Monday, December 20, 2010

Tocky the Rolling Alarm Clock

This toys with the fine line between "want" and "need", as it is adorable but also very practical. You see, when they came up with that "'not a morning person' doesn't even begin to describe it" line, they actually had me in mind.

Not. A. Morning. Person.

So I probably need something like this. Plus, I like that the thinkgeek description refers to its noises as "R2D2 on acid".

I've also seen some other neat alarm clocks, where they hover around the room or require you to put puzzle pieces back together in order to shut it off. Anything special you've seen?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Recipe: Tiramisu

This year for Thanksgiving, I decided to try my hand at something on my 101 list... homemade tiramisu! It was a bit of a daunting task but I was quite content with the results.

I used this recipe from Chef's Pencil because it was a "no-cook" and the YouTube video below made it look pretty simple.

Here is my modified recipe:
For The Tiramisu
  • 6 Egg Yolks
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 2 ounces of sugar
  • 12 ounces grams mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh cream
  • 2 cups coffee (cooled to room temperature)
  • 1 cup Kahlua
  • Approx 48 ladyfingers (savoiardi biscuits)
  • 9x13 inch dish
  • Electric cake mixer
Notes on ingredients: I have the great fortune to be a Californian, so I was able to purchase the mascarpone cheese and ladyfingers from Trader Joe's. I'm also not a coffee drinker, so I used what I had on hand -- two packets of instant coffee mix that happened to be vanilla latte flavored. This, combined with the Kahlua, made the tiramisu turn out very sweet despite my cutting the sugar in 1/3.

Also, most tiramisu recipes call for rum, but you can substitute just about any liqueur for it. I chose Kahlua because I would actually drink the rest of the bottle and the coffee cream Kahlua would get a little more "coffee flavor" in it, since it wouldn't have much otherwise.

  • Add the egg yolks & half the sugar to mixer bowl
  • Whisk on high speed until light & creamy
  • Add the mascarpone cheese & mix on medium speed, until just combined
  • Add the cream and whisk for approximately another 2 minutes (until thick & creamy)
  • Use a new mixing bowl and dry the whisk
  • Pour the egg whites into the mixing bowl
  • Whisk on high speed until soft peaks
  • Continue whisking and slowly add remaining sugar (1 tablespoon at a time)
  • Continue whisking until stiff peaks
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold half of the egg whites into the cream mixture in the large bowl
  • Once they are just combined fold through the remaining egg whites
  • Add the Kahlua to the coffee
  • Soak the biscuits in the coffee mix one at a time for a few seconds, drain and arrange in the dish
  • Once one layer of biscuits is completed in the dish, spread on an even layer of the cream mixture
  • Place another layer of soaked biscuits on the cream
  • Top and spread with a final layer of the cream
  • Smooth the top and garnish with some freshly grated quality chocolate -- I used one of my favorites -- sugar free Amberlyn dark chocolate mint
  • Set in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  • To make individual portion servings, simply break biscuits into appropriate smaller size before soaking and prepare in the same way as above but in each glass or bowl
Notes: It might have something to do with the particular brand of ladyfingers I was using, but "soaking it for a few seconds" wasn't very effective in allowing the coffee/Kahlua to seep through the entire biscuit. It was more effective to dip it and shake the ladyfinger around a little in the liquid.

Some people may have concerns about the raw egg, but I don't think it had much of an impact on the finished product. Most likely, I will try my hand at the cooked one next time and possibly a variant of hot chocolate in place of coffee.

Here is one of the individual servings I made with the leftover ingredients. (The recipes calls for 12 oz and the marscapone cheese at Trader Joe's comes in 8oz so I bought two and made some extra.) Perfect afternoon snack.


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