Friday, May 8, 2015

Rosie Finds Another Treasure At The Recycle Center. A Cook Book.

Rosie is a recycler.
A time or two or three a week, you might find the Hawthornes at the recycle center.
Please stop by to say hello.

Whenever I go to the recycle center, I always check out the book bin.
Thankfully, they've separated the books people used to put in those huge death receptacles and now they set them in Rubbermaid containers off to the side where one can sort through them.
I have found beautiful books here.

Last time Mr. Hawthorne and I visited, I came back with this treasure -

Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts.

I cannot wait.

The first recipe I want to try is the one for Ladyfingers.  I hope her recipe can take me back to the Ladyfingers Mama Hawthorne would buy for me when I was a little girl.  You'd take a bite and inhale the powdered sugar.

Let's see...
1/8 tsp salt
3 eggs, separated, at room temperature
2 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup confectioners sugar
3/4 cup sifted flour (As in sift before measuring.)
additional confectioners sugar for dusting.

Heat oven to 350°.
Beat salt and egg whites at high speed until they are firm and "hold a definite point, or are stiff but not dry."  Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

In the same bowl with the same beaters, beat the yolks, then add vanilla and confectioners sugar.  Beat at high speed for 5 minutes, until the mixture becomes very thick and very light in color.

Fold the yolk mixture into the whites.  Do not be too thorough.  Sift half of the flour over the egg mixture and gently fold it in.  Repeat with the rest of the flour, folding only until the flour is just absorbed.

Fit a large pastry bag with a round tube  5/8-inch in diameter.  Pipe batter 1 inch wide and 4 inches long onto foil-lined baking sheets, placing 1 inch apart.  Sprinkle additional confectioners sugar over top and bake for 10 minutes, turning pans halfway through baking.  Place ladyfingers on rack to cool.
Here are my egg whites.  When you're able to turn the bowl of whites over your head and not end up with egg on your head, then they're ready.

This is the yolk mixture.  In hindsight, this probably should have been thicker.  I beat the mixture on high for over 5 minutes, but probably should have gone longer.
Pour the yolk mixture into the whites.

Gently fold.
Sift the sifted flour in two additions.
Fold until flour is just absorbed.  Do not over-blend.

This is how you get messy batter into a pastry bag when you don't have an extra hand.
Place the pastry bag into a tall glass or cup and fold the opening over top.
Load in the batter.

When I piped my batter out,  it spread out and didn't hold its shape.
That's why I think I didn't beat the yolk mixture enough.
Oh well...  Live and learn.

This is not the first time I've made ladyfingers.
I attempted Julia Child's a few years back and the results were the same.

Oh wait.  I just happen to know a pastry chef I can ask about this issue.
Will address this and let you know.

I liked the reflections on my kitchen counter.

The vanilla aroma in my kitchen takes me back.
Way back.

The flavor is there.
But not the texture I was hoping for.

I'll have to rectify this texture issue, but for now, since these were not the ladyfingers of my childhood, I'm taking my ladyfingers in a totally different direction.  I'm going with tiramisu.
Or, at least, my version of tiramisu. 

Tiramisu, Italian for "pick me up," is a dessert consisting of a sponge cake, genoise, or ladyfingers, dipped in some type of liqueur, and layered with custard or whipped cream, and chocolate.

Liqueur Dip For Ladyfingers
1/2 cup strong coffee
2 TB sugar
2 TB Kahlua
Mix to dissolve sugar.

Whipped Cream
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Whip the cream.  When it starts to thicken, sprinkle in the sugar and add the vanilla.  You want nice soft peaks.

Chocolate For Drizzling
As much Ghirardelli Intense Dark Midnight Reverie as you want.
I had about 1/2 cup of coffee left over from this morning.
I added 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of Kahlua.
Stir to dissolve sugar.

And I melted some Ghirardelli Intense Dark Midnight Reverie.

 I tore the ladyfingers into pieces and dipped into the coffee mixture.
 Line a trifle bowl, or in my case, a glass mixing bowl, with slices of liqueur-soaked ladyfingers.

 Plop in some whipped cream.

I used 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, with 2 TB sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla.
Drizzle melted chocolate.
 Keep filling and stuffing and drizzling.

And there ya go!

Tiramisu is grand.

Tiramisu is a surprisingly light dessert.
We loved all the flavor components - the coffee, the coffee liqueur and rum based Kahlua, the whipped cream, the chocolate.
Another example of culinary synergy, where the creation of the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.

Whenever I hit synergism, I'm happy. 
It means I've met or passed my bar.
Tiramisu does that for me.  Every time.
Here was last time.

Make this and you'll be very glad you did. 
You will thank Rosie.
And you are very welcome!



Rocquie said...

Hi Rosie, I haven't made lady fingers--yet, but they have been on my list for a long time. Joy of has an excellent video. She doesn't address the spreading issue, but I learned some years back that chilling sheet pans helps prevent spreading. When baking Christmas cookies, I just set the pans outside while mixing the dough.
Cheers, Rocquie

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Hi Rocquie, thanks for the tip. I was thinking about chilling the batter, but didn't know how that would figure into the deflation equation. I'll ask a pastry chef I know. And shoot. I was just at her restaurant a few minutes ago. Forgot. Happy Mother's Day to you! _Rosie_

DH said...

I love those reflections on the counter

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Me too.