Thursday, January 26, 2012

today is national jenilee baking day, which happens every 17 years.

I have received six dessert cookbooks to review in the last couple of weeks. And being the over educated genius that I am, I have decided to spend a day cooking one thing in each cookbook, for the sake of my reviews, and a sugar high. Sweets are like catnip to me, or adderall.Tomato, tomato.


I recently traveled to Italy this past summer, and did more than my share of indulging, heavily in wine and gelato. I was extremely excited to receive Dolci: Italy's Sweets, a collection of over 200 modern and classic recipes for desserts and other sweet treats from Italy by Francine Sega. I imagine myself, someday in the future, wanting to make pretty European desserts for dinner parties or some other such nonsense. Maybe. Okay, probably not, but I at least want the option, in which case Dolci is perfect. It incorporates easier recipes, with ingredients that can be found at the grocery. It also includes the more challenging recipes, for the more advanced bakers. Used for the more special occasions for the rest of us. Some ingredients may be located at the specialty food stores. There is something for everyone.

I decided that the easiest, lowest maintenance option to attempt to make was the Strawberry Summer Tiramisu, and it actually came out pretty well. I figured tiramisu is naturally a little messy, so no one would notice my mistakes. Look at how pretty I made the one semi-decent looking side look. Put the nice looking strawberries on top, especially when they are not in season, just a little advice from me to you.

Here is the recipe: 

16 ounces ricotta cheese
4 tsp sugar
8 heaping (what does this even mean?) Tbs of strawberry jam
1/2 cup warm water
4 Tbs Amaretto (yes, please)
24 lady fingers (those are silly sounding)
1 package strawberries sliced

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, sugar and cinnamon and beat with a fork until smooth.  Set aside.

In a shallow bowl, combine the jam with the warm water and the liqueur. Dip the lady fingers, a few at a time, into the mixture until they are nicely moistened. Place 6 on a serving plate, side by side, and spoon some ricotta mixture over them.  Top with sliced strawberries.  Repeat. finish with a layer of ricotta cheese and a fanned berry.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve cold and enjoy!

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