14 December 2010

A Day In Paradise and ... Tiramisu !

There Should Be Angels Singing ...

Let me preface today by saying ...

As if I  haven't consumed enough calories this holiday season, I have been having an illogical and completely overwhelming yearning for a good tiramisu and a cup of coffee. It's not always easy to find the little ladyfingers needed to construct a tiramisu here in my rural backwater. Good old New Hampshire! Sooo... when I see them in the bakery, my urge for making tiramisu kicks in. I grab them and run.

Back to today ...

Last night, while we were snug in our little cottage, it finally snowed! And, today? Today, I have nothing to do but write Christmas cards, play with the dogs, and feed the woodstove, so I am going to make a tiramisu and chill it on the back porch. Then, I am going to brew a pot of strong coffee and we will have the lightest and most sublime dessert! Heck, I may even have dessert before I have my dinner!

So here is my day ... in a nutshell!

No More Garden Fences ...

This is the first real snow and the light this morning was straight from heaven, I swear! I was out with dogs for the first 'run' of the day ... in my nightgown and robe and slippers. I had to run back into the house for the camera. Some things, you just have to do!

As the dogs did their morning thing, I blythely clicked away and chittered at the chickadee ... who wanted nothing more than to gorge at the birdfeeder.

Back inside, I sipped morning coffee and prepared to make tiramisu. This lining of the pan makes for very easy unmolding later on. The key is to make sure the wrap goes deep into the corners of the pan.

Here are those ladyfingers all separated and ready for dipping in a sugary coffee/brandy mix.  Getting organized for making tiramisu is such fun! The smells of the coffee and brandy are pungent and the texture of the mascarpone/coffee/egg fluff is like velvet. Yum! The waiting is like ... waiting for Christmas! It's excruciatingly exciting!

But first, I had an obligation to play in the snow for a bit ... Pete likes the Frisbee and Mimi goes for the ball ... over and over and over again! So, after a run that coated whiskers with ice and eyebrows with snow ...

Mimi, otherwise known as 'The Barefoot Contessa', was ready to come in the house and thaw out her toes and her nose.

Pete, the smart Corgi was happy to lay down his Frisbee for a bit ...

...because just  about every square inch of our yard looked like this! Wonder how many miles they ran?

Once inside, I played around a bit while the mascarpone came to room temperature. Then, I assembled the filling ingredients ... strong expresso, good brandy, sugar, and fresh egg yolks.

The darn mascarpone was still too firm, so I put a mix of Christmas music on the CD changer and made a paper chain for our dining room window, because my 'inner child' cried out that it wouldn't be Christmas without at least one paper chain hanging somewhere in the house and Christmas music blaring away.

Then, I harvested some rosemary that I've had drying on my counter for a week or two. As an aside, this rosemary cost me $1.75 for the bunch. Dried, it filled a conventional spice jar that would cost me $2.79 in the market spice aisle. I ask you ...

Finally! It was time to make the filling. I whipped the egg yolks and coffee/sugar/brandy mixture and did a short whip with the mascarpone cheese. Too much whipping can separate the cheese and make for yucky tiramisu, so be careful!

While the mascarpone filling rested, I shaved the chocolate, using the food processor. The angels must have been singing to that chocolate because it developed a halo around the dish I scraped it into ... nah, I'm kinding. It 's just a good lesson in static electricity, but I digress.

Finally, it was time to assemble 'the perfect tiramisu'! Everything was together and close to the pan ... it was a messy affair.

Soaked ladyfingers, filling layer, shaved chocolate layer, soaked ladyfingers, filling layer, shaved chocolate layer, soaked ladyfingers, shaved chocolate! Lick fingers!

Then, I wrapped the tiramisu up and gently pressed the layers down just a bit. Put it in a cold place for six hours or so ... and wait! Kind of like waiting for Christmas! Excruciatingly exciting!

Picked a pretty plate ... whipped the cream with confectioner's sugar and vanilla ... unmolded the tiramisu ... spread the whipped cream ... dusted with cocoa ... sprinkled with shaved chocolate ... licked fingers!

The angels are singing ... perfect tiramisu !


  1. What an utterly brilliant and perfect post. Beautiful snow. Our second lot is due tomorrow!!! Sending loads of Christmas joy! X

  2. Beautiful setting, cute dogs, and wonderfully delicious looking Tiramisu.

  3. Beautiful dogs and yummy Tiramisu. You make the best stuff!!

  4. Ok first of all I have total 'snow envy'. We have been alternating between freezing/windy and 65 degress. It's time for snow. We exepct Santa in swim trunks at this rate.

    I LOVE all the photos Susan! It feels like coming over for a visit. Your beautiful views, your darling dogs, your words conveying the coziness of a winter's day. And the Tiramisu looks delicious. I must see if I can make one gluten free!

    Thanks as always for your lovely posts!

  5. Great post, pictures and dessert! Dogs are very beautiful!

  6. What a wonderful, up beat and happy post, Susan. I love that you were frolicking with the dogs in the SNOW (YIPPEE!!) and got this splendid tiramisu done all at the same time. Oh, and lets not forget the the paper chain! :)

    Love it! I have NEVER made tiramisu but will, soon. yum.

  7. I felt like I spent the morning with you, minus a tromp in the snow and the coffee and tiramisu, that is. The conversation was there. You are quite the storyteller!

  8. Ha! Thanks everyone for your nice comments! My daughter, the Sprout Sara, tells me I never have enough pictures and commentary .... guess I did her proud on this one! Happy Christmas, all! XXX !

  9. Love the post! Love the recipe! Thank you for sharing - I am now thinking about tiramisu - and drooling :)

  10. I might go so far as to say this is your best post yet! Mimi is so cute with the snow on her black fur! Love all of the photos, especially the little red bird house one.

    Happy to see some snow on the ground at the gray cottage. The weathermen are hinting at a storm this weekend, but it could go either way - either out to sea, or it could dump 10-12" on Boston. I'm hoping for the latter! :)

    Seriously, Mom. This is a great post!!

  11. Beautiful pictures and I just bought ladyfingers today!! That plate even has my name on it, -let alone the dessert!! ;) Thanks for the inspiration!! You easily rival Martha in my book.
    Merry Christmas!!


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