Row the world and home again, that’s the sailor’s way! I got home from Italy around 6 PM tonight after leaving Nettuno (where my friend Serena lives) two hours later than planned, just barely catching the Leonardo Express from Roma Termini to the airport, and arriving at my gate as they started the boarding process. And if you know me at all, you probably know how much time I prefer to leave myself when I travel. Suffice it to say, today was a bit stressful. I’m still not quite recovered enough to sift through all two hundred pictures I’ve uploaded to my Flickr account.
That said, the night I arrived in Nettuno, Serena and I made tiramisu, from a recipe (okay, from a set of guidelines, really) that she learned from her friend Veronica. And tiramisu always makes me think of my dad, because of Sleepless in Seattle and Rob Reiner’s dating advice to Tom Hanks.
SAM: What is tiramisu?
JAY: You’ll find out.
SAM: So what is it?
JAY: You’ll see!
SAM: Some woman is gonna want me to do it to her and I’m not gonna to know what it is!
(Or you could always say, “Hello, Diane, take a look at these swatches!” This is probably a sign that I’ve seen this movie too many time. Or it would be, if I believed in signs…)
5 eggs, separated
5 tablespoons sugar (this is how many eggs and how much sugar we used, but it depends on the size of the pan–doesn’t matter as long as the proportion is 1:1), plus a little extra
1 container mascarpone cheese
lots of ladyfingers (mmm, fingers. But really, cookies!)
brewed espresso (as much as it takes)
good cocoa powder (We didn’t have this, so we crumbled up chocolate cookies. It would be better to have the real thing.)
Okay, so. Separate the eggs. Combine the egg yolks and the sugar, and beat until it’s light yellow. Then add the mascarpone to the yolk-sugar mixture and mix until smooth. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks (until you can turn the bowl over and they don’t fall out), then fold them into the yolks slowly, from top to bottom and always stirring in the same direction.
Make the espresso and add a little sugar to it. Let it cool down.
In your pan, spread out a layer of the egg-sugar-cheese goo and dust it with a little cocoa powder. Then dip the ladyfingers into the espresso, front and back, and place them in a single layer into the pan. On top of that, add another layer of goo, making sure to completely cover the cookies, and dust with cocoa again. Et cetera, et cetera until the pan is full (I think we did four layers of goo and three layers of cookies, because the cookies ran out). The top layer should be goo and plenty of cocoa powder. Put the pan in the refrigerator for as long as it takes to get set up. Personally, having eaten this particular tiramisu about an hour after it was assembled, the day after it was assembled, and the day after the day after it was assembled, I think it gets better the longer it sits and all of the flavors get to seep into the ladyfingers. I’d go with overnight to start with.
P.S. This is sunrise in Nettuno, from the window of the room where I was staying. I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep on this trip.