Monday, January 21, 2008

Dinner Party!

This Friday my cousin Dominique and her husband Brandon hosted a dinner party/game night at their house and it was a BLAST!
She made tomato bisque, mixed greens salad with chevre medallions, angel hair alfredo, chicken pesto & last but not least I made tiramisu for dessert! It was a total Italian feast! and DELICIOUS! I learned how to make tiramisu last may in Italy and I thought I would share the fab please enjoy!
4 egg yolks 8 tablespoons sugar (130 gr)
1 pound mascarpone (500 gr)
1/2 pint heavy cream, beaten to stiff peaks or the same amount of Italian meringue (225 ml)
1/2 qt brewed coffee (Illy Coffee) (500 ml)
1/2 pound sponge cake (or 40 Pavesini biscuits – Barilla imports them) (500 gr)
2 tbs cocoa powder (10 gr)
1. Using a mixer or a wooden spoon, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until smooth and fluffy (about 15 minutes by hand, 5 with the mixer).
2. Cook the entire mixture in a double boiler over hot water, stirring constantly, until temperature reaches 160F degrees. Salmonella will be gone at 160F. Never stop stirring or the egg will curdle. This is the Bain Marie Method (which is to place the pot on another steaming pot or to place a smaller pot inside a bigger one half filled with boiling water)
3. Transfer the mixture immediately to a bowl and cool to room temperature continuing to stir to prevent the mixture from curdling. Make sure the mixture is not too hot or you will melt the cheese!
4. Add the mascarpone to the egg mixture and using a whisk, beat until well blended and velvety.

5. Gently fold in the whipped heavy cream and set aside.

6. Meanwhile dip the sponge cake that you have re-baked for 5 minutes (or Pavesini) briefly in the brewed coffee so that both sides are wet. Place on a plate to drain.

7. Arrange the drained sponge cake or Pavesini on the bottom of 4 4-inch diameter ramekins or glass serving cups. If using ladyfingers or Pavesini, line the cups with the biscuits. Fill the center with the mascarpone cream, sprinkle with cocoa powder and refrigerate for two hours before serving.

*Variations: Macerate fruit with sugar and use the liquid to dip your Pavesini with. Use the fruit to make layers alternating mascarpone/egg mixture, Pavesini soaked in the fruit juice and fruit.
*You can add liqueurs to the brewed coffee.
*Chocolate shavings can be added to the mixture and for topping.
* For a low fat variation, use ricotta instead of Mascarpone
* For those who can not have coffee, fruit juice, simple syrup or tea can be substituted
Of course the guitar hero made it to game night!

And no body is ever too old for a game of Sorry!

The big game of the night was this seriously intense match of Pictionary!

The whole night was just so much fun!
Good food, good wine, great games!

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