I love my church choir. My parish is a special place, and being part of the music ministry has really helped me to feel at home in my “new” town and it has helped me to make friends. But moreover, we get to sing really, really pretty music to worship the Lord! I’ve never sang so much Latin in my life, and it’s a lovely thing (though we do plenty of English songs as well).
I had the chance to put on my party organizing hat this week as I was recently named the “Grand Party Poobah” of my church choir. It was our wonderful choir director’s birthday this week (today, actually… Happy Birthday, Kristin!), so the choir got together to throw her a little surprise party after practice. She and others from our parish just returned from a pilgrimage to Italy the other week, so for something sweet, I decided tiramisu would be fun, in lieu of cake.
I had never made tiramisu before- kind of crazy of me to tackle an unknown to serve a good-sized group- but it seemed pretty straightforward. It was, although the steps took a little longer than I thought they would, and I was on my own! In case you are curious, I followed this video recipe by chef Tony Scarpati, only first I pasteurized the eggs using this method, and I did not add as much Bailey’s as he did- just 1/2 of a tablespoon, for flavor:
I was very happy with how my egg whites turned out- the fluffiest I’ve ever made them!
The Dahlias, from my yard, were for Kristin. I’m amazed I still have some flowers growing!
These are the yolks (+sugar) before they were fluffy. The yolks need to be fluffy too!
Just a little more beating left to go. When I stopped and they looked more stiff, I knew they were ready!
Assembling everything (I used Trader Joe’s Lady Fingers… they were French, not Italian, so I had to bake them a little to dry them out. If you can find Italian Lady Fingers [Savoiardi] go with those!):
Mmm… made with Mascarpone! One of my new, favorite cheeses. Oh, and I added a little more coca inside….
All done, and marked with a K! I made a little stencil, shook the coca powder on, then pulled it off.
Dark chocolate curls on top, of course!
Some quick tips, if you are inspired to make this tiramisu yourself:
Two beaters/mixers really do help!
I waited to fold the egg whites & yolks together until I was done beating the yolks (using one mixer) and by that time, the egg whites had broken down a little. If you can mix them simultaneously, then fold, I think it would work better.
Unless you have a *lot* of volume when your cream is all mixed, skip the bottom layer of cream. I saw other videos do this, and that leaves you more cream for the top (I almost ran out!).
Lastly, get a friend to help you… it will go much faster!
All in all, it was a fun little party. I think everyone had a good time. They all said the tiramisu was tasty… I liked it! For the next party, maybe I’ll do a simpler cake, but it was great getting a chance to try a recipe I’ve always wanted to make.