Friday, February 18, 2011

Tiramisu Secrets

My husband's favorite dessert.. He's half Italian and swears mine is the best he's had..

Tiramisu- it literally means pick me up, and that's what you get after a few bites of this delicious dessert. I like mine drenched in coffee and Kahlua. I think desserts should always have a lot of alcohol.. it adds so much flavor! I like presenting mine in a coffee cup, I think it adds a little twist to it. And to take it up another notch I pair it with some coffee shortbread cookies, so you really feel like you are enjoying your coffee and a cookie.

Tiramisu is a dead-easy dessert to make, I am sure all of you have a recipe for it (and if you don't find your favorite here, my tips for whichever recipe you are using are the following:
1. Allow the sponge/ lady fingers absorb as much coffee liquid as possible.
2. Allow the tiramisu to age a 2-3 days (trust me, much better results)
3. Add a little Kahlua to the coffee mix
4. Make sure you whip your heavy cream (if your recipe calls for it) to stiff peaks to prevent the cream from liquifying.
5. Use pasteurized eggs since the yolks are raw.
6. Make sure you make a very large batch so that people can have thirds (trust me.)

Coffee Shortbread Cookies Recipe

2 Tablespoons Coffee Powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups butter (room temperature)

1. Preheat oven to 325F
2. Dissolve coffee powder in vanilla.
3. Mix the flour, salt, cinnamon together
4. Beat the butter and sugar together till whitish in color and very very soft. Don't skip or rush through this step or your cookies might not bake as well.
5. Add the coffee vanilla mixture.
6. Gradually add dry and fold just until incorporated.
7. Gather dough  into a ball. It won't hold together very well and that's ok.
8. Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper or silpats, using a rolling pin roll dough out to 1/4 inch.
9. You can dock the dough with a fork  at this time or for aesthetic purposes just use another pan to bake on top. You don't want this cookie to grow too much.
10. Place the dough on a cookie tray and remove the top silpat/ parchment paper carefully.
11. Bake for 10 minutes.
12. Place another piece of parchment on top of the cookie dough and a cookie tray on top of it. Push down to let out all the steam (be careful! Wear protective mits or keep arms clear, the steam can burn.) Place back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
13. Remove the parchment and the cookie tray from the top of the dough and allow to bake the last 10 minutes. Don't overbake the cookie, it should be soft when it comes out of the oven.
14. As soon as it comes out of the oven, use a knife to cut the cookies into thin strips. Don't move them from the cookie sheet. Then allow the dough to cool before trying to separate the cookies.
15. And after all that work, you have yourself a delicious cookie.
Feel free to play around with this recipe, add different spices to it instead of cinnamon. Or sprinkle something on top of the cookies after they are baked, or a glaze. Play with your food!

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