Saturday, June 23, 2012
Tiramisu "Petit Fours"
I've had more than a couple cooking mishaps lately. One wasn't completely my fault, but the rest, um, were. Usually when I get into a cooking funk, I go back to making a few recipes that I know will turn out. It's my way of reminding myself that I can actually read a recipe. After all, nothing feels better than knowing that I can cook boxed macaroni and cheese like nobody's business. Grilled cheese sandwiches are a good confidence-booster, too.
This time, though, I decided to risk it and try a new recipe. One that involved baking, no less. And it actually worked! (Well, I haven't actually served it to anyone yet, but my own quality-control tests have confirmed that this is, indeed, a recipe worth keeping.) Unfortunately, these tasty little morsels aren't very co-op friendly. They're a bit on the pricey side, and you'll probably spend half the day making them. And they aren't technically petit fours or tiramisu. But they're pretty to look at and equally delicious--perfect for an open house, reception, or, in this case, an ordination dinner.
Since I followed the recipes (yes, I used more than one) pretty closely, I'm just going to list the links and let you have at it. I made a few substitutions for hard-to-find ingredients, but I followed the techniques as written and didn't have any major difficulties. If you read everything ahead of time and gather all the ingredients before you begin, these mini tiramisus will be a piece of cake (ha, ha). As for me, I think the hardest part will be transporting these things in my car.
Tiramisu "Petit Fours"
Time: Um... reserve your whole morning
Start with this blog post, which shows you how to modify a tiramisu cake recipe into bite-size servings. Follow those directions to assemble your petit fours. The only change I made was substituting grated semisweet chocolate (1/2 cup) for the mini chocolate chips, although I did use mini chips as a garnish.
For the recipe itself, follow the instructions here. I used a hand mixer without any trouble--just make sure you add the ingredients exactly as directed. Don't forget to line your 9x13 pans with wax or parchment paper after buttering and flouring them--you'll have a much easier time removing the cakes. If you can't find instant espresso powder, substitute an equal amount of regular instant coffee granules--just whirl it in a food processor to make it easier to dissolve. Mascarpone is another difficult-to-find ingredient; you can substitute ricotta cheese or use the simple recipe here (you only need to make half).