It’s been a long time, but I can’t express how happy I am to be back at this. With the start of the new year came the submission of a slew of college applications. And panic. Panic after submission, rather than before. Because, what is panic, what is fear, but a lack of understanding about the future?
I hadn’t really considered what would happen after I pressed submit on the Commonapp site, what would take place once such a huge goal was just, done. There was some sitting. There was consideration given to posting. There was a whole lot of ‘look how terrible the weather is, I guess I’ll not go out.’ I was confused.
But those feelings have ebbed, replaced now by the stunning realization of all I had forgotten about in high school. What with this commitment or that, what with the larger goal always in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but do homework on Friday nights, or pass up interesting opportunities. That’s not to say that I regret it, because I don’t. However, it is to say that now, for these last few months of high school, I’d like to put a little more time back into enjoying the experience.
Along with that also came the realization of how behind I was on this blog. Having put all my energy into college applications I’d also forgotten to keep up with cooking and volunteering, and everything else I do, according to the common app activities list. I suppose then that this is a message about not becoming fixated on one thing, but searching instead to achieve an all-harmonious balance in one’s life. Somehow, I doubt that will be happening anytime soon. In the meantime, I’ll just stick with those things that keep me happy, like cooking, specifically this tiramisu.
If I remember correctly, I made this over a month ago. After receiving a dish full of it from a neighbor and promptly devouring it, I knew I needed the recipe. This tiramisu is a little different. Sure, there’s the traditional custard and layers, but rather than use mascarpone, this time I stuck with ricotta, and rather than rum there’s brandy (a substantial amount).
Adapted from an unknown source, courtesy of Ellen Tobin
Pound cake (recipe below), or approximately 30 gluten-free ladyfingers
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup coffee
1/3 cup cognac or rum
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup marsala
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 lb. mascarpone or ricotta
1 3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled and divided in 3/4 and 1 cup
A couple tablespoons cocoa
Pinch nutmeg and cinnamon
Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Set aside, then add coffee and rum or cognac.
While this cools, bring another medium saucepan of water to boil. In a heat-proof bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and marsala–this will make a sauce called sabayon. Place over the pan such that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk the mixture constantly over the heat for about five minutes, or until the mixture has increased in volume and substantially thickened. Place in the fridge to cool.
Beat 3/4 cup cream to stiff peaks. Fold ricotta or mascarpone (make sure it has already been softened and beaten a bit) into the cream, then fold in the sabayon. In a loaf pan or deep 8 by 8 pan, layer pieces of cake or ladyfingers. Spoon the coffee mixture over the cake. I like when extra is added, as in my case the extra coffee hasn’t made the dessert soupy. Layer the custard mixture over, then sprinkle with spices and cocoa. Continue layering until there is no more cake. Finish with the last cup of cream, whipped. Sprinkle the top with cocoa.
Gluten-free Pound cake
I used this recipe, and cut the pieces to about 1/4-1/2 inch thickness. Otherwise, cut the cake however you want.