Tiramisu Cake

Tiramisu Cake

Tiramisu Cake

Sometimes I feel like Life is a charismatic game show host. Microphone in hand, he leads you to the center of the stage, your stage, as an unseen audience applauds and whistles. When the convivial music swells and the lights dim, Life turns to you and his voice resounds across the room as he announces that it is time for you to make a decision. The audience immediately hushes to a whisper, rapt with attention, waiting to hear your answer with anticipation.

Three brightly colored doors stand in front of you. As your palms sweat and you wonder how you found yourself here, in this moment, Life turns to you and asks the question again.

Will it be Door Number One, Door Number Two, or Door Number Three?

Tiramisu Cake Tiramisu Cake

I have a decision to make, and soon. The clock is ticking down and I find myself acutely aware of each minute as I panic to choose between the three doors standing before me today. Big Life Decisions were never my forte, but I'm not as afraid of them as I was just a few years ago. I've grown up a little since then (and gotten to know myself a little better). After fumbling around with Big Life Decisions for the last couple years, I've realized that, though they may be "big," there is nothing about them that needs to be permanent.

I don't do well with permanence or finality. As if to illustrate my point, while shopping with my mother yesterday, we stumbled across a set of brightly colored mixing bowls with a pricetag at seventeen dollars. I was thinking of buying them since I don't have a set to call my own. Discussing the pros and cons, my mother joked I would probably have these the rest of my life. The rest of my life?

I put them back on the shelf and walked away, not ready to make a decision that would have such far reaches, even if it was just a set of mixing bowls.

Tiramisu Cake

I can recognize the irony of needing to make a Big Life Decision when I can't even make a seventeen dollar decision. However, if there is anything I've learned about Big Life Decisions, it's that life tends to sort itself out and everything ends up all right, even if there are times when it feels like it won't. If I bought the mixing bowls and they weren't what I expected, the world wouldn't end. The walls wouldn't come crashing down. I'd trust that I would find a way for everything to be all right, even if it was just to toss them out and start anew.

So today, I choose door number one. I'm not sure quite what it will hold or where it will lead me. The ideal job for me might not be behind any of those three doors and, if it isn't, it's because it's not the right time in my life for me to find it. I've spent the last few months fearing the need to make this decision and, now that it has finally been made, it's time to find out the answer to the question on my mind.

What's behind door number one?

Tiramisu Cake Tiramisu Cake

This Tiramisu Cake is light, creamy, and divine. I made it as a joint birthday cake for my sister and grandfather. The nine of us present at the party managed to finish off all but two small pieces (even after an Easter feast). This cake tastes just like tiramisu should. Two cake layers are soaked in espresso and covered with a creamy mascarpone frosting. The cake is sprinkled with a layer of cocoa powder and covered in a layer of chocolate shavings. To take it over the top, I added a ring of homemade ladyfingers around the edge and secured it up with a ribbon. Now this is one cake I wouldn't mind unwrapping...

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Homemade Mascarpone

Homemade Mascarpone

Homemade Mascarpone

I first encountered mascarpone in an Italian chain restaurant. Going out on a limb, I suggested ordering dessert, a feat I only reserve for the most elite occasions. Tiramisu, my friend ordered for us as I nervously propped the dessert menu back on the edge of the table.

I was in the middle of the long stage of my life known only as Afraid to Try New Things, a stage that most certainly applied to food. I knew very little about Tiramisu. In fact, the entire sum of my knowledge about it came solely from the picture on the dessert menu. It was only natural for me to be wary of it, eyeing it like a sworn enemy until it proved itself otherwise. My friend, of course, knew none of the internal conflict brewing at the thought of consuming a dessert that wasn't completely and exclusively chocolate.

The first bite of Tiramisu, however, was bliss. As was the second and third, as I fought to devour the dessert faster than my friend could keep pace.

Homemade Mascarpone

Once I started baking (and properly eating), mascarpone cheese found its way into some of my most beloved desserts. It was bittersweet, however. Mascarpone was (and is) an incredibly expensive cheeseโ€”nearly eight dollars at the local marketโ€”so I only used it on very rare occasions, for birthday cakes and holiday sweets.

I wish someone had told me that you could make your own mascarpone cheese years ago. Someone to not only inform me that it was possible to make, but that it was dead simple to do so.

I want to be that someone for you.

Homemade Mascarpone

Cheese making can certainly sound like an intimidating art form but I'd argue that, in the realm of art, creating mascarpone ranks in difficulty somewhere among drawing stick figures. This cheese only requires ten minutes of active time out of your day. Did I mention it's also cheap to make? A cup and a half of mascarpone cost me precisely two dollars to produce.

Two dollars.

I will never buy a tub of mascarpone at the supermarket again.

Homemade Mascarpone

Homemade Mascarpone looks and tastes just as the store bought version. It's also quite simple to make, only requiring a couple special tools, and is drastically cheaper to cook up on your own. Mascarpone cheese isn't very good to eat by itself (imagine eating a spoonful of butter), but it is perfect to use as an ingredient for savory and dessert recipes alike. Next time you want to try out a recipe calling for mascarpone cheese, give this recipe a try!

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