There was a time in my life, shortly after I graduated college, that I went over to my mom’s every Sunday to cook dinner. We had a “deal.” I’d put together a menu and send her a grocery list, she’d go to the store. I’d do the cooking, she’d do the cleanup. I think I got the better end of the deal.
Sometimes I spent all day in the kitchen. I’d look for the most interesting and elaborate recipes I could find. And I’d make dessert every time. In those few months, I tried so many recipes and cooking techniques. We savored some of the tastiest food I have ever tried.
In these pre-Pinterest days I would spend time scouring for great recipes on blogs and sites like Epicurious, Martha Stewart, and AllRecipes.
Those meals are some of my favorite memories.
A few months ago, Anthony and I started attending a dinner club with a few couples from church. The host is a very talented trained chef. Every week, collectively, we pick a theme for the following week’s dinner and each couple brings a dish. It is even a little competitive! We have had fresh pasta, sliders, an Asian flop, comfort food, breakfast for dinner and homemade pizza, among others.
Dinner club is something I consistently look forward to. We started as strangers and our weekly dinners have nurtured both our bodies and our relationships. I have so enjoyed getting back in the kitchen and getting creative. I have also enjoyed getting back to the table and enjoying really good food. I love gathering around the table sharing food, recipes, and stories.
For our last dinner club, I made my (hands-down, no competition) favorite dessert, tiramisu. I wanted to share the recipe that I used (adapted from Gourmet).Translated from Italian, tiramisu means “pick-me-up.”I might be a bit of a tiramisu snob… I have tried more varieties than I can count. I prefer my tiramisu to be more light and fluffy than custardy.
- 4 egg whites
- 3 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup very strong brewed coffee or brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine, brandy or Kaluha
- 1 pkg. (7 oz) savoiardi (crisp Italian ladyfingers)
- 2 tablespoons dutch process cocoa powder
Using an electric mixer, beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl until thick and pale. Next, beat in mascarpone until just combined.
Beat whites with a pinch of salt in another bowl with cleaned beaters until they just hold soft peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time white beating and continue to beat whites until they hold stiff peaks.
Beat cream in another bowl with cleaned beaters until it just holds soft peaks. Fold cream into mascarpone mixture, gently but thoroughly, then fold in whites.
Stir together coffee and Marsala, brandy, or Kaluha in a shallow bowl. Dip 1 ladyfinger in coffee mixture, soaking it about 1 seconds on each side, and transfer to an 2-quart baking dish (often 8×8 square). It is important to do this step quickly so you do not oversoak your ladyfingers and cause your tiramisu to be soupy. Repeat with half of ladyfingers and arrange in bottom of dish, trimming as needed to fit snugly. Spread half of mascarpone mixture evenly over ladyfingers. Make another layer with remaining ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture. Chill tiramisu, covered, for at least 6 hours.
Just before serving, sprinkle with cocoa powder.
Note: The eggs in tiramisu are not cooked.
What’s your favorite dessert?