Category Archives: Food & Recipes

Tiramisu: The way I like it!

There are many Tiramisu recipes out there. It ranges from cake like to pudding
texture, very chocolaty to alcoholic. Well, I am big on the pudding-like texture with a
touch of chocolate and a splash of Vin Santo.

bag of Lady finger cookies
1 cup coffee/espresso cooled (you can use decaf)
1/4 cup Vin Santo or Marsala (optional)
4 fresh eggs separated
500 grams Mascarpone whipped
1/2 cup sugar
dash of salt
cocoa powder to sprinkle on top

First you are going to want to beat the egg yolks with sugar, then add in the
marscapone and salt.

In the cup of espresso add the Vin Santo.  The alcohol is optional and you can use decaf as well.

Whisk the egg whites with a tablespoon of sugar, until they are stiff peaks.

Almost there!

And finished, glossy with stiff peaks

Take a small amount of the whites and add to the mascarpone mixture. Slowly fold
in the rest until you create a nice creamy pudding-like mixture. But try to keep it
light and fluffy, if you mix too much it will flatten.

In a medium size flat casserole dish lay a row of lady fingers, pour 1/2 cup of the
coffee (combined with the alcohol if using) over the lady fingers just lightly soaking

Spread a layer of the mascarpone cream mixture. Take the next set of lady fingers and dip
the bottom of each one in the remaining coffee and place on top of the cream.

Cover again with the rest of the cream and sprinkle cocoa powder on top.
Refrigerate for at least an hour.


Homemade Sour Cream

Sour Cream used a lot in many American foods can be hard to find here in Italy.  The Italian name is Panna Acida. I have found it in the COOP grocery store in Firenze, but recently they changed the brand and I really do not like the texture and taste. So now, I have decided to try to make it. I make my own sourdough starter, so this should not be hard.  Right? It is not hard at all just follow the recipe below. Soon you too will have Sour Cream to use in your favorite recipes.

Now many recipes will call for buttermilk and heavy cream. This seems to be the ingredients used for Crème Fraiche.  That is not what I am trying to make here. You can do the same technique with my recipe, adding 1 cup buttermilk to 2 cups cream, and get Crème Fraiche if that is what you are looking to make.

It is simple get a liter size sterile mason jar. The jars need to be sterile because you only want to grow the bacteria needed for making sour cream.  You can sterilize it in your dishwasher hot cycle or boil water and put the jar and lid in the boiling water for 10 minutes.  Look at this video if you are going to use the boil water method.

Video for sterilizing jars

Next, get your ingredients:

  • Sour cream from store (if you cannot find sour cream then lemon for juicing)
  • Whipping Cream in the refrigerated section (panna fresca) ** do not get anything with UHT it will not work.

That is it. Take 2 cups whipping Cream in to the jar, and then add 4 tsp of lemon juice or 1/2 cup of sour cream.  Stir the mixture well and cover with paper towel or cheesecloth secure with rubber band. Place on your counter and let it sit for 24 hours. This time changes if the temperature in the house is too cold or too hot.

You can check on it and give it a stir.  You will see that it will start to thicken.  I also give it a taste and see how sour it tastes. If you want it, sourer you can add a little more lemon.  You can even add a little Total Brand full fat Greek yogurt, which is, what I did and it gave me the right taste I was looking to get.  When you decide it is the texture and taste you like just place in the refrigerator and use.  It lasts 2 weeks.