Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tiramisu, and a belated bloggiversary

It has been a little over 6 years since I started blogging. So many things have changed during this time, in life and work, in the world of blogs, and in social media in general.

Back then, when I decided to start a blog, rather hesistantly, it was mainly to publish my favorite recipes; the ones that I would want to make again and again, the ones that I would want to share with family and friends. I had been documenting favorite recipes with my notes for a long time before that. However, blogging enabled so many things that an ordinary document on my computer couldn't. Adding pictures to show how the final dish looks was a good start. The ability to tag and categorize them, and view comments from others made it even more appealing. Friends were created. Like minded communities arose. For some, book deals, home businesses, and classes were spun off. Some bloggers just stopped posting, and some of them really ought to come back. Things really have changed so much since the time I started blogging, that these days, it can be sometimes difficult to tell if a blog is a labor of love or something created by an organization for profit.


On my blog, things haven't changed much. The frequency of posting went down to a lamentable average of four posts a year in the last two years. I still write about the food I cook and eat as part of my daily activities, but I have very little time now to take pictures of food. Taking pictures, uploading, and linking was taking up way more time than I had as I juggled work, commute and travel for the most part.

I started another blog to fill in the gaps and to keep track of things I tried, what worked, and  what didn't. It has become my handy reference for a lot of my cooking experiments. Some of the more successful ones should really see the light of the day and be here on the main blog with some pictures to match. Alas, my pictures haven't improved much in the last few years. If anything, I feel they have developed a "sameness" to them because of which I hesitate to publish them. Here is one example. I have been making this wonderful Tiramisu for nearly three years now. The recipe is as perfect as it gets. Other than the liqueur used, I hardly make any changes to it, because it works like a charm and never fails. It is an absolute crowd pleaser and receives raves every time I make it. Seriously, it tastes better than many a sad excuse for a Tiramisu that are served at times in restaurants. It has just the right amount of decadence, is not too sweet, and doesn't use raw eggs. However, I did not want to write about it because how do I prove it to you? I have tried, but could never take a picture that would do it justice. Most recently, I made a large batch for a potluck dinner, and before rushing out of the house, I tried to take a few pictures. The end results were just as blah as before. See for yourself.


The tiramisu itself was demolished down to a few crumbs by everyone, and that gives me great joy and satisfaction. The visual proof is lacking, but take my word for it, and try the recipe. I will upload a glamor shot if I get one some day.

The Best Tiramisu Ever
Recipe adapted from Baking Bites, a dependable resource for many dessert recipes

Serves: about 8


8-oz mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso, room temperature
1/4 cup Baileys original, dark rum, coffee or chocolate liqueur
approx 30-36 ladyfingers
unsweetened cocoa powder, for finishing
a few spoonfuls of grated or shaved chocolate, optional 


In a large mixing bowl, mix mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream and vanilla gently with a whisk or fork, and then beat the mixture at low to medium speed, increasing the speed if needed, until mixture is fluffy and very smooth.

In a small, shallow bowl, combine coffee and Baileys (or liqueur of choice). Dip each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture very quickly to let it soak up some of the liquid, a second on each side. Do not completely soak the ladyfingers in the coffee mixture. Place in the bottom of a 8×8 or 9×9-inch square glass or ceramic dish. Place the lady fingers snugly close to each other as you go. The bottom of the pan should be completely covered with the ladyfingers in a single layer. When there is a full layer of ladyfingers, spread half of the cream mixture on top of them. At this point, you can sprinkle some grated chocolate over the cream if you like.

Repeat with remaining ladyfingers and cream mixture. Dust with cocoa powder, grated chocolate, or both.

Cover the dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 6-10 hours before serving.

Here is another lovely looking variation from the same blog, using dessert wine and raspberries.
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