Tiramisu

Italian Dessert

TIRAMISU

INGREDIENTStiramisu

6 lady fingers
6 egg yolks
⅔ cup sugar
½ teaspoon rum extract or 2 tablespoons rum or Marsala wine
1 pound marscapone*
½ cup room-temperature espresso
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa

* = You could use cream cheese as a substitute, but then the ghosts of thousands of Italian chefs would arise to terrorize the world and you don’t want that, do you?

SPECIAL UTENSILS

8″ x 8″ casserole dish
double boiler (This utensil makes this recipe easier. However, the recipe is written for those who don’t have one. Life is fraught with difficult choices.)

Serves 6. Takes 6 hours 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add egg yolks and sugar to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add rum extract. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add egg yolk/sugar mixture to pan. The pan needs to be just wide enough not to fall into to the pot that will go beneath it.

Add water to pot until it is 2/3 the way to the top. Heat on high heat until water is nearly boiling. Reduce heat to low and rest pan on the pot. Stir egg yolk/sugar mixture for 10 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and cool in refrigerator for 15 minutes or until mixture is cold. Add marscapone. Mix gently with whisk until mixture is creamy.

Cut lady fingers in half along their lengths Drizzle lady-finger halves with espresso. Arrange the bottom halves of the lady fingers in casserole dish. Add ½ of the marscapone/egg yolk mixture over espresso and lady fingers. Smooth with spatula. Add lady-finger tops and the remaining marscapone/egg yolk mixture. Sprinkle with cocoa. Refrigerate for 5 hours or until tiramisu is firm.

TIDBITS

1) The Russia of 1611 to 1613 was ruled by a cat, Tsar Miiu. Miiu is the way Russian cats say “meow.” Now, cats do not ordinarily rule such a large country or even a smaller one like Belgium.

2) However, Tsar Miiu reign began during difficult times. Indeed, the years of 1598 are known as The Time of Troubles. Because they were troubling times. With lots of troubles. People were troubled by the troubling troubles.

3) On August 23, 1601, a young teen named Ivan stayed in bed. He should have been out helping with the harvest. Instead he daydreamed and daydreamed about the beautiful Reiko Go. The Gos ran a small restaurant in the nearby. As the only place serving Japanese noodles within thousands of miles, Go to Go’s pretty much had the Miso Soup market cornered. When the peasants didn’t have time to sit down, they ordered to go at Go to Go’s to go window.

4) Anyway, Ivan’s parents came in and raged at Ivan for his laziness. They called him: moss, a rock, a slug a sloth, and a sluggish sloth. Disgusted at this abuse, Ivan, a scant hour later, bolted out of bed and took off to Go to Go’s to see Reiko. He asked her to elope. Reiko said, “You’re as handsome as the perfect noodle, but I’d so as eat lutefisk as marry you. You have no money. You have no prospects. You’ve as much get up and go as a snail relying on plate tectonics for a burst of speed.”

5) There you have it, the first mention of plate tectonics. Reiko often mused about the Earth’s shifting plates during slow times at the restaurant. That Reiko had figured out the Earth was composed of a core composed of molten nickel, a mantle made of rockish stuff (This was a theory in its infancy, after all.), and a crust comprised of slowly moving plates. She could have revolutionized the world of science. But instead, she devoted herself to making the perfect noodle.

6) Reiko pointed her finger at the door. “Go, be like Dmitri, the son of our late Tsar.”
“But he’s dead, sweetheart. People say he staggered off a cliff.”
“Ivan, I don’t know that. I didn’t see that. No one saw him die. He could have journeyed to Paris for the perfect boeuf bourguignon.”

7) A light bulb went off over Ivan’s head. If no one saw Dmitri die and no one knew what he looked anymore like as it had been years since his last appearance and Dimitri had worn a cloth sack over his anyway due to his acne. So, Ivan showed up at the Russian Duma and proclaimed himself to be Dmitri, the true heir to the Russian throne. Most of the Russian nobles put up no resistance, having dined on lutefisk for lunch.

8) However, the nobility that had eaten chicken instead contested his claim. Civil war broke out. Battles raged all over the country. Crops were trampled and burnt. Foreign governments sensing opportunity, invaded. Land was taken. Citrus trees were chopped down. The Russian tangelo industry would never recover. More pretenders to the throne arose. Even more fighting occurred, enough to warrant an exclamation point! The Russian Duma met and withdrew support from all contenders. A new tsar needed to be crowned.

9) A that point Miiu, a cat, padded into the building, a mouse in his mouth. Boyar Koniev pointed at it. “That cat for Tsar.”
Boldin shook his head. “Nyet, that is only a cat. All it will do is catch mices and nap.”
“Bo ho,” said Koniev, “wouldn’t that be a huge improvement over all the tsars and claimants we’ve had lately?”
Everyone agreed and Miiu became Tsar. Miiu reigned for two years, By that time Russia had calmed down enough to raise a human to the throne. The new tsar’s chef and anagrammatist, created a new dessert in Tsar Miiu’s honor, tiramisu.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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