Tiramisu - I'd been wanting to try to make it for years now. Off and on, I searched for a recipe that didn't actually use raw eggs (yuck), off and on I looked in gourmet groceries for marscapone cheese, and on and off I mused that if one were to make really good tiramisu, one actually needs an espresso machine. Which, until this past Christmas, I didn't have. So amazingly enough, a few weeks ago, the stars aligned: I had a recipe that actually cooked the eggs on the stovetop as you made the custard, I found the cheese at Walmart of all places and I had my espresso machine. Now all I needed was a block of time. That came yesterday. The above photo shows the result, of basically an hour and a half in the kitchen and the biggest load of dirty dishes and utensils EVER. And how did it taste? Did you ever have the tiramisu at the Cheesecake Factory? How about at Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill? It was FAB. It truly rivaled pretty much every commercial tiramisu a pastry chef can put out there - and why not? Same ingredients, simple ingredients, actually, and although a bit labor and time intensive, each individual step could've been done by a 3rd grader.
But here's the rub: now that I know how it's made and what is actually IN tiramisu, I can't stand to eat it. And that, friends, is BAD. I've always had hang-ups about custards and puddings - I'm kind of a texture person and I've never been a fan of milk or custards, so things like flan, pudding, Boston creme pies, eclairs, even bread pudding and rice pudding never make it into my mouth. It's just a weirdness I have - I've only actually been able to tolerate even whipped cream for a few years now. So as I lifted a few spoonfuls of this tiramisu - made in my own kitchen - to my mouth, all I could picture was those raw egg yolks, that did, admittedly, get boiled on the stove with milk and sugar, but still - how gross was it to see that? And the really bad part? I'm not sure I'm ever going to be able to eat it out again, either. I think I need therapy - or at least some sort of behavioral re-conditioning - I mean, is that crazy or what? I can't explain it - wish I could - all I can say is now I know where Jonathan gets his over-active gag reflex. Good old Mom.
Sorry, Mark - guess you'll have to eat the whole thing yourself!