste:

Classic Italian Dessert

36 ladyfinger cookies
1 lb or 450 grams mascarpone cheese
5 egg yolks
1 whipped egg
½ lb or 250 grams sugar
12 ESPRESSO cups (approx. 3 oz each) of black coffee (no sugar added)
1 small glass of liquor of your choice (Cognac or Brandy)
powdered plain cocoa

Serves: 6-8; Preparation time: 20 minutes; Cool Time: 2 hours; Level of Difficulty: Simple

Beat the egg yolks together with sugar in a bowl until a frothy mixture results; stir in the cheese and mix carefully. Add the whipped egg and then the liquor. Mix well into a smooth cream.
In a baking dish, spread a layer of cream, soak the ladyfingers in coffee, turning them on both sides and then line them on top of the cream. Pour a second layer of cream onto the ladyfingers and then arrange more ladyfingers soaked in coffee on top of the cream. Top with another layer of cream, spreading it evenly with a spatula. Using a sieve, sprinkle the powered cocoa generously over the cream. Put into the refrigerator for at least two hours.
The “Tiramisu” is at its best if you prepare it one day in advance.

Fiesole Menu

Risotto alla Milanese (Risotto with Mushrooms)

Maiale al Finocchio (Pork with Fennel)

Peperoni Saltati (Bell Pepper Saute)

Tiramisu (Classic Italian Dessert)

Fiesole Menu schedule

Mondays : 8/17, 9/21, 10/20, 11/30

Fridays : 8/21, 9/25, 10/30, 12/4.

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