I completely understand why Italian women spend all their time in the kitchen. Or at least they used to, back in the day. The way to a man's heart is his stomach, and the way to my man's heart is his stomach via Italy (or India, but given my attempts at that have been less than successful, except in the preserves department, I leave all that to the wonderful people at our local curry house).
We're not big on Valentine's day. No bunches of red roses or dopey cards are found in this house, because frankly we are very much a soppy doting pair on any given day, and like it that way very much . But we do agree on any excuse for an indulgent meal, one more bottle of wine than usual and a viewing of our favourite romantic film. So I spent all of yesterday chained to, ahem, watching over, the stove.
I was going to do something very different, and poured over my cookbooks for hours. But in the end I decided to opt for our favourite starter of olives, bread and walnut pesto, followed by melanzane parmigiana for main. I did however think I should be a bit more adventurous on the dessert, and following the theme opted for Tiramisu, N's favourite and a recipe I've shamefully never made for him.It was much easier than I thought, and went down very well indeed, even illiciting the comment that it was "quite possibly the best I've ever had, and I've had many in my time." Which made me blush like anything. I know that the romantic holiday is technically over, but I can highly recommend throwing this together for your next indulgent evening together.
I read a few recipes and then decided to basically go it alone as I knew what we'd like. Dangerous, as it was my only dessert option, but it clearly worked, obviously all those pounds gained eating it in Italy has paid off!
Rebecca's Pick-me-up-a-man Tiramisu - Makes five reasonably large servings (I put them in small glasses, but you could use a small deep dish if making a large one)
3 large eggs, separated
62g caster sugar
130ml strong coffee cooled
Sponge finger biscuits
2 tbsp baileys liquour
2 tsp vanilla extract
cocoa for dusting
In a large bowl, or that of an electric mixer whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy. Then add the mascarpone and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Then fold briskly but gently into the mascarpone mix with a metal spoon.
Combine the coffee and baileys in a shallow dish.
Have your dish or glasses ready. Soak the sponge fingers one at a time in the coffee mix and place in a layer at the bottom of the dish, tightly packing them together. Then brush with more coffee mix. Spoon over a layer of the mascarpone mixture and smooth gently. Repeat this one more time, smoothing the top as much as possible. Place in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Remove from the fridge just before serving, and dust with cocoa. Enjoy, perhaps with a limoncello?