Monday, March 8, 2010

Shake It

I would like to announce that on Thursday night last week, I served up the worst dessert I've ever made. Ever. It was a really vulnerable moment for me because dessert is kind of my thing. If there's anything I'm actually good at baking, it's dessert; it's my favorite thing to eat and therefore my favorite thing to make, so you can imagine my obsessive compulsiveness concerning crafting cakes, confections and such. As a side note, I'm learning that cookies are not really my forte. Every time I make them I am overwhelmed with disappointment, and more generally, when I eat them they are reminiscent of an afternoon snack rather than an actual "dessert" to wrap up a meal, unless they have icing sandwiched and smothered in between them (and this, my friends, takes them to a whole new level). Everyone else's homemade cookies taste better than mine. Hmph. I'm going to go ahead and blame my 1970 oven, though, haha.
Back to the worst dessert I've ever made. I'm getting braver in the kitchen, and with this bravery comes a little bit of crazy innovation, which turned out to be my downfall on this recipe. H. had a dinner party last Thursday with fresh roasted garlic pasta from Mona Lisa Pasta (best pasta EVER) and turkey meatballs with all kinds of yummilicious ingredients like Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs in them as well as his homemade spaghetti sauce. So good. I decided to make tiramisu for this Italian-themed meal, which was a great idea, but an epic fail. I made it the lazy method; I bought lady fingers instead of making them, and by the way, they're really hard to find in the grocery store. All of the ingredients in it were so good, I just overdid it on one. I'd never eaten just plain lady fingers, but they're so delicious; great for dipping in coffee or tea. I creamed heavy whipping cream, cream cheese and sugar for the layers in between the lady fingers, and I could've eaten the whole mixing bowl of this stuff; it was epic. H. brewed some strong coffee in his French press for the lady fingers and my experimental self decided to add bourbon to the coffee, since I don't have rum, brandy or amaretto liqueur (and don't plan on having any of these in the near future). Bad Idea. I mixed the coffee and bourbon together, dipped the lady fingers in them and made a trifle bowl of the dessert: soaked lady fingers, cream cheese goodness mixture, soaked lady fingers, cream cheese goodness mixture, you get the idea. Lastly, I sifted cocoa powder on top of everything. Usually before I serve a dessert, I have to be the first one to eat it, you know, to make sure it's edible for everyone else (unless it's a layer cake because it wouldn't be pretty to serve from a cake with a big slice cut out of it). Anyways, I had a little bit of leftover ingredients to make myself a miniature tiramisu on a plate. Uhm, this "drunken tiramisu" was like taking a shot of bourbon with a little bit of sweet cream cheese and a hint of coffee in it. I could only eat a couple bites of it; it was way too strong. My guinea pigs, JavaLady, D. and H. were more than kind; they all tried it, despite my telling them it was awful. D. really redeemed himself (he's the one who tried to argue that my red velvet cake was not a chocolate cake) by finishing his whole little plate of it. I ate ice cream with hot fudge sauce instead and tried to coax everybody else to do so also, but they were awesome and wanted to try out the tiramisu. I think they all agreed that it was my worst dessert ever. The thing is, I wanted to add the bourbon because cooking with alcohol can really enhance the flavor of desserts, sauces, soups, you name it, and well, it just didn't work out in my favor this time around.
Here it is: The Drunken Tiramisu.
When we fail at something, we learn from the mistake(s) and move forward, right? This adventure reminded me that I did not own a sifter, which, if you bake often, is a cardinal sin. So on Saturday, I bought myself a 5 cup, triple screened sifter, whoohoo! I can't wait to use it for my next cake, which will hopefully be this week: Granny's Devil's Food Layer Cake.
I'm moving up in the world of baking's kitchen gadgetry.
Look at the tripe-screen action on this baby! "Shake, shake, shake, shake, uh-shake it!"
Oh, also, D. brought an "appetizer" to the dinner party because he was overwhelmed with curiosity at this new product: every college kid's dream (and for the nostalgic...because late night snacking in college is the best). Apparently they have 2 other flavors: "Late Night Cheeseburger" and my personal favorite (as far as titles go), "Late Night Last Call Jalepeno Poppers." The Late Night Tacos at Midnight received everyone's stamp of approval, I think...


Anonymous said...

if it's any consolation, the tiramisu LOOKS good!

i don't have a sifter, either. epic fail. i should get one, eh?


Anonymous said...

D. here. I want to confirm that my endorsement, while not full-throated as for other desserts, was nonetheless an approval of the general design, if not entirely of the execution. In full disclaimer, I really like bourbon, so I may not be a neutral observer.

R. said...

Thanks, D.!