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Tiramisu - Light As A Feather
by Vanessa Balchen
TheSyndicatedNews columnist

by Vanessa Balchen

As a young girl, me and my friends would have slumber parties and invariably we'd play Light As A Feather. In case you aren't familiar, it's a game where one girl lays down on her back and all the other girls gather around her and together lift her body off the ground, each girl using only one finger on each hand, all the while chanting "light as a feather, stiff as a board". Of course those words were chanted in a tone meant to conjure the dead from their dark and dank a voice that a 12 year old girl can produce. We never succeeded in lifting anyone...instead we'd dissolved in giggles and then pull out the Ouija Board. Later, near midnight we'd have a séance and trying to bring Mary Worth back to life. At one point it was believed Paul McCartney was dead (remember "Paul is dead"?) and so we tried to talk to his spirit.

All of this was brought to mind with one bite of this tiramisu...all because the phrase "light as a feather" popped instantly to mind the minute it hit my tongue. I love tiramisu but I've always had it at restaurants, I've never actually made it before. So I did the usual and searched the interwebs, combing through the series of trucks moving through tubes until I found Adam's delightful recipe at Amateur Gourmet. I like his version because it didn't involve whipping any egg yolks...I wanted easy. Well this is easy, light, delicious, and tasty. I made several substantial changes to the recipe, mostly to soften the coffee flavor. Either'll agree it's light as a feather...but not stiff as a board.


8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon brandy
8 ounces heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup of espresso
1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 packages of Italian style lady fingers
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
6 ounces milk chocolate

Allow the mascarpone to come to room temperature. Beat the brandy and 1/4 cup of sugar into the mascarpone until it is smooth. Set it aside. Put the cream, 1/3 cup of sugar, and 2 teaspoons vanilla into a bowl and mix with a whisk on high until soft peaks have formed. Set it aside. Combined the hot espresso and the 2 tablespoons of sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the skim milk and stir. Set aside.

Grate the two types of chocolate using a food processor or a grater. Keep them separate. Fold the mascarpone and whipped cream into each other (gently). Dip a ladyfinger into the coffee mixture, count one beat, then turn it over, count another beat, and remove it and place it into a 9" x 9" pan. Repeat this until the bottom of the pan is lined with soaked ladyfingers.

Layer on half of the mascarpone/whipped cream combo, smooth it out with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the bittersweet chocolate.

Add another layer of the soaked ladyfingers, the rest of the mascarpone/ whipped cream combo, and finally the grated milk chocolate. Wrap well with saran wrap and refrigerate several hours or even better, overnight. Serves 9 to 12 depending on the size of the serving.

Published: Jul 12,2008 10:39
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