Monday, March 24, 2008
when we lived in los angeles, there was a little cafe off of la brea called the pik me up cafe. for a fresheyed texas girl, it was just dang special. there wasn't a bird called starbucks back then and the pik me up was way cooler than any coffeehouse that i have ever been in since. it was like the amy winehouse of coffeehouses. we lived off of the corner of la brea and wilshire and the pik me up was not too far away from us. it was a terrible life, living just a couple of blocks from campanile and la brea bakery, too. just horrible. add our weekly fixes at pink's and you can just hear those violins. it would be safe to say that my years growing up in texas stirred my culinary tastes, the years in los angeles shaped them, my years in brooklyn honed them and that these years back in texas have set them on fire.
it was in los angeles that i fell in love with tiramisu, the best lil' pick me up there is.
i have made this exact recipe of tiramisu since those tragic los angeles days and it just glazes all of those wonderful memories of that big bad city. i make this for my children and i hope that they wrap me with it in their memories for all of our livelong days.
6 egg yolks
1 1/4 c sugar
1 1/4 c mascarpone cheese
1 3/4 c whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks (i use 2 cups just to finish the cream)
2 c cold strong espresso (i make more because i usually need more)
4 T brandy or kahlua (whatever you have is perfect)
1 t vanilla
48 italian ladyfingers (two 7-ounce packages)
powdered chocolate for dusting
cream yolks and sugar until smooth. add mascarpone and mix for two minutes. fold in whipped cream and set aside.
in a medium bowl, combine espresso, brandy & vanilla. i use a 9x13 pyrex casserole dish and don't have the perfect presentation, cuz with tiramisu, presentation is over in ten seconds. i dip each ladyfinger into the espresso mixture and lay them side by side. once the first layer is done, add half of the cheese/cream mixture and smooth it over the drunken ladyfingers. repeat the two layers and then dust with powdered chocolate.
refrigerate for at least four hours. cut into squares to serve and thank me later. it truly is the shiznit.