This was the first tiramisu I have ever prepared in my life! In fact, I wanted to make tiramisu since years, but I never had the opportunity to do so. Strange, huh? The plan has always been, that I bake the ladyfingers myself and so on. Now with this month's challenge the time has finally come to make it! Tiramisu is one of my all time favourite desserts. I prepared this challenge twice, and not only because there was enough homemade mascarpone left. This recipe is fantastic¨! One bite makes you speechless and you want more and more! Heaven on a plate - as the hosts of this month wrote, when they announced the challenge.
(Recipe source: Carminantonio's Tiramisu from The Washington Post, July 11 2007 )This recipe makes 6 servingsIngredients:For the zabaglione:
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar60ml Marsala wine (or port or coffee)
1/4 teaspoonl vanilla extract1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
For the vanilla pastry cream:55gms sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
175ml whole milk
For the whipped cream:235 ml chilled heavy cream55 g sugar1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To assemble the tiramisu:470 ml brewed espresso, warmed1 teaspoon rum extract (optional)
110gms sugar75 g mascarpone cheese
36 savoiardi biscuits
30 g unsweetened cocoa powder Method:For the zabaglione:
Heat water in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place a pot with about an inch of water in it on the stove. Place a heat-proof bowl in the pot making sure the bottom does not touch the water.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the egg yolks, sugar, the Marsala, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Whisk together until the yolks are fully blended and the mixture looks smooth.Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler or place your bowl over the pan/ pot with simmering water. Cook the egg mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 8 minutes or until it resembles thick custard. Let cool to room temperature and transfer the zabaglione to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.
For the pastry cream:
Mix together the sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. To this add the egg yolk and half the milk. Whisk until smooth.
Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling.
Add the remaining milk a little at a time, still stirring constantly. After about 12 minutes the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.
For the whipped cream:
Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer or immersion blender until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside.
To assemble the tiramisu:
Have ready a rectangular serving dish (about 8" by 8" should do) or one of your choice.
Mix together the warm espresso, rum extract and sugar in a shallow dish, whisking to mix well. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold. Add the prepared and chilled zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.
Now to start assembling the tiramisu.
Workings quickly, dip 12 of the ladyfingers in the sweetened espresso, about 1 second per side. They should be moist but not soggy. Immediately transfer each ladyfinger to the platter, placing them side by side in a single row.Spoon one-third of the cream mixture on top of the ladyfingers, then use a rubber spatula or spreading knife to cover the top evenly, all the way to the edges. Repeat to create 2 more layers, using 12 ladyfingers and the cream mixture for each layer. Clean any spilled cream mixture; cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight. To serve, carefully remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the tiramisu with cocoa powder using a fine-mesh strainer or decorate as you please. Cut into individual portions and serve.
Savoiardi biscuits(Source: Recipe from Cordon Bleu At Home)This recipe makes approximately 24 big ladyfingers or 45 small (2 1/2" to 3" long) ladyfingers.
3 eggs, separated
75 g granulated sugar95 g cake flour, sifted (or 95 g all purpose flour + 2 tbsp corn starch)
6 tablespoons /50gms confectioner's sugar, Method:
Preheat your oven to 350 F (175 °C) degrees, then lightly brush 2 baking sheets with oil or softened butter and line with parchment paper.Beat the egg whites using a hand held electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gradually add granulate sugar and continue beating until the egg whites become stiff again, glossy and smooth. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with a fork and fold them into the meringue, using a wooden spoon. Sift the flour over this mixture and fold gently until just mixed. Fit a pastry bag with a plain tip and fill with the batter. Pipe the batter into 5" long and 3/4" wide strips leaving about 1" space in between the strips.
Sprinkle half the confectioner's sugar over the ladyfingers and wait for 5 minutes. The sugar will pearl or look wet and glisten. Now sprinkle the remaining sugar. Hold the parchment paper in place with your thumb and lift one side of the baking sheet and gently tap it on the work surface to remove excess sprinkled sugar. Bake the ladyfingers for 10 minutes, then rotate the sheets and bake for another 5 minutes or so until the puff up, turn lightly golden brown and are still soft. Allow them to cool slightly on the sheets for about 5 minutes and then remove the ladyfingers from the baking sheet with a metal spatula while still hot, and cool on a rack. Store them in an airtight container till required. They should keep for 2 to 3 weeks.
The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.
