Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chocolate Stout Tiramisu

This year for St. Patrick's Day I wanted to try a recipe that kept the spirit of the holiday but was a departure from the standard Irish cream and whiskey-themed desserts we're all used to. Because let's be honest, how many of us actually drink Bailey's and Jameson on a regular basis anyway? Ok, don't answer that.

I thought this recipe's use of chocolate stout was a good way to pay homage to the Guinness we usually find this time of year, but with a modern twist. Let's just say the "good" things about this recipe ended there.

Considering this recipe broke two of my cardinal rules (1) no uncommon, difficult to find ingredients 2) the need to set in the refrigerator overnight) I'm not really sure why I decided to go ahead with it anyway. After a failure to locate Steen's Dark Cane Syrup anywhere in the DC metro area, I decided to substitute dark corn syrup for the cake portion of this dish and the baking failures just piled up from there. I could only find chocolate stout in litre-sized bottles...the cake was tasteless and too soft to dip in the reduction...the carbonation of the stout caused the reduction to boil over...the marscapone wouldn't get fluffy. After two hours of consternation and frustration assembling this turned out to be delicious.

While I absolutely recommend you use actual cane syrup if you decide to torture yourself with this recipe, if you have to make a few substitutions along the way--have faith, it will turn out better than you think. I suppose this is the result I get for trying to tamper with tradition, maybe next year I'll just stick to the soda bread.

Chocolate Stout Tiramisu
     from Food and Wine

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups dark cane syrup (such as Steen's)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
3/4 cup hot water
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup chocolate stout or other stout
1/2 cup triple sec or orange liqueur
1/4 cup honey

4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
2 cups marscapone (about 1 pound)
Unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the syrup, oil and egg. In a glass cup, stir the hot water with the baking soda. In 3 alternating additions, whisk the syrup mixture and soda water into the dry ingredients.    
2. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool. Unmold the cake from the pan.  

3. In a saucepan, combine the stout, triple sec and honey. Boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, 8 minutes. Pour into a shallow dish; let cool.  

4. In a bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the mascarpone.

5. Cut off and save one-third of the cake for eating. Slice the rest of the cake 1/3 inch thick. Cut the slices into 3-inch pieces, saving the scraps. Dip the slices into the reduction and place in the bottom of eight 1-cup ramekins. Dip the scraps into the reduction and use to fill in the gaps. Spread 1/4 cup of the filling over the cake in each ramekin. Repeat the layering of dipped cake and filling. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

6. Before serving, let the tiramisu stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Sift cocoa powder over each ramekin and serve

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