Saturday, October 17, 2009

Strawberry Tiramisu

Gale Gand's recipe for tiramisu has been haunting me. The recipe is absolutely delicious but I am hungry for something a lot like this tiramisu but with fruit. My collection of printed out recipes is daunting and there are literally hundreds if not well over a thousand. I continually thumb through all these recipes, many filed by category, only to be overwhelmed. I then drift on to my current magazines; all 3o or 40 current issues from the last 3 months. Why I do not just open a pastry shop and get this taunting struggle of finding time to obsess over what I truly love ~ wait! I know. If I end up doing what I love I may get burned out and then what will I obsess over? Probably my flowers, learning to truly sew, gardening and crocheting (maybe knitting too) all combined.

Strolling through Italian recipe sites on the Internet . . . there are about 100 different cooking sites bookmarked on my computer along with all those listed here on my blog to the right . . . I came across a recipe for strawberry tiramisu. The recipe originally came from a site called cookies from italy (dot) com. Unfortunately, this site has a large list of tasty desserts, breads, pasta dishes, soups; oh the list goes on and on. This is unfortunate because I already have a list of recipes, backlogged for immediate trial, and this list is enough to feed several families for a year . Of course, recipes only get bumped if another recipe comes along that blows the skirt off the previous ones. The strawberry tiramisu is one such recipe!

This is the month of October so strawberries are definitely 'not' in season. I am shopping for groceries for the weekend and can not find any strawberries in 3 different stores. Do you know how it is to get a recipe stuck in your head AND you are going to find this illustrious ingredient no matter how hard you have to search? Well, I didn't want to search anymore (I'm tired from working all week) but I did want my strawberries so I did the next best thing . . . I called hubby and whined. I can't find the strawberries and I made this dinner menu that is to die for. Do you think you could stop at a store to see if you can find my strawberries? I really did try but the strawberry gods are against me (whimper). Hubs asks, so what is for dinner? I stroll down the list, including homemade chicken and dumplings with chicken stock made from scratch, the strawberry tiramisu for dessert, and for good measure, I mention what is for breakfast the next morning. BINGO! He is hooked and on the strawberry hunt for me! Do not get me wrong, I am VERY grateful and wholeheartedly LOVE that hubs will go out into the cold dark night, hunting down an illusive ingredient. I also know he loves coming home to a hot meal and understands that I work hard all day too. We commute long hours and start our days early, usually 4:15 am. I can start tiring fast if I am looking for things before I can even start cooking. Then mistakes happen and dinner can be peanut butter sandwiches if everything flops.

So here we are, back to the ever enticing Strawberry Tiramisu (hubs found the strawberries at the first place he stopped) and what a delightfully creamy and delicious dessert this turned out to be!

Strawberry Tiramisu (tiramisu alla fragole)
1 and 1/4 cups strawberry preserves
1/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons Cointreau or other orange liqueur
1/3 cup orange juice
1 lb mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 and 1/3 cups chilled whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
52 (about) crisp ladyfingers (boudoirs or Savoiardi) 1 and 1/2 lbs strawberries, divided

Whisk preserves, 1/3 cup Cointreau, and orange juice in 2-cup measuring cup.

Place mascarpone cheese and 2 tablespoons Cointreau in large bowl; fold just to blend.

Using electric mixer, beat cream, sugar, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons Cointreau in another large bowl to soft peaks.

Stir 1/4 of whipped cream mixture into mascarpone mixture to lighten.

Fold in remaining whipped cream.

Hull and slice half of strawberries.

Arrange enough ladyfingers over strawberry mixture to cover bottom of dish.

Spoon 3/4 cup preserve mixture over ladyfingers, then spread 2 and 1/2 cups mascarpone mixture over.

Arrange 2 cups sliced strawberries over mascarpone mixture.

Repeat layering with remaining lady fingers, preserve mixture, and mascarpone mixture.

Cover with plastic and chill at least 8 hours or overnight.

Slice remaining strawberries. Arrange over tiramisu and serve. Serves 8.

That's it!

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