For almost ten years I haven't had a purple kohlrabi in my kitchen, at least not here in Switzerland. To me kohlrabi is purple, I grew up on them, as they were always part of the Sunday's bouillon during my childhood. In fact the green ones were totally strange to me, though you can buy those all the time. So I was more than happy when I discovered the purple ones some days ago in a shop in Germany. I wouldn't recommend to eat a purple kohlrabi raw, but cooked they are lovely.
I decided to perpare a simple soup. If you ask yourself what's that on the top of the soup, well it is not a scallop, but a slice of kohlrabi with a bit of cheese on top.Ingredients:350 g kohlrabi
500 ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oilsalt, cayenne pepper
Peel and cut kohlrabi in thin slices. Chop onion and garlic. Heat olive oil, add onion, garlic and kohlrabi, sautee for about 10 minutes. Pour stock into the pot, add bay leaf and cook for 10-15 minutes. Puree (without the bay leaf), season and if you want it smooth sieve then serve.
Actually, this dish is inspired by two liver meals I've posted earlier: the Swiss classical and an old improvisation of mine. From the first one I took the rösti and the sauce basis. From the other one the blue potatoes, sage and the fruit part, that turned out in the form of caramelised apples. But let's start at the begining.
First I fried the liver in olive oil among fresh sage, then I put it to the preheated oven (70°C) and left it there. I cooked the potatoes already the day before, so I left the rösti to fry over medium heat, while I started to make the shallots. Just peel and slice the shallot and fry it in the same pan, where you fried the liver before. Add some cognac and brown veal stock, reduce and season.
Melt sugar in a saucepan, add with the lemon sprinkled apple slices and coat it well with the caramel. Pour some lemon juice and water or some cidre over it, reduce and season with a touch of sumac. As soon as the rösti is ready, season liver with salt and pepper and serve it among the sauce and the apples. That's it!
Everything started with a bunch of leftover chives. I knew, that I am not going to use it in anything in the coming days, so I decided to prepare chive oil, according to the recipe by Michel Roux. Simply heat 100 ml olive oil to about 80°C, add the chopped chives and cover the saucepan. After just turn off the heat and let it stand until it is completly cool, then blend for some seconds, sieve and fill into a bottle. This is going to keep for several days in a cool and dark place. I thought, why not serve a fried fish with the oil, just like Roux recommends. I had two fillets of seabream in the freezer and those seemed to be perfect for this dish. I took some sunchokes, and cooked them half through in salty water. Before serving I fried them in olive oil. To support the nutty taste of the sunchoke I decided to serve some roasted hazelnut among it. In order to bring another texture to the dish, I prepared some creamed radicchio as well. The result was a light and delicious lunch, that brought bright colours into (hopefully) the last days of winter!
Ingredients:2 radicchio ( e.g. Rosso di Chioggia)1 tablespoon cane sugar
1 teaspoon salt
150 ml double cream
Half radicchio and cut it in thin slices. Heat a saucepan and melt cane sugar, add radicchio and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add double cream and cook it until it is reduced by half, season and serve.
Gyros was originally introduced to Greece from Thessaloniki. There are several stories regarding its origin and many variations exist all over the world. I remember when I first read the word gyros, I was about 10 years old, and I was totally confused about it. There is the Hungarian word gyors, that means fast. And I thought it must be a typo, though the rest of the text has never made sense. This word was a mistery to me until I tried my first gyros and all of a sudden it was all clear. Besides it was love at first sight, ehm I mean bite. Unfortunatly, it is so difficult to find a good quality gyros or kebab nearby, so usually I prepare it myself. After the gorgeous Daring Cook's pita recipe I just had to make it again. Usually, I marinate the meat like the Dutch girl does (especially if I use pork), with the change, that I use fresh onion, garlic and herbs instead the powder and dried ones. This time I halved the meat and marinated it two ways in order to test it. As I love to serve it with lamb, now I tried a more simple marinade for it. Only garlic, olive oil, fresh oregano and thyme. I must say it was great that way, because the herbs supported the flavour of the lamb very well. Instead of a traditional tzatziki, I served it with a light yoghurt sauce, just because it is not cucumber season yet. But at least I found beautiful, juicy and amazingly sweet Raf tomatoes, that are in season until May. The salad? Well, that is a small "faux pas", but seasonal chicory and co. would have been too bitter.
