When You Need a Little Pick Me Up: Tiramisu

While there are plenty of things at which I excel, one of the things that I’m not so good at is keeping a tidy and well-organized house.  I struggle with day-to-day chores like vacuuming, dusting and keeping toys picked up and counters wiped off.  It’s just not my thing.  I envy people for whom this comes naturally – like my cousin.  Her house is always spotless, and her kids’ toys are neatly organized and stowed away in color-coordinated bins.  I’m working on it,. but I’m not there yet.My most recent foray into home organization can be seen above.  I got tired of everyone coming home (me included) and leaving their jackets draped across the backs of dining room chairs and kitchen stools, bags sitting on counters or floors and shoes strewn about the house.  I thought if we had a place by the front door where we could remove our shoes and hang our jackets and bags it would be a step in the right direction.  For the last year or so, I’ve been looking for photos of mudrooms and entryways, and when I found something I liked, I would add it to one of my pinterest pin boards.  My goal was to try to recreate these ideas at home on a very restricted budget. I finally managed to do this for under $150, and so far it seems to be working.

Now I just have  to get to work on organizing the rest of the house.  And keeping up with the laundry.  Which is never ending.  Just thinking about all of it is exhausting.

Yesterday, after a morning of house cleaning – which really just entailed me locking myself in my bedroom for four or five hours and filling trash bags with junk and removing every bit of stuff from all of the flat surfaces and thoroughly dusting each and every bit of furniture (including the bookshelves and the books), and vacuuming under the bed, dresser and side tables – I emerged with my lungs full of dust and a hankering for something a little indulgent (as you do).

I settled on Tiramisu, which in Italian means “pick me up.”  It seemed appropriate after a long morning of terrible housework, plus I knew it would be a hit at a neighborhood get together that evening.  Espresso-soaked lady fingers, layered with a rich combination of zabaglione and mascarpone – what’s not to love?

Tiramisu
prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 8-10 minutes
rest time: 2-4 hours
yields: 10-12 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus 4 tablespoons honey granules (can use granulated sugar)
  • 4 tablespoons Marsala wine
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb. mascarpone cheese
  • 2 7 oz. packages lady fingers
  • 2 cups brewed espresso
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Begin by making the zabaglione.  Combine 5 egg yolks and 1/4 cup of honey granules in the top part of a double boiler.  Using a hand-held mixer, beat on high speed until light in color and foamy.  Bring water to a boil in the bottom part of the double boiler then reduce to a simmer. Add the marsala wine to the egg yolk mixter and place over the simmering water.  Continue to beat on high speed until it has thickened and increased in volume – it should form soft mounts.  Removed from the heat, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream, mascarpone and 2 tablespoons of honey granules.  Beat on high using the whisk attachment until light and fluffy.  Once the zabaglione has cooled, fold it into the mascarpone mixture.

For the espresso mixture, take two cups cooled espresso, add 2 tablespoons honey granules and 1 tablespoon of vanilla.  In a glass trifle or baking dish, assemble the Tiramisu.  Begin by dipping one side of each lady finger into the espresso mixture and then laying them in the bottom of the dish.  Once you’ve covered the bottom, pour 1/4 of the mascarpone/zabaglione mixture over the ladyfingers and spread it out to cover them.  Sprinkle this with a dusting of cocoa powder, and repeat three more times (ladyfingers, espresso, mascarpone, cocoa).

Once the whole thing is assembled, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

This was the perfect little pick me up yesterday – the strong espresso plays perfectly against the rich, creamy mascarpone and the eggy zabaglione. Paired with a hot cup of coffee or a bit of freshly brewed espresso, it’ll keep you going for hours.

Enjoy!

 

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Categories: dessert, italian food

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9 Comments on “When You Need a Little Pick Me Up: Tiramisu”

  1. 26 February 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Great story, great pictures and a recipe for tiramisu. Which I didn’t know meant pick me up. :) I am going to try this recipe this week!
    I have to say – being the mother of three small children who loves the satisfaction of seeing a room clean – you should be rather proud of yourself doing all that cleaning AND then making this fabulous dessert. Give yourself a pat on the back!

  2. 26 February 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    My dream is that in heaven I have no food allergies. And you don’t have to clean your house, so you can spend all day cooking whatever you want with only organic and fresh ingredients. And I get to eat it.

    I’m just saying. We can invite Jesus, too. He likes Tiramisu, I’m sure of it.

  3. 26 February 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Im in full on cleaning mode – and I have to admit its a pain in the butt. I’ll totally take the tiramisu instead. Every little layer looks perfect.

  4. 27 February 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Very nice pics and Tiramisu-I love that you are using honey instead of granulated sugar when possible. I’ve been trying to do the same, sometimes with success, sometimes not.

    I’m with you on the housecleaning-ugh. I’m good at keeping the clutter picked up, but I hate dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, laundry, etc. It seems just when I get done it’s time to do it again.

  5. 27 February 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    I just don’t want your housekeeping to keep you from making sweet treats like this tiramisu. It looks fabulous!

  6. 27 February 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    Oh how I love tiramisu :) your version looks delectable!
    I love organizing, but have a clothes-dropping wife to combat on that territory ;)

  7. 29 February 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    I love, love, love tiramisu. My husband and I order it whenever we go out to find the best in the city. I think we just need to make your recipe.

  8. 1 March 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    Love Tiramisu. When I was younger my Nonna would make it, but I didn’t acquire a taste for it until I was older!

  9. 9 April 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    great recipe! Your photos are gorgeous!

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