Monday, February 6, 2012

Tiramisu Chocolate Mousse – Pick’em Up and Lay’em Down

Most foodies know that Tiramisu is a decadent dessert featuring coffee soaked ladyfingers layered with a zabaione and mascarpone, but what many people don’t know is that the recipe’s name is one of the best culinary double entendres ever.

“Tiramisu” translates to "pick me up." Considering that this popular Italian dessert is spiked with proven mood-elevators such as coffee, cocoa, sugar, and alcohol, the name seems to fit perfectly. But wait, there’s more.

As legend has it, tiramisu was a popular snack with the “working girls” of northern Italy, where the dessert originated. So, not only does "pick me up" refer metaphorically to the obvious restorative effects of the dessert, but also more literally to the solicitation of another customer.

Which brings us to this upcoming Valentine’s Day. Not only would this make for a very happy ending for your V-Day meal, but think about the stimulating conversation that could follow when you recount this racy tale.

Anyway, even if you don’t end up talking about Italian prostitutes over dessert, if you’re a fan of chocolate mousse, and you enjoy a good "pick me up," you can’t go wrong with this deliciously decadent, yet still fairly light dessert. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 portions:
3.5 oz dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
2 tbsp espresso coffee, or strong regular coffee
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp Marsala wine (may sub with rum, or omit)
2 egg yolks
4 tsp sugar
2 tbsp mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped

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