Ingredients:150 ml yoghurt
150 ml kefir
2 tablespoons mixed herbs (mint, chervil, parsley)
1/4 teaspoon dried dillcayenne or chili (optional)
Chop fresh herbs and mix it with the rest of the ingredients. Season and serve.
Looking back on the passed 2 years as a food blogger, I realize that I went through a couple of big changes as far as cooking is concerned. If I browse through my old posts, I discover dishes, that now I would prepare completly different, or some I probably wouldn't even think of to cook. As this post is about pasta, let's see how my habits of cooking pasta changed. First of all, now I always prepare fresh pasta, unless I use spaghetti or conghilie, - that is my absolute favourite pasta shape. If I look at those posted Bolognese, I always smile and say, yeah nice try girl. Since long I am aware that actually there is no such thing like Spaghetti Bolognese in Italy, only ragu Bolognese and that there are as many ragus as regions. For example in Bologna there is no milk or cream in it, but if you travel about 30 kms to Modena you find it. In no way there is garlic in it and so on and on. I guess I have read and watched enough about this delicious dish, that I could talk about it for hours. Just like Carbonara! Everytime I see recipes for Carbonara with cream it shakes me. No problem, if one cooks it that way, but then do not call it Carbonara. Well, I am kind of going for tradtion in cooking and before I cook something I do a lot of research. I just love to read about food. Another change is that, I hated cooked tomatoes in the past, so no pasta with sugo di pomodoro for me. Not so long ago, I found out that sugo can indeed be delicious! Now I love it and can't get enough. After all, I missed this dish for years! The same applies to garlic. Meanwhile I use loads of garlic, and I even have more than one type in my pantry ( for example the pink garlic of Lautrec, the Italian Alio Rosso di Nubia and the smoked garlic from France) and some fresh garlic growing on my window ledge.What became more and more important to me during these years is to cook with seasonal products and buy them directly from farmers or small manufactures, at least as far as it is possible. I rather buy less, but good quality. So enough "blabla", let's go back to the chestnut flour pasta that I served among a porcini coulis à la Roux.
Ingredients:100 g chestnut flour
100 g whole grain flour2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Whisk whole grain flour, chestnut flour and salt together. Make a hole in the middle, add the eggs and the olive oil and with a help of a fork mix it together. When the dough is getting viscous knead it with your hands until it is smooth. Let it stand for 1 to 2 hours in room temperature. Roll out with the help of a pasta machine and cut in any shape you desire.
Somewhen last week, I watched a cooking show, where Lea Linster prepared a fish soup. I remembered that Christmas dinner, when I was a child and my mom and my godmother cooked their first ever Bouillabaisse, that tasted absolutely heavenly! Though, I also remember that they have never cooked it again, because it was a lot of work. I still feel its rich taste in my mouth, so I decided to prepare a fish soup too, and followed the recipe of Lea Linster.The first task was to get the right fish for the soup. Before doing anything at all, I checked the WWF fish list to see if the fishes in the recipe are recommendable or at least acceptable. The Swiss WWF list has 4 categories and I wanted to stick to the first two. I needed sea bass, gilthead seabream, gurnard and red mullet. The first two I found recommendable from organic breeding in France. So far so good. I found out that red mullet from the Eastern-Central Atlantic is acceptable and also the gurnard from the North-East Atlantic. I made my notes and went to get the fish. I decided not to buy the gurnard, so that way I only would buy one acceptable fish the rest should be okay.I was stainding in front of the fresh fish section in one of the big supermarkts in Switzerland. The salesperson asked friendly if he can help, I reacted a bit slowly, because I was shocked to see a big yellow fin tuna and bunch of tuna fillets for a special price, right in front of a WWF poster for sustainable fishing. I was a kind of shocked. I decieded to ask the salesman what fish would he recommened to buy for a soup. His answer came fast and direkt: monkfish. I said immediately no and told him that is highly overfished. His answer was: oh well yes, but buy it as long as it is available - and he wanted to grab a fillet to pack it in for me. I got kind of angry, but I stood calm and simply said, well it wouldn't be overfished if stores wouldn't sell, just like that tuna and I looked at the big yellow fin, while I was wondering who on Earth would buy that fish and didn't even want to think about that it probably would end up in the garbage. Then he said, that they work together with WWF and that this tuna would be okay. Well he was totally wrong, the only tuna that is okay according to WWF, Greenpeace and MSC is the white tuna, just check the list by yourself. At the end I had my organic sea bass, seabream and also found a red mullet in another shop and in the evening I cooked that wonderful fish soup. I really hope that people start more and more to inform themselves and consider twice if it is really worth to buy that piece of monkfish!
