This hasn't been the easiest of days. All three of the boys woke up with fresh colds which cancelled all of our plans for the day. I did, however make tiramisu for my brother's birthday. As part of his gift, that was his request. I searched high and low for lady finger cookies but could not find them - they are evidently seasonal. So, I made my own. And they turned out! That certainly decreases the cost of making this dessert! Here's the recipe I used for the ladyfinger (adapted from allrecipes.com) and the tiramisu recipe that we like (I'll post a picture later!):
4 eggs, separated
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
7/8 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Line two 17 x 12 inch baking sheets with baking parchment. Fit large pastry bag with a plain 1/2 inch round tube.
Place egg whites in bowl and beat on high until soft peaks start to form. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue beating until stiff and glossy. In another bowl beat egg yolks and remaining sugar. Whip until thick and very pale in color.
Sift flour and baking powder together on a sheet of wax paper. Fold half the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Fold in flour, and then add the remaining egg whites. Transfer mixture to pastry bag and pipe out onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes.
TIRAMISU (from Foodnetwork.com and Gourmet Magazine)
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup strong brewed espresso coffee
1/4 cup Italian or domestic brandy, optional
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pound mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 pound savoiardi (imported Italian ladyfingers), domestic ladyfingers, or sliced sponge cake
Cocoa powder for dusting the surface
For the syrup, combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, cool and add coffee and optional brandy.
For the filling, whip cream with sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold cream into softened mascarpone.
To assemble, place a layer of the savoiardi, ladyfingers or sponge cake slices in the bottom of a shallow 2-quart baking dish or gratin dish. Sprinkle with half the syrup. Spread with half the filling. Repeat with remaining savoiardi, syrup and filling, spreading the top smooth, using a metal spatula.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving. Immediately before serving place cocoa in a fine strainer and shake a light coating on surface.
There you have it! Enjoy!