Wednesday, June 19, 2013


ti-ra-mi-su: noun

an Italian dessert with coffee and liquor-soaked layers of sponge cake alternating with mascarpone cheese and chocolate.

Gotta love Italy...the leaning tower of Pisa, the Mona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel and perhaps, best of all, Tiramisu!

We love tiramisu, most especially the Olive Garden version. So when I found a copycat recipe,Tiramisu on Pinterest, was I ever excited! The instructions were easy, the ingredients readily available and the time to prepare it was reasonable.

But, was it everything I hoped for...well, not exactly. I will take partial blame for this though. I spoke with a professional baker who suggested I use lady fingers, rather than baking a sponge cake. I also opted to use Philadelphia cream cheese in lieu of mascarpone cheese. Looking back, had the cake been at least 1 and a 1/2" deep as recommended, I could have used more of the coffee/rum flavoring to intensify the flavor and given the dessert more volume generally. Although I have never used mascarpone cheese, I wish I had tried it. You could immediately recognize the cream cheese flavor in this; something I don't think is so obvious at the Olive Garden! I also found the filling to not be quite as light, fluffy and deep as the restaurant version.

Was it tasty? Absolutely! My husband gave it two thumbs up and would have given it more had he had more available! The version I made was second only to the Olive Garden. It was excellent and something I would be proud to serve even the most discerning tastes!

Will there be a next time? You can count on it! However, I will use a deeper cake, splurge on mascarpone cheese and add a bit of whipped cream to the cheese mixture to add more depth to the filling. But, then I am looking to emulate perfection!

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