Tiramisu for Valentine’s Day
I turned into the full driveway at my daughter-in-law’s house. It looked like a party was in progress with four cars. Mine made five.
As got out of the car, I grabbed a couple of bottles of wine, my big roasting pan with a rack big enough to hold the butterflied leg of lamb destined for dinner, and my overnight satchel.
“I’m here,” I yelled.
Nancy, my daughter-in-law, and two of my granddaughters appeared. They picked up the roasting pan and we all walked into the kitchen, where we started to make tiramisu.
“How many of my favorite relatives does it take to make one dessert?” I yelled.
“I’ve never made it before,” admitted Sydney, my oldest granddaughter, laughing.
Another was boiling water in a large All-Clad skillet.
“Laurel,” I asked, “why are you boiling water for tiramisu?”
And I saw that they were reading a recipe, one that called for six eggs, quickly cooked, from a fairly new edition of Joy of Cooking.
My recipe from Silver Palate’s The New Basic isn’t that fussy and does not include that step.
I sat on the dining room, warming my hands around a steaming cup of tea, and thought how lucky I was to see my granddaughters cooking as I talked with my very best daughter-in-law, who also loved having her three daughters at home. Fast forward: After our dinner of seasoned lamb with roasted sweet and white potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, and asparagus, I marveled at Sydney’s tiramisu, maybe better than my own. The girls did the dishes and we all watched Jimmy Garoppolo’s Cowboys demolish Green Bay (and its non-vaxxed quarterback, Aaron Rodgers).
Home the next day, I recounted the story of my visit with the family. Judy Robertson said she’d never tasted tiramisu. I will make it this week for her and Dick, and maybe again for Valentine’s Day.
Lee White of Old Lyme has been a food editor and restaurant reviewer for more than 25 years. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adapted from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins (Workman Publishing, New York, 1989)
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
2 pound cakes (about 12 ounces each) or
2 to 3 packages of lady fingers
6 egg yolks
4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
8 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur
(Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
2 tablespoon sweet Marsala
12 ounces mascarpone cheese
6 tablespoons strong coffee or espresso, cold
4 ounces milk chocolate, grated
1. Slice crusts of each of the pound cakes, use crusts for another use; cut each of the cakes into ½-inch to ¾-inch slices. Reserve.
2. Beat egg yolks and confectioners’ sugar together with an electric mixer until pale and thick. Slowly beat in 4 tablespoons of the liqueur and all the Marsala. Add mascarpone and beat until mixture is thick and smooth.
3. In a smaller bowl, combine coffee and the remaining liqueur.
4. In a trifle bowl or any other pretty bowl, fit pound cake slices in a single layer. Drizzle some of the coffee mixture over cake, then spoon in some mascarpone mixture, then sprinkle with grated chocolate. Repeat until all is used. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours (or longer) before serving.