Monday, July 23, 2007

Sunny Approaches Tiramisu With Trepidation

I love my local supermarket. It’s one of those big city stores that has a small hometown feel. Everybody knows me, which helps. I’m the crazy lady who buys stamps or mails parcels at all hours if the Customer Service department is open (once or twice when it wasn’t, but someone just took pity on me and sold me stamps or weighed a package).

I’m the goober who got snockered on one margarita at her favorite local Mexican restaurant (hey, it was a big drink) and had to walk off her inebriation by buzzing the produce and cereal aisles afterwards at Price Chopper. I’m the diabetic who sniffs the bakery but has only purchased one éclair during the past ten months.

Primarily, I’m the Lotto Scratch-Off Loony. Give me ten bucks and a quarter and I can play, win, lose, play, win, etc for an hour or two on just that amount (the quarter is for using to scratch, for those of you who didn’t pick up on that). I have been known to purchase at the Customer Service desk, navigate south towards the in-store bank and scratch while waiting in line, go back to Customer Service, then out to the patio where I’d smoke or just drink a Diet Coke, trot back to the CS desk (or send the daughter-in-law until she’d beg off), and this would ensue for an hour or two, depending upon how rotten or generous Lady Luck was to me. (You should watch me at the penny slots or even the quarter and dollar ones in Vegas – lol. I can shut the casinos DOWN, wear ‘em out.)

But yesterday, I was the wanna-be Italian chef who had them all looking for mascarpone. Nobody knew what it was. It wasn’t in the meat section, as one guy thought. It wasn’t with the Mexican food section (duh – tried to tell them). It wasn’t in dairy. And we’d all overlooked it at the gourmet cheese aisle. Finally, we located it, and to my dismay the damned cheese cost six bucks for 8 ounces. ACK.

My son asked me how badly I wished to make this particular dish – told him that the desire started to make me itch about a year ago, so that did it for him. He just said I’d better leave him a bit of it.

I love The Sweet Potato Queens’ Big-Ass Cookbook by Jill Conner Browne. As Jill states in the preface regarding the recipes in this book, Our experience with cuisine of the haute variety is that it’s way too much trouble to do ourselves and costs way too much to have others do for us, and when they do, it looks weird. They’re not happy just to plunk it on a plate and let you eat it in peace; it has to be visual. And if it tastes good, there’s only enough of it to piss us off.

That’s how I feel about tiramisu. After shopping for ingredients, however, I have a better understanding of why the damned thing costs so much. A forty-dollar dessert that feeds ten at best if the cook uses the ingredients suggested without scrimping or substituting. I thought It's sponge cake or wafers soaked with coffee, how difficult can this be?

Here is the recipe. I’ll let you know how it goes.

~ Sunny Lyn



At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Rinda said...

Tirimisu is my favorite dessert! Man, that sounds good right now.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger Beth said...

Well, you'd better let us know how it goes 'cause I ain't making it. That recipe does not look simple - I've been tricked before...

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

HI, you two! I luv, luv, luv tiramisu and am looking forward to making this dish. Wanted to make it this afternoon, but life had other plans for me. May still be able to do it before bedtime - we shall see. Supposed to chill it for 24 hours *sigh* but I'm thinking maybe 20 ...or 18...won't be so bad? - LOL

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Trish said...

Waaayy to much work for me. Give me a tub of ben and jerry's and a spoon and I'm a happy camper

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

Trish, you weenie *grin*. It's really not that difficult. The one thing I'd change about THIS particular recipe (it's linked) is that I'd only use maybe 1/3 of that 1/4 cup of brandy. Was a bit strong.

The cream filling, though - perfection, if I do say so. The trick to the filling is to make sure that the whipping cream is R-E-A-L-L-Y whipped well. Makes the filling fluffier.

I may try making the next one using 1/2 mascarpone, 1/2 cream cheese - just to see if I can detect much difference (because this one was damned expensive to make...$12 worth of just the mascarpone).

I fully expected more hassle with this dish than I had.


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