Ah and why the forgotten tomato? Well the recipe calls for tomatoes, but I forgot to add them, so my soup is not that red, but it tasted amazing together with the fresh bread and the rouille.
Ingredients:1 sea bass
1 red mullet1 fennel bulb1 leek
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon tomato puree
olive oilsome fennel seeds1 bay leaf
Chop vegetables and sautee in olive oil until soft, add garlic an sautee for some more minutes. Cut the fish in pieces and add it to the vegetables among the tomato puree, the chopped tomatoes, the fennel seeds, the bay leaf. Pour hot water over it and cook for 15-20 minutes. Before it is cooked add the saffron. Puree the soup ( I removed the heads of the fishes) and press it through a sieve. Season and serve.
Here comes one of the promised citrus desserts: cardamom pots de crème with caramelised oranges. Lately, I have been longing for pudding and I remembered the old days. Every Sunday, when I visited my best friend, her mom prepared vanilla pudding with a lot of strawberries and beaten cream. Those strawberries were really special, huge and had a lot of flavour, they were reared by her father who is a scientist. While shopping last weekend I wanted to buy some raspberry yoghurt, that I really love and haven't had for years (!), but after I read the ingredients (I do that always and with everything), I put it back to the shelf. Why do they have to put starch into a fruit yoghurt?! I know, I know to thicken it, but I do not want to eat that, so I keep on buying natural yoghurt and pimp it myself. Before I started to cook myself, I confess, I often bought those puddings with the beaten cream on top. Nowdays, I rather prepare a pots de crème and enjoy it with wonderful fresh fruits of the season.
Ingredients:(based on recipe by Tartelette)375 ml heavy cream10 cardamom pods
6 egg yolks
80 g sugar
60 ml orange juice
Preheat oven to 170°C. Bring the heavy cream and the cracked cardamom pods to simmer, turn of the heat and let it stand. Whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar, add orange juice and whisk until smooth. Strain heavy cream and whisk it with the egg yolk mixture. Pour hot water into a pan and fill your ramekins (or whatever you use) with the mixture. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Serve with caramlised oranges and pistachios.
Believe it or not, but I have just put the first pita into the oven right before I started to type! I have never been so late with a challenge like now! I must confess, I was afraid of it. Why? Well, because of the chickpeas. I have tasted them only once in my life and I hated it. Okay, those came out of a can, and ever since then, I didn't bother to try them again. It was definitely a mistake! Thanks to this challenge, I bought them again, of course dried ones this time, and cooked this afternoon. I was absolutely curious about them, so as soon as they were cooked I tried one. Surprsingly, it tasted like chestnut and that strange taste of the canned ones was completly missing! So now I am thrilled about chickpea and can hardly wait to cook all those recipes, I set aside because of them! The 2010 February Daring COOKs challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums. Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid. Unfortunatly, you can not even call my completed challenge a mezze, after all it is only the hummus and the pita but both tasted amazing! Thanks for this great challenge!
Pogácsa is a typical salty scone in the Pannonian Basin and Turkish cuisine. The name derives from the Turkish word poğaça. It is a delicious example of Middle Eastern food items in Central and Eastern Europe, brought by the Turks. In Hungary it is made from either short dough or yeast dough. Today I baked some using yeast dough and juhtúró, that is a curd cheese made with sheep's milk, on top with loads of fresh Emmentaler cheese. Usually pogácsa is eaten on its own, or among a stew or gulyás. To me apples are a must with pogácsa, that is how I used to eat it during my childhood and that is the way I like it most even today.
(recipe adapted from Ottis főz)500 g flour
30 g fresh yeast100 g butter
150 g sheep's milk curd cheese
2 egg yolks + 1 for brushing
100 ml yoghurt1 teaspoon salt
200 ml milk
1 teaspoon sugar
Sift flour, add butter, curd cheese and salt. Heat milk until lukewarm, add sugar and yeast and set aside. As soon as the yeast swims on top pour it to the flour, add the egg yolks and knead a dough. Let it stand on room temperature for 1 and a half hours. Preheat oven to 180°C. Roll out dough about 1,5 cm thick and cut it with a round cookie cutter. Brush the tops with egg yolk and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes.
