Friday, March 11, 2011

Francesca's Tiramisu

Aunt Jean is the "Paula Dean" of our family. Everything she made was delicious, and of course, very fattening. In her younger days, she would be busy in the kitchen all day long. Aunt Jean has always enjoyed good food and desserts. I would even go as far as saying that it's her passion.......creating it, eating it, sharing it and loving it.

She has a total of 20 nieces on her side alone. There are also quite a few great nieces and great-great nieces. (I've lost count.) We have all learned a little something from Aunt Jean. Whenever any one of us called her, the conversation would always include old family recipes and she would always ask, "So, what are you making for dinner tonight?"

Thanks to Aunt Jean's inspiration, my cousins are now sending me some of their favorite family recipes so that I can share them as well. The following recipe was sent to me by my cousin Eva. Eva said that this is the best Tiramisu that she has ever tasted. It is originally from my cousin Josi's sister-in-law Francesca.

Francesca's Tiramisu recipe

  • 16 oz of MARSCAPONE
  • 2 packages of Lady Fingers (Savoiardi)
  • 5 eggs
  • 6 cups of espresso, cooled
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 jiggers of sweet marsala * optional
  • Cocoa or shavings of dark semisweet chocolate

1. Make coffee. Sweeten with sugar to taste. Cool in a pan or shallow baking dish. Ice cubes can be added to hot coffee to cool faster.
2. Separate egg whites from egg yolks.
3. Beat egg yolks with sugar. Add marsala. Then add marscapone. Mix together well.
4. In a separate bowl beat egg whites until stiff, You can add a pinch of salt which will make them stiffen faster.
5. Fold stiffened egg whites into egg yolk, sugar, marscapone and marsala mixture. Blend well with spatula. Do not use an eiectric mixer.
6. Dip each lady finger in cooled espresso. The lady finger should be wet but not drenched or it will crumble. Lay lady fingers in a layer on bottom of a shallow rectangular or square baking pan.
7. Gently spread marscapone, egg, sugar and marsala mixture onto the layer of lady fingers. Repeat layering process until pan is filled. Top with final layer of marscapone mixture. Sprinkle cocoa or chocolate shavings on top.
8. Cover with saran wrap or plastic lid. Put in refrigerator for at least 3 hours. The TIRAMISU can also be frozen. Thaw for 1 hour before serving.

Aunt Jean is the glue that keeps the Esposito family together....
or should I say the "honey".

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