Who doesn't love Tiramisu - the popular coffee flavored Italian dessert? Tiramisu actually means lift me up or pick me up in the Italian language.This is one dessert which definitely perks me up anytime anywhere!!
It is such a heavenly dessert that no one can stop at one spoonful! I have made the alcoholic version many times - using coffee and orange liquer. But Ranya (my 13 year old) needed to bring a family favorite dish to school for her 7th Grade Graduation in June. So I attempted to make a non alcoholic version. Even though it didn't have the oomph of the alcoholic version, it turned out pretty good. Do keep a tab on your intake as mascarpone cheese is very high in fat.
I learnt first how to make Tiramisu from a close friend Kris Adipudi when we were neighbors in Pasir Ris in Singapore. She is a wonderful cook and I am glad she taught me and a few other close friends how to make Tiramisu in her own kitchen. I am indebted to her, otherwise, I would have never ventured to try this on my own at that time and I would have missed out on making this heavenly dessert!!
This dessert can be done in 45 minutes and the recipe below yields 2 layers of cream and 2 layers of sponge fingers in a 8 by 8 inch glass baking dish. If you like higher tiramisu with 4 layers, double the amounts.
Ingredients (serves 8 guests)
4 tsps. instant coffee
1 cup hot water
1 tbsp. coffee liquer (Tia Maria - only for the alcoholic version)
2 tbsp. orange liquer ( Grand Marinier - again only for the alcoholic version)
2ooml whipping cream
250 gm mascarpone cheese
2/3 cup confectioner's (powdered sugar)
2 egg whites
30 sponge fingers
1/3 cup cocoa powder for garnish
fresh strawberries for garnish
Dissolve the coffee in the hot water and set aside. (if you are using the liquers, mix these into the coffee mixture too.
In a mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream with an electric beater till thick and creamy.
In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites till soft peaks form.
Mix this into the whipped cream and beat again.
Add in the powdered sugar and beat well.
Yet in another bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese till smooth and mix this with the egg white whipped cream sugar mixture.
Take your 8inch by 8 inch glass baking dish and dip the sponge fingers in the coffee mixture lightly and place them in the tray row by row to cover the entire base. If you have uneven empty spaces, break the sponge fingers into half and fill them up.
Spread a layer of the cheese over this and sprinkle cocoa powder. Layer another layer of sponge fingers dipped in coffee mixture and then another layer of the cream.
Sprinkle cocoa powder generously over this layer.
Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Cut into squares and serve cold with more cocoa powder sprinkled over and with strawberries on the side to garnish the plate.
Aebleskiver pans are special cast iron pans with several hemispherical holes. The term Aebleskiver actually refers to traditional Danish pancakes which are light and fluffy like popovers. My mom uses this pan to make fluffy savory egg balls which are then dropped into a tamarind based curry. Served with a light coconut rice and a vegetable side dish, it makes a hearty delicious meal. My girls favorite dish of their Nanimma (Grandma)! An elaborate recipe but so worth the effort :)).
The recipe below is for 6-8 people.
Ingredients for Egg Balls (makes around 30)
3 tbsps. roasted gram
1 cup onion
2 stalks curry leaves
3 tbsps. grated coconut
1 green chilli
1 tsp ground ginger
6 eggs beaten
3/4 tsp garam masala
3/4 tsp cumin powder
3/4 tsp salt
Method for Egg Balls
Grind all the ingredients under grinding till smooth and add it to the beaten egg. Then add in the spice powders and salt and whisk it all together.
Heat and grease the ableskiver pan and pour this egg batter into each hole only up to 3/4 full. When it is browned below, use a fork and a spoon to quickly flip it over so the underside gets browned as well. Drain the egg balls on a kitchen towel and keep aside.
Ingredients for Tamarind Curry
2 tbsps. tamarind pulp dissolved in 8 cups of water
1 onion chopped finely
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 medium tomatoes cut into 8 wedges
3 tbsps. coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 and 1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp fennel powder
2 tbsps. canola oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
3/4 tsp urad dal
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 stalks curry leaves
1 tsp chilli powder
Method for Tamarind Egg Curry
In the 8 cups of Tamarind water, add in all the ingredients stated upto the fennel powder.
Heat the oil in a medium sized deep pot and start frying the tempering ingredients except for the chilli powder.
When you add the chilli powder, reduce fire and add in the tamarind water mix.
Let the curry simmer for 15 minutes and then add in 3/4 cup ground grated coconut for thickening the curry. After 5 minutes, add in the cooked egg balls and let it simmer for another 15 mins.
Serve with a light coconut rice (my next recipe) and a simple vegetable dish.
The traditional heavy coconut rice using full fat coconut milk will leave you feeling full and lethargic the whole day and evening. Not to mention the damage the saturated fat does to our heart and our waistline! A light version using reduced fat coconut milk with only 50% of fat is a better alternative.
Ingredients (serves 2)
1 cup of white rice
1tbsp canola oil
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 stalk curry leaves
1 and 1/2 tbsp. thick low fat coconut milk/cream
Salt per your preference
Wash the rice in your rice cooker and add in the required amount of water and salt.
Take a small pan and add in the oil. When the oil is hot enough, add in the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. After 1-2 mins of frying, pour in the tempering mix into the rice cooker and switch it on.
Halfway through the cooking process, add in the coconut milk/cream. Mix well and let the rice cook fully.
This dish uses very few ingredients that costs so little but it sure does pack plenty of flavor! Plenty of heat too - goes very well with Jasmine Rice for a simple meal.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
2 tbsps. canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced/pounded
1 red bird's bye chilli, sliced
1 tbsp. mushroom seasoning
2 tbsp. light Soy Sauce (or more per your liking)
13 oz (375gm) Sugar Snap Peas, deveined
1 block of firm tofu, cubed and grilled
1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Heat the oil in a big wok and start frying the garlic and bird's eye red chilli.
Once lightly browned, add the seasoning and light soy sauce.
After a minute, add in the sugar snap peas and grilled tofu cubes.
Let the flavors infused with the vegetables and cook until the sugar snap peas are bright green in color. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
Serve immediately with steaming Jasmine Rice and with scallions and extra sliced bird's eye red chilli on the side.