Monday, October 15, 2012

An unexpected Tiramisu Challenge

If you do something nice for someone, it is always a pleasure when the kindness is repaid in some fashion.  Today a local restaurateur that we had done a favor made us a "cake", as it was described, in gratitude for what we had done   The cake turned out to look an awful lot like a tiramisu which is something we have had plenty of.  Indeed we even had a tiramisu contest which was won by the graduate student from Italy who had long spoiled us with her special recipe that she prepared for us on many occasions.  Once we saw the "cake" for today we realized we had an unexpected challenge on our hands. Since it came from a restaurant presumably it could be of a good enough quality as to supplant the reigning tiramisu favorite.  We had to take this seriously!
Is this a tiramisu?

The powdered cocoa is somewhat of a giveaway!

Layers of lady fingers too!

Well proportioned!

Ready for the taste test!

Lots of lady fingers were laid into this one!

It certainly looked good. It was brought over in a large buffet pan and was well formed into a rectangle with a perfect coating of powdered chocolate as one should expect.  The powdered topping was the clue that this was a tiramisu.  We started cutting and confirmed it had the requisite lady fingers and mascarpone cheese filling/frosting.  The challenge was on.  Next came the taste test.  For those of us who had partaken of the Italian version we knew what to expect.  This definitely had all the correct ingredients including a small amount of Amaretto or so we like to think. Once it was cut it was impressive to see how well laid the lady fingers were.  The cross section of the cake showed them to be abundantly placed in perfect rows for a total of three layers.
Admiring the assembly work!

It's good but.....
You can really see how much of the cake pieces went into this!
This abundance of lady fingers turned out to be the decisive factor in this not overtaking the Italian recipe, however.  Although it tasted very good and we very much enjoyed it we realized we had come to prefer a recipe that does not have so much of the cake/lady fingers ingredient.  This would have been a real contender had the top layer of cake fingers been replaced by a thicker layer of the frosting.  This is what we had come to appreciate, expect and ultimately prefer.  This preference does not indicate the cake today was bad - it was delicious - it simply means we have an acquired taste when it comes to tiramisu and frankly we've been spoiled.  Our Italian student - now PhD - remains the champ!

Still number one in our preferences!
The reigning and continuing champ!

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