Cakes & Pies, Recipes

Tiramisu

Simple ingredients for a delicious dessert!

Tiramisu is a classic Italian no-bake dessert made with layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and incredible mascarpone cream. It’s perfect for summer when you don’t want to turn your oven on. 

I love making classic Italian desserts! Tiramisu is probably the most iconic Italian treat and this one does not disappoint! It’s so easy and comes together pretty quickly. 

Tiramisu requires a short list of ingredients, but the combination tastes incredible. I like to add a dark rum to the coffee and cream for more depth of flavor. Look in the international section of your grocery store for the lady finger cookies, that’s where I found mine. 

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CREAM:

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone (8 ounces)

FOR THE ASSEMBLY:

  • 1 ¾ cups good espresso or very strong coffee
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum 
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  •  About 24 ladyfingers (from one 7-ounce/200-gram package)
  • 1 to 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, for shaving (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Using an electric mixer in a medium bowl, whip together egg yolks and 1/4 cup  sugar until very pale yellow and about tripled in volume. A slight ribbon should fall from the beaters (or whisk attachment) when lifted from the bowl. 

Transfer mixture to a large bowl, wiping out the medium bowl used to whip the yolks and set aside.

In the medium bowl, whip cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until it creates soft-medium peaks. 

Add 1 tablespoon of rum, mascarpone and continue to whip until it creates a soft, spreadable mixture with medium peaks. 

Gently fold the mascarpone mixture into the sweetened egg yolks until combined.

Combine espresso and rum in a shallow bowl and set aside.

Using a sifter, dust the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish (an 8×8-inch dish, or a 9-inch round cake pan would also work here) with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder.

Working one at a time, quickly dip each ladyfinger into the espresso mixture — they are quite porous and will fall apart if left in the liquid too long — and place them rounded side up at the bottom of the baking dish. 

Repeat, using half the ladyfingers, until you’ve got an even layer, breaking the ladyfingers in half as needed to fill in any obvious gaps (a little space in between is O.K.). 

Spread half the mascarpone mixture onto the ladyfingers in one even layer. 

Repeat with remaining espresso-dipped ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture.

Dust top layer with remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder. 

Top with shaved or finely grated chocolate, if desired.

Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (if you can wait 24 hours, all the better) before slicing or scooping to serve.

Cookies, Recipes

Chocolate Espresso Biscotti

My Meme and Papa loved Biscotti!

Do not get scared away from making these classic, twice-baked Italian cookies at home! Biscotti cookies are incredibly easy to make and can be customized with your favorite add-ins. Biscotti remind me of my grandparents, Meme and Papa. They would always dip a biscotti in their coffee. If you’ve ever had biscotti before, you already know that it’s not soft at all; instead it’s hard and crunchy. Perfect for dipping into your morning coffee or a glass of milk.  See I just gave you an excuse to eat cookies for breakfast!

Tonight, I wanted to make a cookie that I could drizzle my leftover orange chai cream cheese from my Orange Chocolate Chai Roll so I created this Chocolate Espresso Biscotti recipe.  Let me tell you, the batter was to die for! I seriously could have eaten the entire bowl! Rich in chocolate and espresso… the perfect combination! You can either drizzle the tops of these with the orange chia cream cheese, melted chocolate or just eat them as are. Honestly they are that versatile. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ¾  cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • ¼  cup plus 2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Hershey’s
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾  teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Espresso instant coffee, such as Café Bustelo
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾  cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. 

Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl and mixing well after each addition. 

Beat in the vanilla. 

Add the dry ingredients And stir on low speed until just combined.

Dust a work surface with cocoa powder. 

Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sticky dough out onto the work surface and dust the top of the dough lightly with cocoa powder. 

Using your hands, shape the dough into a rough ball (if it’s still too sticky, dust with a bit more cocoa powder) and cut into quarters. 

Form the dough pieces into four short logs by rolling back and forth. Place the logs onto the prepared baking sheet and shape into longer logs about 3/4-inch high and 2 inches wide. 

Allow enough space for the logs to spread a few inches while they bake. 

Bake for about 30 minutes, until firm to the touch. 

Let the biscotti logs cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, or until just cool enough to touch (if you wait any longer, the biscotti will be difficult to cut); then, using a sharp knife, slice the logs on the diagonal into 3/4-inch slices (I do this right on the baking sheet). They will crumble just a bit; don’t worry about it. 

Turn the biscotti on their sides (so that the cut sides are down) and place back in the oven for 10 minutes to dry and crisp up. 

Let cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Once cool, drizzle with your choice or leave as is. 

Recipes

Zeppole

In 2007, my family and I took a Carnival cruise around the Mediterranean coast. My Papa, grandfather had the biggest sweet tooth and loved to try all the Italian desserts. While we were in Naples, we stopped at a cafe for Limoncello. In the bakery case, they were selling fried dough dusted with powdered sugar, Zeppole. Naturally, my Papa ordered us some to go along with our Limoncello. We were handed a brown paper bag filled with Zeppoles.

We explored Naples, carrying that beautiful greasy bag, pulling Zeppole out one at a time, getting the sugar all over ourselves. We were two very happy people! 

Zeppole are tiny Italian doughnuts – crisp, light and incredibly fluffy, usually served in a brown paper bag or wrapped in parchment paper.

Zeppole make the perfect Hostess gift. Brian and I made them for our Friends Thanksgiving at our friend’s Jason and Paul’s house.

As it turns out, Zeppole are really easy to make at home and take almost no time at all — about 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of unsifted flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese 
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Confectioners Sugar for Dusting or maybe Cinnamon Sugar
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying

Directions

Crack your two eggs into the mixing bowl and beat until foamy.  

Add all of your dry ingredients into the eggs in the mixing bowl while on slow speed and then add  your ricotta and vanilla right away.  

Continue to mix on a slow speed till it is all combined.  The batter will be thick…creamy and sticky.  It is not a cookie dough consistency…it is a rich thick waffle type batter. Do not over mix.

Have your oil ready in your favorite pot.  I use a cast iron  dutch oven.  Your oil should be approximately 375 degrees.

I use a small cookie dough scoop …first I spray it with oil so that batter doesn’t stick …then scoop up the batter (no exact measurement here : ) and carefully drop it into the oil…repeat with consecutive scoops but don’t let them touch…

Zeppoles will turn themselves over. Fry them for about about 3 minutes…if they are a little bigger…a little longer.

Once you get to that nice deep golden brown it is time to scoop them up and place them on brown paper or paper towels to drain. Continue with another batch. 

Sprinkle them with Confectioners sugar or some Cinnamon Sugar.