Blogging Slump

The last few weeks have been kind of stressful – and not just because of school. I find it incredibly and utterly retarded that my blog has been blocked again by China and not for the first time either.

It started out with Blogger, and I was happily blogging (badly) for a short time, but Blogger was quickly blocked. I moved onto Twitter, which I loved for it’s microblogging. I mean, I’m not the most motivated person when it comes to blogging so Twitter was perfect for me….Until it got blocked. Wonderful. For a while, I kind of gave up blogging. I find that having to proxy Twitter just takes all the fun and spontaneity out of blogging. It just wasn’t worth it. Instead, I read privately hosted food blogs that weren’t blocked (though one was for several months) and I really enjoyed it. So much so that I decided to start my own food blog. Blogger was already blocked so I couldn’t use that, but WordPress had been unblocked for several months by that point so I thought, “What the hey, I’ll give it a go!”

And I loved it. WordPress is seriously the greatest blogging platform I’ve ever, used. It’s so convenient and fast, not to mention it has amazing statistical tools (hooray! I have a total of 6 views). Of course, not long after my first post is updated, WordPress gets blocked. Just my luck. I was not a happy camper, especially because I never really liked camping anyway.

The thing is, blocking blogging sites is so useless. But it’s not just blocking blogging sites. Youtube has been blocked for the longest time, and recently, so has IMDB. I don’t know about you, but accidentally finding movie spoilers hardly seems like a national security issue to me. But enough ranting for now – the blocking of my blog may have seriously pissed me off but I guess it’s best to focus on what makes me happy.

So, let’s talk tiramisu.

Tiramisu is actually my mom’s favourite dessert, like ever. She loves it and I can see why.

First you have a layer of ladyfingers soaked in rum and coffee – soft, but not mushy. On top of that, you have a thick, creamy, but infinitely fluffy and light layer of zabaglione, a dessert on it’s own incorporated into an even better dessert. Those two layers together are groundbreakingly delicious…but three times that is pretty damn orgasmic. Not to mention I’ve topped it with a chocolate ganache. The great thing about tiramisu is that it’s actually REALLY easy to make (though I did choose an easy recipe). I made it in Singapore, which means that I didn’t have an oven so I deliberately chose desserts that didn’t need one, which is good considering the fact that most Chinese people don’t have ovens. They are seriously missing out.

