Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tiramisu & Brownie

Critic Issue 25 – Food Column

These are a couple of my favourite, effortless, sure-to-impress recipes to satiate those sweet cravings. This blend of a Gordon Ramsay recipe and a random recipe, makes one of the best Tiramisus that I’ve ever had - sweet, luscious and creamy, with just the right chocolate and coffee overtones. Plus, it sounds fancy but is actually easily thrown together – which means that you will impress, without doing much at all. 


250g mascarpone
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp Marsala, brandy or Tia Maria
150ml strong coffee or espresso, cooled to room temperature
150ml single cream
4 tbsp icing sugar
Sponge fingers (savoiardi)
Chocolate shavings
Hot Chocolate powder

1. Whisk the mascarpone with the vanilla, Marsala and 50ml coffee, until everything is thoroughly mixed together. Whisk the cream with the icing sugar until smooth, then fold in the mascarpone mix. Pour remaining coffee into a wide, flattish bowl.
2. Take one sponge finger at a time and dip it in to the coffee for one second, remove and arrange at the bottom of a 2-3 inch deep, glass container. Repeat until you have a layer of coffee soaked sponge fingers.
3. Spoon a layer of the mascarpone mix onto the first layer of sponge fingers, then top with a layer of hot chocolate powder and chocolate shavings. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make another layer.
4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer to allow it to set and flavours to infuse. Cut into squares with a soft, plastic spatula, serve and bask in the adulations.

Also, everyone needs a good, fuss-free brownie recipe for chocolate emergencies. Of all the brownie recipes that my friends and I have experimented with, this one (that C found) is by far the simplest and yields brownies that are just as heavenly, moist, chocolatey, decadent and guilt-inducing as the complicated recipes. Commit it to memory.

Brownie (adapted from this recipe)

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts/peacans
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cups flour

3 whole eggs
1 cup melted butter (227 g)
1 tsp vanilla essence

1. Pre-heat oven to 175°C.
2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the wet ingredients and mix until combined completely.
3. Pour and spread the batter into a greased/floured or lined 9X13 baking pan.
4. Bake 25-40 minutes or until a skewer test comes out clean.
5. Scoff while it’s fresh out of the oven and still delightfully warm, with some vanilla ice cream. Also keeps well….apparently.

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