This week’s challenge: CHEESE! Cheese cheese cheese. I love cheese.
It’s been a hectic week (month? year?), and I hosted dinner for some friends this week. Since dinner was Italian (ricotta gnocchi, caprese, roasted figs, etc.), I was dreaming of a delicate orange ricotta cheesecake. But, N generally dislikes cheesecakes (mostly due to his strange aversion to cream cheese).
He suggested cannolis, but what about the shell? I’m not into frying shells (no deep fryer or patience), nor was I about to crank out a thousand pizzelles to form into little cones. I only break out the pizzelle iron once a year, and it’s usually for the guy with the beard and the big red suit.
I scoured the web, and turned to one of my favorite blogs–101 Cookbooks. Heidi marries a dark, rich porter with a classic dessert. Perfect for my friends who love the Guinness floats, and an appropriate precursor to Oktoberfest this weekend. Time to break out the lederhosen and German electronica… or not.
1 pound Mascarpone cheese
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped
1 1/2 packages of ladyfinger cookies (the original recipe called for 48 ladyfingers). I have no clue how many are in a package.
1 1/2 cups of Porter beer (or something dark, chocolatey and rich)
1 cup brewed coffee, the stronger the better
1/2 cup cocoa (I went all out and got Schaffenberger)
1. Whip the cream. Set aside in a bowl. (Don’t do what I did and whip the cream and then continue to whip in other ingredients. It just turns into delicious soup. And then you have to start over and figure out if you can make ice cream out of your mistake!)
2. In another bowl, mix together the Mascarpone, sugar, beaten eggs and vanilla.
3. Gently fold in the whipped cream, you want the mixture to be stiff like whipped cream. Set this mixture aside.
4. In a shallow dish stir together the Porter beer and the brewed coffee. Dip the ladyfingers cookies into the coffee mixture. You want them pretty wet but not falling apart. Like a 2.5 second dunk.
5. Arrange them in a single layer in a glass casserole dish (8×8). Make sure they are tight together!
6. Layer 1/2 inc of Mascarpone mixture on top of the lady fingers.
7. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cocoa on top of the cream layer.
8. Repeat this process for a second layer of fingers, cream and then cocoa.
9. Pour leftover beer into mouth. Lick bowl and spoon.
10. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving. I recommend at LEAST 1 day. Seriously this is a dessert that needs time to sit, think, let all those coffee flavors meld together.
Wow, it was hard to not eat directly out of the container. Beer + Tiramisu = crowd pleaser. Even better for breakfast the next morning with some coffee. This is the last piece.