Happy spring, everyone! Over the past week we've been pummeled by tornado warnings, thunderstorms, and just a lot of crazy weather in general...so I guess spring has really sprung! But more importantly, let's start with the exciting news...
Woohoo! :) There's my little munchkin, all snug in her temporary apartment (I hear the landlord is AWESOME). Even though I get bombarded with inappropriate comments from strangers all the time ("Wow, that's going to be a BIG baby!" "Are you sure it's not twins?!"), I'm still elated to be pregnant, and SO excited to meet this little one!
Anyway, let's get around to the food part. Chocolate tiramisu anyone? I made this for Easter and it was a HUGE hit! At first I thought I'd give homemade ladyfingers a try since I found a recipe on Annie's Eats a while back, but then I decided it was overly ambitious and that I'd just buy some from the store.
The ladyfingers turned out to be easy and fantastic. They were a little sticky (it was also hot and humid when I made them, so that could have contributed), and they soaked up the coffee fast. Definitely only needs a very quick dunk and placement straight into the mousse, otherwise I think they'd disinigrate pretty quickly. The only thing I would do differently is double the recipe. The original said it would yield over 30 ladyfingers, and somehow I only eeked out about 20. For a tiramisu this size, I would have doubled this, and put a double layer of ladyfingers between the layers of mousse. This still turned out fine, but just if I had my druthers, you know.
The chocolate and coffee flavor at the end was divine! I tried to top it and make it pretty with the mascarpone like they did in the Bon Appetit article, but the mascarpone was just too thick for the mousse. Instead I swirled the top layer of mousse and the mascarpone together, then topped it with some fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings. We all ate it, and all loved it! I would definitely make this again. So easy, especially since I made it a day ahead and just let it sit overnight, and so delicious! Here's the recipe breakdown:
from Annie's Eats
- 3 large eggs, separated
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
To make the lady fingers, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add the sifted confectioners’ sugar, and continue whipping the egg whites until a stiff, glossy meringue forms. Transfer the meringue mixture to a medium mixing bowl. In the empty mixer bowl, now fitted with the flat beater, combine the egg yolks and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until thick and pale yellow. With a spatula, fold the egg yolk mixture into the meringue until smooth and blended, taking care not to deflate the egg whites. Gently fold in the flour until no streaks remain.
Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip. Pipe the ladyfingers onto the prepared baking pans, about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. Sprinkle additional confectioners’ sugar over the piped ladyfingers. Bake until light golden, about 10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool on the pans 10-15 minutes, then remove the ladyfingers and cake bases to a wire rack to cool completely. (Yield: approximately 20 ladyfingers
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, May 2011 issue
- 1 1/2 cups espresso or strong coffee
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 3/4 cups mascarpone cheese, divided
- 2 Tbsp. plus 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
- 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped, plus more for shaving
- About 48 soft ladyfingers
- Stir espresso and sugar in a small bowl until sugar dissolves; set aside.
- Combine 1 cup mascarpone, 2 Tbsp. sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk to blend; cover and chill.
- Place 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand until gelatin softens, 10-15 minutes. Whisk the remaining sugar, yolks, 1/4 cup cream, and 1/4 cup water in a medium metal bowl to blend. Place bowl over a large saucepan of boiling water (do not let bottom of bowl touch water) and whisk constantly until custard thickens and temperature reaches 160° on an instant-read thermometer, 3-4 minutes. Remove bowl; add gelatin mixture and whisk until dissolved, 15-20 seconds. Return bowl over water, add chocolate, and whisk until almost melted, about 30 seconds.
- Set bowl in a large bowl of ice water and whisk until chocolate is melted and custard is cool, 5-6 minutes. Whisk in the remaining mascarpone. In another medium bowl, beat remaining 3/4 cup chilled cream until firm peaks form. Fold cream into custard in 2 additions to make a chocolate mousse.
- Spread a thin layer chocolate mousse in bottom of large glass dish. Dunk ladyfingers in the espresso syrup and arrange in a single layer on top of the mousse. Repeat layering with chocolate mousse and soaked ladyfingers. Swirl mascarpone mixture with top layer of mousse. Top with fresh whipped cream, if desired. Garnish with chocolate shavings and serve.