Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Yes. The dessert for my Valentine's dinner was tiramisu (See what I made for dinner here).

A little background on this. I had already decided what to make for dinner, but I was stuck on dessert. I was just about to give up and go with the ice cream I already had in the freezer, when I got online with my friend Anusree (yeap, the one mentioned here) and she immediately suggested tiramisu. This is why friends are beneficial. They help you out of ruts and moments of stuck-ness.

She actually made tiramisu for us in India, but she didn't like how it turned out so she added strawberries. I personally thought it was AMAZING, and I'm not big into coffee. So when she suggested it, it was a done deal because she said it was easy to make AND it's one of the boyfriend's faves.

So she, being the awesome person that she is, found me a recipe that was close to what she had made and sent it along to me. You can find it here.

For the most part I followed the recipe, but I made a couple changes, so I've included my version below. I also made this the night before Valentine's Day.** This recipe fills a 9x9 dish.

FYI: I didn't actually use the stove, I'm just short on
counterspace, so I set my dish here.

1 box of strawberries (a quart I believe? you can always eat the leftovers!)
1/4 cup white sugar (plus a little extra)
1 cup mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
20 ladyfingers (give or take)
1/2 teaspoon of cocoa powder
a cup of coffee (I used instant)

To Create:
  1. Cut the tops of the strawberries and slice them lengthwise. I put the two end pieces of the berry off to the side for decorative purposes.
  2. In a bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar and 4 tablespoons of coffee (more coffee for more coffee flavor). Beat with an electric mixer for a minute to a minute and a half or until thick
  3. In a glass dish, dunk and lay ladyfingers to cover the bottom. Don't dunk for too long, you don't want them to disintegrate.
  4. Spread about half the cheese mixture over the lady fingers. Add a layer of strawberries (as many or few as you'd like)
  5. Repeat 3,4 with remaining mixture and strawberries and top that with lady fingers.
  6. In a bowl (I used the same one that had the cheese) mix 1/4 cup heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat for about a minute until whipped. Spread over the top.
  7. Dust cocoa over the top (I used a wire sieve)
  8. To garnish, I took the strawberry ends and laid them down red side up to form a heart (Valentine's Day, after all), but you can garnish however you like. With whole strawberries, if you prefer!
**According to the original recipe, you can cut and serve pretty much immediately, but I let it set and cool overnight and I think it helped. This also saved me time when I was making dinner.

Good thing his hopes weren't dashed when he took a bite!
I couldn't actually find lady's fingers because I was in a rush, so I used these biscuit/cookies that said Europe liked them with coffee. They disintegrated a little more than I would have liked, but they still tasted good in the tiramisu and held up well enough. I can't say that it was beautiful once I cut into the tiramisu and moved it to the plate, but I got a 99/100 on it, so I'd say it was a hit!

I must say I'm glad dessert turned out better than dinner (in my opinion), because it was a good note to finish the meal.

I only added 2 tablespoons of coffee to my cheese mixture and my coffee flavor was very very faint, so I think it would have been better if I had added more, so I added more in the recipe I gave.
Hooray for success!

The original recipe called for a more equal ratio of mascarpone cheese to cream and sugar, but I didn't want it to be too heavy or sweet, so I changed my ratios and really liked the result. Not too heavy and not too sweet. Obviously you can adjust to your own palette.

I omitted the strawberry puree part of the original recipe because I didn't think it would add too much to the dish since there was already strawberries in it. I'm sure it made for a classy presentation, though, so let me know if you decided to include it and what your results were.

So I tried two new recipes that I'd never tried before, and they ended up being quite the adventure. Let me know if you try it and what your results are!

Update: This recipe does NOT contain any liquers or alcohol. The one that Anu made for us, tasted like it did, but actually didn't since neither of her grandparents eat/drink alcohol. I think it was the higher concentration of coffee and sitting overnight that created the flavor, but again, that is just my own little theory (in case you were wondering).

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