a little pick-me-up

I’ve had really fond memories making tiramisu. Whether it’s to celebrate birthdays or a new year, it’s always been a joyous occasion (and apparently people love tiramisu). I always thought it was an OK dessert. I’d order it at restaurants and the rum would just overwhelm all the flavors or otherwise a mediocre, forgettable dessert. Didn’t leave me coming back for more. I decided to make my own version and control all the ingredients I did or didn’t want in it. One time, I brought it for a work potluck and my coworkers were so excited! So much so that no one touched the cupcake-cake (see below, the blue one with flowers).

This dessert reminds of the cool people and experiences at that internship. Friends I’ve made and still stay connected to. Try this one out and create some happy memories, friends! I can’t guarantee it but it just may illicit a gleeful reaction (esp with this gloomy weather).

serves 10-12
6 egg yolks
1 cup white sugar
1 ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
1 ¾ cups heavy whipping cream
2 ½ boxes of ladyfingers (from Trader Joes) or about 70 ladyfingers
1/3 cup of cold espresso or dark coffee
1 frozen dark chocolate bar (high quality)

1.    Combine the egg yolks and sugar on top of a double boiler, over boiling water (I used my stainless steel mixing bowl and put it on top of a pot). Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes, whisking constantly until it turns a lemon color and it’s thick in consistency.
2.    Add mascarpone to whipped yolks and beat until it’s incorporated. In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks (using a hand mixer, or elbow grease). Gently fold into the yolk mixture and refrigerate.
3.    Individually dip the ladyfingers into a bowl of the cold espresso or coffee. Line the bottom and sides of baking glassware with ladyfingers (tip: if you don’t want your ladyfingers to get too soggy/wet, dip them just halfway, horizontally, so just their ‘face’ portion gets dunked, not the whole piece. They’ll moisten anyways because of the cheese mixture (this is how I like mine, not too wet.). Spoon the cream filling over the layer of ladyfingers and add another layer of ladyfingers and cream mixture. Repeat if there’s more room. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight (is preferred).
4.    Wearing disposable/plastic gloves, use your vegetable peeler to scrape the chocolate into tree bark like sticks. It’ll take you awhile to scrape enough to cover the entire bakeware dish, but it’s worth the effort for presentation and taste sake.
5.    Before serving, sprinkle the chocolate shavings (if you do it before, the chocolate moistens and withers). Enjoy!

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