First, combine 175ml espresso and 125ml Kahlua. I don’t know if you’ve tried Kahlua, but it’s basically an espresso syrup infused with alcohol. I don’t normally like alcohol, but Kahlua is actually really really good. It’s available at Carrefour, guys! Get some! Personally, I prefer using freshly brewed espresso rather than the freeze-dried instant kind because the instant kind is really bitter, but if you are using the instant kind, add 1 1/2 tbsp of the stuff to 175ml hot water. Now leave it to cool while you deal with the zabaglione.Tiramisu is actually traditionally made with marsala wine but this is pretty much imposible to find in Shanghai. Some people prefer brandy, rum or Bailey’s, so if you prefer rum, Bailey’s or brandy, replace the Kahlua with it, but reduce the amount to 3 tablespoons (90ml-ish) because Kahlua isn’t exactly the strongest alcoholic syrup around.
These are ladyfinger biscuits, also called Italian savoiardi biscuits. You can get them pretty cheaply at your supermarket. They’re basically really crispy, light biscuits in the shape of well, fingers. You can make your own if you want, but . personally, I’m rather lazy and the supermarket ones are always really nice and crispy. By the way, the baggers in the supermarkets in Singapore are super nice! The woman was really careful with the biscuits and even deliberately put them at the top of the bag to make sure they didn’t get crushed! If this was in Shanghai, I would have dragged out these biscuits in powder form from under 8 cartons of milk, a watermelon and a small bovine.
Now it’s time for some biscuit-dunking action! Teehee, this part is fun :D. Some people arrange their biscuits first and then spoon the spiked coffee over the ladyfingers, but that’s silly because then you don’t get the fun of ROLLING biscuits. I bet you’ve never done that before. Anyways, just take a ladyfinger and roll it quickly into the spiked coffee. You don’t want to do this really slowly because they soak up liquids pretty fast and you don’t want a mushy biscuit, do you? DO YOU? No. That would be terrible. So rinse and repeat this, arranging each soaked ladyfinger into a loaf pan.
You can use a prettier container, if you like. And you don’t have to wrap it in plastic wrap either, unless like me, you are infinitely lazy and do not particularly want to wash the pan afterwards. I used a loaf pan because it was the perfect size and had nice tall sides that means you can have loads of delicious layers…It was also the only pan I had.
Keep rolling your biscuits (they see me rollin’, they hatin’!) until you have a neat layer on the bottom of your pan. Once again, excuse the ugliness of the plastic wrap. I am lazy.So that’s the first layer done. Time to move on to the zabaglione!
Separate the two eggs into egg yolks and whites. You only want one egg white so save the other one for an egg white omelette or something. Using a lovely shiny whisk, beat the two egg yolks and sugar until it turns all thick and a yummy pale yellow colour…the colour of wonderful golden pineapples!To this, add 75ml more Kahlua. Mmm…Kahlua…At this point, I’ve already taken several swigs of Kahlua. The bottle slipped into my mouth! Honest! Blend the Kahlua in until it’s evenly coloured. This takes about 3 seconds.
This is the stuff dreams are made of. Mascarpone cheese isn’t actually a cheese. It’s kind of halfway between cream cheese and cream. It’s super super creamy and can be beaten until it’s light and fluffy. It’s also REALLY yummy. You see the clouds on the container? IT’S NOT FALSE ADVERTISING! Mascarpone cheese in Shanghai is expensive. It’s like 60 kuai for 250 grams which is ridiculous, if you ask me. In Singapore, it’s only about 6 SGD, which is about 30 kuai which is much more reasonable. (:
With your whisk lurking menacingly above your yolky mixture, spoon in the mascarpone cheese. It’s all good, believe me. Scrape that container down!!! You don’t want to waste any of that heaven-in-a-carton.
Omfg, just look at those white fluffy peaks of mascarpone cheese! I’m surprised this dessert survived past this point. I think it was because I hadn’t added the chocolate yet, haha. I need my chocolate.
Using your whisk again, beat the mascarpone cheese into your yolky mixture until it’s all smoothety smooth and moussesque (not a real word) like the picture on the right.
In a separate bowl, beat your single egg white with a CLEAN whisk until it’s thick and frothy. You want no trace of water or yolk or oil or anything on your whisk and bowl except for an egg white because it’ll prevent your egg white from foaming up to the great heights it could. You’re ruining it’s growing potential! It’ll be vertically challenged for like, just like me!
Of course, if you’re lazy, you can use an electric beater, but it’s only one egg white and washing the beaters are harder work.Once the egg white resembles the best bubble bath ever, fold it into the yolky-mascarpone mixture with a metal spoon. Use a figure eight movement to fold it in so you keep the volume that you just worked so hard to create (or not, you lazy electric appliance abusers). Voila! Your zabaglione is complete!!! You now have my permission to frizz your hair mad-scientist-style.
Spread 1/3 of your zabaglione over the already soaked ladyfingers. This is where it gets really easy. Just layer more soaked ladyfingers onto your zabaglione, then add a layer of zabaglione and so on until you have 3 layers of each or you use up all your ladyfingers/zabaglione.
Most people sift some cocoa powder onto their topmost layer of zabaglione, but I’m fighting the power!
Instead, I melted some chocolate chips and made a thin chocolate ganache that I poured over the top. Yay, chocolate! Sorry, I can’t help myself. Just cocoa powder just doesn’t cut it for me!
There’s no cooking involved – just refrigeration so cover the tiramisu and leave it in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight so that all the yummy separate flavours can meld into one fantastic block of awesome. Please resist the urge to dig in right away. Don’t follow my bad example. Please.Don’t leave it too long, though. Tiramisu tends to get soggy after the second day so eat it alllll up. It shouldn’t be a problem at all, especially with my brother lurking around, dessert spoon in hand.

Tiramisu

Adapted from Nigella Lawson

Ingredients:

  • 175 ml freshly brewed espresso
  • 200 ml Kahlua
  • 1 x 200g packet of savoiardi/ladyfinger biscuits
  • 2 eggs
  • 25 g caster sugar
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • Cocoa powder OR chocolate chips and whipping cream

Method:

  1. Mix together 175 ml espresso and 125 ml Kahlua.
  2. With quick movements, roll and soak ladyfingers in spiked coffee mixture and arrange into a layer on the bottom of a loaf pan.
  3. Separate the eggs, discarding one egg white. Whisk together two egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow.
  4. Stir in remaining Kahlua (or rum/brandy). Add 250g mascarpone cheese and whisk until mousselike in texture.
  5. In a clean, separate bowl, whisk single egg white until thick and frothy. Fold egg white into mascarpone mixture using a metal spoon with a figure-eight movement.
  6. Layer 1/3 of zabaglione onto the layer of soaked ladyfingers. Keep alternating layers between biscuit and zabaglione until 3 layers has been completed.
  7. Sift cocoa powder onto topmost layer OR create a thin chocolate ganache and pour onto the top.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Do not leave for more than 2 days as the tiramisu will turn soggy!

Serves: 1, haha! I’m kidding. Serves 6-8.

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Posted on January 28, 2010, in Recipes, Sweet Things and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Guh. That looks fantastic.

    My mom makes really good tiramisu, but she’s even lazier than you. IOW, she doesn’t make it D8

    Anyway, this update made me veeerry happy. Just staring at chocolate gets me high.

  2. Your brother is very lucky. Nom.

  3. Oh…I just noticed the Nigella Lawson source…alrighty then

  4. Woah…you have too much time! To bake AND do blog entries of baking…plus the tiramisu looks, truely, deliciously sinful… deserts on deserts with choc ganache to finish. “Pretty damn orgasmic” even from my perspective…ROCK ON!!!

    but really…where are you getting all these recipes? On top of that…how are you actually managing to cope with all the meetings and schoolwork AND STILL HAVE TIME TO GO ON MSN!!??

    Smiles 🙂

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