Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I have yet to come across a TIRAMISU recipe that tells me that I should bake my own lady fingers. Who am I to argue with recipes?
3 large eggs separated
3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-oz) container mascarpone cheese (1 scant cup)
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
2 cups very strong brewed coffee or brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
2 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine
18 savoiardi (crisp Italian ladyfingers, 6 oz)
1/4 cup fine-quality bittersweet chocolate shavings
Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Beat in mascarpone until just combined.
Beat whites with a pinch of salt in another bowl with cleaned beaters until they just hold soft peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, then continue to beat whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat cream in another bowl with cleaned beaters until it just holds soft peaks. Fold cream into mascarpone mixture gently but thoroughly, then fold in whites.
Stir together coffee and Marsala in a shallow bowl. Dip 1 ladyfinger in coffee mixture, soaking it about 4 seconds on each side, and transfer to an 8-inch glass baking dish (2-quart capacity). Repeat with 8 more ladyfingers and arrange in bottom of dish, trimming as needed to fit snugly. Spread half of mascarpone mixture evenly over ladyfingers. Make another layer in same manner with remaining ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture. Chill tiramisu, covered, at least 6 hours.
Just before serving, sprinkle with chocolate.
Tiramisu can be chilled

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Hey, so I am going to share with you some recent casual dessert making, nothing fancy just a few grainy, blurry, and under lit pics of some recent kitchen shenanigans. This is a cornmeal crust raspberry rhubarb tart which was lightning quick to make and looked really nice. I would make everything in a springform pan if I could!

Next are sweet baby key lime pies, again really quick to make BUT the crust was an outrage. I swear I have not made a decent crust in a decade! I follow the directions yet they come out too chewy, underdone, gluey and never flaky!! Do I need to use lard? I do not want a piggy pie! Is anyone a crust master? Please help!

This is at the Big Apple BBQ, a few weekends ago! I restrained myself but Marty took part in the only vegetarian item we could find. Look at those pieces of PIE! It was really fun checking out the BBQ folk from all over. I got lots of pics - but that is for another blog.

Monday, June 25, 2007


From Ms. Molly Neuman!

Try this, it's bonehead easy, alcoholic and vegan!

4 cups mixed berries (like strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries) half or quarter the strawberries
2 tablespoons Limoncello
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
Toss to combine.
Chill in the fridge for an hour
Serve in individual serving dishes.

Of course you can serve this on sorbet (or granita?), ice cream or over pound cake. It's another hodge podge!


WOW! This qualifies as a summer dessert worthy for the challenge! Thanks Molly!


Thanks Eve, for a lovely flourless chocolate cake!!

Monday, June 11, 2007



Fresh Local Strawberry Granita
(prepared while listening to side one of Van Halen
1984 LP)

Go to your local farmers market/green market and buy
3-4 pints of strawberries. Might be around 20 bucks
or so, maybe more, but fuck it, its strawberry season,
AND yer supporting a local farmer. If you buy
Drsicolls strawberries from the supermarket, I swear,
the recipe won't don't do it! Those
berries SU-CK.

Toss the berries in a big bowl, and then start slicing
'em up in quarters. Cover with sugar (to
taste....maybe you got some super-sweet ones, I
dunno). If you got the local ones, then they'll be
bright, beautiful RED all the way through. Nice.
Split open a vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and
add to the mix...toss the vanilla pod in, too. Don't
have a vanilla bean? Email me...I'll send you one.
Strawberries and vanilla are pals. You could also add
some scrapings of fresh ginger. Ginger and
strawberries are also very nice partners. See some
fresh lemon verbena, lemon balm, or chocolate mint at
the market? Rip it up and toss it in. Finely minced
lime zest? Sure. But stick with just strawberries
and ONE other seasoning just to keep it simple...after
all it's summer and I'm making you listen to Van

Now let this sit in the fridge for 4 hours.

After 4 hours your berries will have released a mess
of beautiful bright red liquor. Strain this through a
fine strainer and a cheesecloth...don't press only want the liquid...we'll deal with the
berry goop LATER. Taste the liquid. Super
concentrated, too sweet, not sweet enough? Re-season
to taste with more sugar or bottled water, until you
have a liquid that tastes JUST too sweet to drink
straight. Pour into a shallow lidded plastic
container and then throw it in the freezer.

If you wanna be pro, let this stuff freeze and then
stir it all day as it freezes with a fork, until you
have irregular grainy crystals. Stir every hour or

HOWEVER, you can just freeze it into a solid block and
then scrape away tomorrow....ALMOST as good. You just
want a nice crumbly irregular texture, like shaved
ice. If its goopy and sorbet-ish, then you added too
much melt it down and add some spring

That's it, yer done. Serve in chilled bowls with a
couple fresh strawberries that you kept behind. Top
with whipped, unsweetened creme fraiche.....uh, store
bought vanilla ice get the idea.

Sorry, this ain't gonna travel well, so the BBQ better
be at your house. However, if it melts en route, then
just re-freeze it, no sweat. Or just mix the melted
liquid with sparkling water and Campari. Awesome, and
crisis averted.

OK, the leftover strawberry goop that you strained the
liquid off of? Cook it down, make jam. Add brown
sugar and star anise for a nice spiced marmalade
that's good with a cheese plate, especially something
goaty. Delicious. If yer a lucky NYC resident, then
smear it on Sullivan Street Bakery pugliese.

Have fun, but remember, this is a highly perishable
recipe, only local berries (!), and no oven
whatsoever, but, yes, Van Halen.


Friday, June 08, 2007


I got this from this adorable blog Toast Point
I have made it over and over with many variations and it is devoured every time. I have had problems with the ganache separating but I think if you add it while the shortbread is still warm it bonds to it better. Sorry the pics are not great.

Rosemary Ginger Shortbread (from Toast Point)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a food processor, combine and pulse until well-blended and lump-free:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar (a bit less if your ginger is heavily sugared)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, very finely minced

Finely chop and set aside:
1/2 cup candied ginger

Dice into small cubes:
2 sticks very cold butter (1/2 pound)

Quickly toss the ginger and butter on top of the flour mixture in the food processor, and pulse until the mixture becomes crumbly.

Dump the dough into a 9x9ish pan, and flatten it quickly with your fingers. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top begins to color slightly. Cool. Eat straight up, or cover with chocolate ganache.

Makes 12 big chunks, or 24 narrow bars.