No, I don't mean pick ME up... I mean Tiramisu-- Italian for 'pick me up.' Every now and then a friend or classmate or random person will ask me about my thoughts on the latest and greatest fad diet...everything from the new millennium's Atkins diet to the hot-off-the-presses Paleo diet. As a disclaimer, I must first say that my humble opinion holds very little weight compared to the health and happiness you receive from following any of these diets. But...since this is my humble blog, I'll share my humble opinion anyway. Did you know that Italy has been ranked as one of the healthiest countries in the world countless times? In fact, last year Italy was ranked 2nd healthiest country in the world by Bloomberg. Despite this, the birthplace of the ice cream cone has stayed relatively steeped in its unapologetic love affair with delicious food. Real food, mind you. Yes, Italy is famous for its pasta, pizza and gelato...but you often walk to get to these places and since it's impractical to load up on a lot of food on a grocery trip (on account of the little streets, little cars to match, and lack of Costco's), many Italians make several trips to the grocery store in a single week and cook fresh foods for themselves. Italy does not consistently make it into the top 5 list of healthiest countries in the world because its people are at the whim of every fad diet. In fact, it's because Italians don't deprive themselves of things like tiramisu that they don't need the extra "pick me up" from a juice cleanse or a bee pollen shot. I don't think it's a coincidence that Italy is home to both Prada and the Pope because it illustrates nicely the need for some balance in life. Enjoying simple pleasures in life and making healthy choices seem to lead to a longer life..ask Greece, France, Australia, or Italy if you don't believe me.
Kiwi Confections Tiramisu
6 egg yolks
¾ Cup White Sugar
2/3 Cup Milk
1 ¼ Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound mascarpone cheese
3 ½ Cups strong coffee (at room temperature)
1/3 Cup rum
1 ½ packages (7 ounces) Savoiardi Lady Fingers*
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- Brew your coffee and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Add egg yolk and sugar to a medium saucepan. Whisk the two together until well blended and cook over medium heat being sure to stir constantly. Allow the mixture to come to a boil for a full minute continuing to whisk. Remove the custard from heat and allow it to cool.
- Transfer the custard to a heat-safe bowl and place saran wrap on the custard to prevent a film from forming. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
- With the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream with vanilla until soft peaks form.
- Whisk the mascarpone cheese into the yolk mixture.
- Combine the coffee and rum together. Dip each lady finger in the coffee mixture until mostly soaked through. You don’t want the lady fingers to be breaking apart.
- Arrange the soaked ladyfingers in the bottom of a 9x13 inch dish. Spread the mascarpone mixture on top of the ladyfingers and some of the whipped cream on top of that. Repeat these layers once more.
- Sift cocoa powder on top of the tiramisu. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
*To make this recipe gluten free, substitute regular lady fingers with two 5.3 oz. packages of Schar gluten free lady fingers. Remember that gluten free lady fingers take a bit longer to soak and also soak up more liquid.
Photo Credits: KiwiConfections