But the fun doesn’t stop there. I have another spanking good treat for you, because today is Tiramisu Day here at Sex, Food, and Writing. I just love tiramisu and order it whenever I have the chance in restaurants, but often what appears on the plate before me is, well, predictable. I keep ordering it though, because when it’s good, there’s no dessert more sublime than a thoughtful, complex, rich, creamy tiramisu.
Thoughtful, complex, but with a sexy hit of booze and sensual indulgence. It kind of reminds me of a great sexy short story collection I read a while back called American Cool. That’s why I just had to beg Susan DiPlacido for her recipe for tiramisu. I have to confess I have a number of very sensual fantasies about Susan. One involves dressing up in my cheong sam and lounging languidly at the blackjack table beside her in some grand Vegas hotel. I’ll just be watching, but Susan will be playing, a pomegranate cocktail by her side, and she’ll win big.
Don’t even get me started on my dream of attending one of her Big Night style multi-course Italian feasts for her family that earn her standing ovations from some very discriminating diners. Actually, I have a pretty indulgent food and travel fantasy about things I’d like to do with everyone of my wonderful regular visitors here at my blog, but I probably should keep that between us (although Isabel Kerr has already scooped me on the one I have about her in her "Woman for All Seasons" interlude right here).
Generous as always, Susan kindly agreed to send me her take on tiramisu. It’s the kind of recipe I love now, but would have been terrified to tackle in the past. Until distressingly recently, I used to follow a recipe for everything I made, but in the past few years I’ve gotten much more adventurous and I love my new freedom to experiment and create and trust myself. Susan’s recipe invites you to do just that, although I’m not sure which version to try first. I already have a fresh tin of Hershey’s cocoa to make fudge for my son’s birthday party, so I might just have to go for the chocolate. I’m also thinking about using pannetone at Christmastime. And the photo above is a strawberry version of the classic. Which one appeals to you? Or do you have your own special recipe?
Tiramisu a la DiPlacido
4 egg yolks, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 c Marsala wine (that's the basic, which I rarely use anymore. I often sub/add something citursy instead, most often orange juice/rum for a nice kick if I make it chocolate flavored)
Cook that while whisking over a double boiler until it's big and fluffy.
Whip up pint of heavy cream and then fold that into it.
THEN, here comes a big variation. Sometimes, I make the mascarpone mixture and keep it separate for extra layers, or sometimes I mix it in with the zabaglione part, flavors depending. I like to make a chocolate mascarpone a lot, and keep it separate from the zabag if it's orangey. But if I do a marsala thing, I just make a plain mascarpone mix and put 'em together. I just make the difference this way:
1 c mascarpone
2 egg yolks
1/4 c sugar
beat it all up.
If I want it chocolate, I melt, I don't know, about a good handful of dark chocolate in just about a half pint of heavy cream, with a dollop of butter and a wee pinch of salt. And then I mix that into the mascarpone. (If I'm doing traditional, with marsala, zabag and espresso soaked stuff, I put a little kahlua flavor in here, too)
Then I use whatever's on hand for the layering. People can stfu about ladyfingers being the only proper thing, cuz they're not. I like to use Chocolate cake. (the BEST chocolate cake recipe is the one on the Hershey Cocoa box. You can jazz it up by using a premium cocoa, but still follow the Hershey recipe, because it's sooo moist and dark chocolate good.) Just cut it in half so the liquid you soak it in soaks in. The "standard" liquid is a cup of espresso, 1/2 c sugar, and 1/4 c dark rum. Again, I screw with this a lot and often change the rum to a different flavor to brighten it up, like Grand Marnier and oj, but that's only if I use chocolate cake instead of lady fingers. That's about it, really.
(I'm off to the store to stock up on supplies! Bueno appetito!)