[Smashy the Hammer] [An Aspiring Luddite]
I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
[Jeff Berry]
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on the PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.

Doppio - Tiramisu and Bresaola
9 February 2012

A doppio this week - two short recipes, both Italianate, but otherwise unrelated.

The first is my take on tiramisu, made for dessert after a dinner out with friends. I'd made chocolate chip cookies (with a hint of chile) the last couple of times and wanted to do something different. It had been a while since I'd made tiramisu, and we were going out to a local Italian place, so it seemed a propos. (Or however you say 'a propos' in Italian.)

I've made bresaola before a few times, always using a fairly straight-forward dry method. A casual reference to a slightly wetter method using red wine piqued my curiosity and so I thought I'd give that a try. I mean, wine, salt and meat - all good things, right?


[Served] As far as cheese goes, mascarpone is canonical. I used a homemade fresh cheese made from 2 qts milk and 1 pint of heavy cream. I sweetened it by sprinkling 1/2 cup of sugar on it the night before. If you are using mascarpone you might not want to sweeten it, and, if you do, you probably don't want to use that much sugar. Unless you like it really sweet, of course.)

First, make your custard base. Put the egg yolks and the sugar into the top half of a double boiler. (If you don't have one, you can dummy it up with a small pot in a larger one or something like that. I just stick a metal mixing bowl in a pot of hot water and call it done.) Before you put it on the heat, beat it pretty well with a whisk until it's combined and, ideally, a little fluffy. Put it on the heat and whisky gently and constantly until it starts to thicken, then add your milk. Whisk that in thoroughly, add the amaretto and Kahlua and whisk again. Whisk more or less steadily until the custard has thickened up a bit. I'm old-fashioned and use the back-of-the-spoon test - which is to say, when I stir it with a spoon and take it out, the mix should cling to the back of the spoon. Don't let it overcook and curdle! Remove from the heat and let cool.

Make your espresso and mix it with the other 1/4 cup of Kahlua.

When the custard is mostly cool, mix it with your cheese and beat it a bit until it's smooth and delicious. Taste it at this point and see if it needs more sugar. Hopefully it doesn't, because at this point it would be hard to keep it from getting grainy if you just add more sugar. If you need to sweeten it I'd go with powdered sugar or simple syrup. (Or more sweet booze.)

Assemble the product! Dip ladyfingers in the coffee/Kahlua for just a few seconds and arrange on the bottom of your dish. Then add a layer of cheesy custard. More ladyfingers. More custard. I usually just do two layers of each, but if you've got a narrower and taller dish, more would be fine. Pop in the fridge and chill.

Shortly before serving, put a little cocoa powder in a sieve and dust the top of your tiramisu. Then grate some dark chocolate on top of that.

My homemade cheese is always a bit tart these days, I've been using whey from the previous batch for quite a while now, and the culture is pretty tangy. What that means is that the tiramisu had what tasted like citrus notes from the slightly acid cheese. It worked well against the richness of the rest of the ingredients.

We'd gone out for dinner at a local Italian place earlier, and the owner had pretended to be offended that we were going elsewhere for dessert. So after we had ours, we took him some. That'll teach him ... [Done and cut]