Friday, April 22, 2011

Food Friday: Giada's Chocolate Tiramisu

I received a copy of Giada De Laurentiis' cookbook Everyday Italian for Christmas, and finally got the courage to try one of the recipes. I recently started liking tiramisu, despite countless trips to Italy where I avoided it like the plague, and her recipe appealed to me. One of my mother's friend is a former Italian teacher who always brings the yummiest tiramisu to get togethers, so I thought I'd give it a try and give her a run for her money. No, I only really wanted to give it a try. it wasn't as tasty as her recipe. Blame it on me, not Giada; the woman's nearly perfect.  

I realized I didn't have all the ingredients needed to make it, so I adapted it accordingly. I didn't use Marsala in the chocolate zabaglione, but added only a single tablespoon of rum because I have no idea how to cook with liquor. It's a skill I've yet to acquire. I used crème fraiche instead of whipping cream, and didn't leave the zabaglione in the fridge for 8 hours because I was too impatient to wait that long. 

My advice is to make the zabaglione first and refrigerate for two hours. During the last 15 minutes, you can prepare the rest of the tiramisu. Make sure to leave in the fridge for at least two hours before serving. Giada recommends to make it the day before, if possible. 

Chocolate Tiramisu, a la Giada de Laurentiis (from Everyday Italian). 

Ingredients for the zabaglione: 

- 1/4 cup dark chocolate
- 1/8 cup crème fraiche or whipping cream
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- 4 egg yolks
- a pinch of salt

Ingredients for the tiramisu: 


- 30-36 finger cookies
- 7 espresso shots
- 1 cup + 1 tbs crème fraiche or whipping cream
- chocolate zabaglione
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 ounce mascarpone (half a tub here)
- unsweetened cocoa powder 

Instructions for the zabaglione: 

In a small saucepan, bring the crème fraiche to a boil. Remove from the heat and add dark chocolate and mix until fully combined and smooth. Set aside, but keep warm. 

Fill a large saucepan with two inches of water and bring to a simmer. In a bowl that fits in the saucepan without touching the bottom, whisk together the sugar, rum, egg yolks and salt until combined. 

Place the bowl over the saucepan, and whisk constantly until the mixture is thick and creamy (about 5-6 minutes in my case). Remove from the heat. 

Fold the chocolate and cream into the sugar and egg mixture using a rubber spatula. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours. 

Instructions for the tiramisu: 

In a large bowl, stir the mascarpone for a few seconds but do not stir too much. 

In a medium bowl, beat the crème fraiche and half of the sugar with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes. Giada says: "until peaks form" but I don't know what she means, so I mixed until it looked like waves were crashing unto each other. 

Fold the crème fraiche mixture into the mascarpone and add the zabaglione. Cover and refrigerate. 

Line a pan* with plastic wrap and make sure to cover the edges of the pan. 

In a medium bowl, mix the espresso and the second half of the sugar. 

Dip one cookie at a time in the espresso mix and arrange in the pan**. Place in a single layer, and pour half of the chocolate mixture on top of the cookies. 

Dip and repeat for the second layer.  

Add a final layer of cookies then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for anywhere from 2 hours to a day.

Unwrap the plastic, put a large platter over the pan and turn over. Remove the plastic, sift some cocoa to cover it and serve. 

*I used a casserole dish, but Giada recommends a 9 1/4 x 5 x 2 3/4 loaf pan. 

**That's where, if I'd been smart, I would have changed pans and used a narrower pan to put just one cookie across the pan.  

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