The good news is that I survived the barleywine tasting this past weekend. The bad news is that several of the beers, cheeses, and desserts also present did not fare so well (but they sure tasted good). We hammered out a couple blind taste tests, a SN Bigfoot vertical, and several selections from the Pacific Northwest and California courtesy of Mark and Micah’s travels.
Speaking of desserts, there are some recipes that are just straight up a pain in the ass for one reason or another. I have always filed tiramisu under this category. It really isn’t that making tiramisu is difficult, because it is one of the easiest desserts to make. You don’t even have to bake anything. The reasons it is on my PIA list are plenty. First, visualize yourself in a grocery store. Now go find the marscapone cheese. Are you still standing there? That’s what I thought. I know it’s common to spread the cheese displays throughout the store — call me a simpleton — but it would be awesome that if it had ‘cheese’ in the title, I could find it all in the same place. At my local Kroger, it was tucked in a corner with hard gourmet cheeses, across another display of less-gourmet cheeses, and not at all close to the cream or cottage cheeses. Second, and now visualizing yourself at the cheese display, go find the ladyfingers. You see what I’m getting at, here? They aren’t in with the cookies or crackers, nor are they in with the rest of the Italian-themed foods. They’re in a basket somewhere in the bakery next to strawberry shortcake shells. Lastly, the ingredients to make tiramisu are expensive. At any rate, I think I’ve made my case. Why make it then? Because it. is. awesome. How can we make it better? That’s right — PUT BOOZE IN IT!
I present to you: Beerimisu:
The recipe I most closely followed can be found here, at 101 Cookbooks. I made some minor changes, incorporated below.
1 pound mascarpone cheese – ($5.99 per 1/2 lb.)
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 3-oz. packages Ladyfingers ($2.99 per 3 oz. pkg)
6 ounces (3/4 cup) Porter beer (Use a good one)
1/2 cup brewed coffee, the stronger the better (Use good coffee)
1/2 cup cocoa (Use Dutch press)
In a large bowl mix together the mascarpone, sugar, beaten eggs and vanilla. Fold in the whipped cream. Set this mixture aside.
In a shallow dish stir together the Porter beer and the brewed coffee. [I used Founder's Porter and a Vanilla Caramel coffee from my local coffee shop.] Dip the ladyfingers cookies into the coffee mixture. Don’t let the ladyfingers get soggy. Arrange them in a single layer in a 8×8 glass casserole dish. Spread 1/2-inch layer of mascarpone mixture on top of the ladyfingers. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cocoa. Repeat this for the second layer. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.
See how “easy” that is?!