It is so good, that root vegetables can be stored for such a long time! In the darkest corner of my fridge I found a bunch of parsnip roots, that I have been already looking for since a while (I was convinced, that they are on top of the potato basket). Anyway, I watched a pretty old cooking show of Jamie Oliver and that made me want to check out his books on my shelf. I found a ginger flavoured parsnip soup that made a perfect lunch today. I served it among some gorgonzola and fried San Daniele ham, but without coriander, as I had no. I must say my favourite ham was Parma ham, I like it a lot more than Pata Negra, though once in a while it is nice to enjoy that wonderful Spanish speciality with its characteristic flavour. But, ever since I had the first slice of San Daniele, well I can't get enough. However, it might be wrong from me to compare these wonderful products, because each of them is in a class of its own!
Ingredients:400 g parsnip1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 piece of ginger (about 2 cm)
1 garlic clove
500 ml chicken or vegetable stockPeel and chop the vegetables. Heat olive oil, add veggies and cook for 10 minutes in a half covered pot. Add stock and cook for another 10 minutes. Put it in a blender und pulse until it is smooth. Serve with coriander leaves, fried bacon or ham and any kind of cheese you desire.
The first Daring Cooks challenge was ricotta gnocchi. They were very delicious, I only had a problem with forming. I discovered a method in Robert's blog and I knew that is going to be the solution for my gnocchi problem. He uses a piping bag and cuts the gnocchi with scissors. Great idea! I served herb crusted lamb chops and orange flavoured caramelised chicory among the gnocchi. For the herb crust simply mix the desired herbs with a bit of parmesan, a day old breadcrumbs and season. Fry lamb chops from both sides (I fried among some garlic and thyme), smear mustard on each of them and put the herb mixture on top, then leave the rest of the work for your oven. For the chicory simply melt some cane sugar, add the quartered vegetable, and when it is well coated with caramel add some orange juice, and cook until it is reduced. You can also sprinkle some extra parmesan on the gnocchi before serving. The result is a delicious and light dinner!
Ingredients:270 g ricotta7 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoon olive oil1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix ricotta, flour, egg, olive oil and salt until smooth. Fill it in a piping bag and set aside. Bring salted water to boil, reduce hit so that it simmers. Pipe gnocchi in the simmering water and as soon as they swim on top they are ready to serve.
Obviously, I am crazy about lemons! Only a few days ago that I baked those tartelettes, and right after I prepared a mousse that I combined with a mandarin gelée. Usually, I am not a fan of gelées, beacause somehow they are always too hard, but this one has a smooth and soft consistency. The mousse is so fluffly and light, simply perfect! By the way, the citrus season is not yet over, so expect more desserts to come!
Ingredients:For the mandarin gelée:(recipe adapted from Eddy Van Damme)120 ml mandarin juice
10 g sugar
1 gelatin leafBring the sugar and the juice to boil, let it cool a bit and stir in the gelatin. Put mandarin fillets in each glass and cover with the gelée. Refrigirate for 2-3 hours.For the lemon mousse:(recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay)50 g sugar
1-2 tablespoons water
1 egg white
For the Italian merningue put the sugar and water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until dissolved. Boil for 5-7 minutes until it reaches 120°C. Meanwhile whisk the egg white to soft peaks and slowly add the hot syrup while whisking all the time. Keep on whisking until the bowl is not hot anymore. Set aside.
150 ml lemon juice
50 g sugar
2 gelatine leaves
Soak gelatine in cold water. Bring the sugar and the lemon juice to boil, then pour it to a bowl and add gelatine, stir until it is dissolved. Let it cool. Fold in the Italian meringue. Whip 200 ml cream and fold it to the mousse. Chill for 2-3 hours.
Those grey days are gone, lot of snow covers the trees and the hills, but the birds sing like it would be already spring. To bring some colour on our plates I preapred a broccoli soup. It is a healthy and delicious soup with many vitamins and it warms you on a cold winter day.
Ingredients:350 g broccoli
100 ml chicken or vegetable stock
30 g butter
1 tablespoon crème fraîche
Cook broccoli in salted water for about 6 minutes and cool immediately in iced water. Keep about 70 ml of the water where you cooked the broccoli in. Add stock to the broccoli water and bring it to boil together with the butter. Place the broccoli in a mixer, add crème fraîche, stock and puree. Season and serve with fried bacon and white bread croûtons.