Is it possible to be addicted to the start of new things, or is that just the human condition?
Whether it is new books, new languages, new friends, new adventures….there is something exciting and thrilling about beginning something unknown. I think it is partially because the end of whatever it is is unknown–leaving the possibility for it to become a wonderful and meaningful something in your life.
Okay, maybe that is too philosophical for tiny new beginnings like new recipes, but for this recipe it felt like an important–and addicting–start to something. Because this recipe was not only new, it was from a new cookbook AND in a new language. A trifecta of newness. 😀
You may remember me buying this book in France a few weeks ago–it is a fantastic little book called Atelier Patisserie: Chez les blogueuses. Basically it is a single cookbook that is a compilation of recipes from 10 different French bloggers, allowing you to find different kinds of recipes and styles within one book.
Speaking of new things though, it was unbelievable using a recipe originally written in French that hasn’t been translated to English and that isn’t online for easy access to the Google translation gods. The morning I made the Tiramisu recipe I went through and read the recipe a few times, translating words or phrases I didn’t know. Most of the things were easy to figure out as French and English have so much in common, and at first the most difficult part seemed to be my lack of knowledge of easy measuring units thanks to the ridiculousness of the American systems I am used to.
Then the real “new” part of the recipe kicked in. Right as I was in the thick of making the recipe and couldn’t really back out or stop!
Previously I had never thought about cooking terms as being culturally determined. Sure terms vary a bit depending on the language, and as I mentioned before units of measure change depending on the location, but in general when baking things have to be “whipped” or “mixed” or “added” or some translation thereof.
Though as it turns out, sometimes even if you understand all the words on an individual basis, you might not understand certain words–even with baking–in a certain context.
For me, I started making my tiramisu–soaking my lady fingers and whipping up my custard filling–and I came to a line in the recipe that said “Montez les blancs en neige.”
“Beat the whites in snow?”
As I was glancing over the recipe, all of the individual words made sense, so no red flags were raised, but in the thick of making the recipe, as I already have my egg whites in the bowl of my stand mixer all set and ready for the next step, I paused……because WTF?! In English we say things like “beat the whites to stiff peaks” or “until frothy” or “to form soft peaks” or any number of other things. So what does “snow” mean in this context? Because sure, snow=white, but the white part of an egg becoming white like snow could be frothy or soft peaks or medium peaks or stiff peaks in an English recipe.
Using my baking background, I guessed that I needed stiff peaks, and everything worked out fine–thank goodness! Later I consulted the google gods, who immediately translated the sentence as “Beat the whites until stiff,” which I think demonstrates that google got smarter because the French word for ‘stiff’ in this context is ‘raide’ or ‘rigide,’ not ‘neige.’
So there you go; not only did I use a new recipe and learn a bunch of new cooking-related French words, I discovered a fascinating (to me) new wonderland where language meets culture meets cooking. Suffice it to say I found my happy place!
Below I am going to include the recipe in its original French version, as well as my own English translation. The recipe is amazingly delicious and surprisingly easy, so I hope one of the languages will work for you and that you can try it out sometime!
Tiramisu façon Charlotte
du blog Pop & Soda
Prépa 20 minut ~ Réfrigération 4 à 12 heures
Pour 8 personnes
3 feuilles de gélatine
20 cl de café noir froid
2 cuill. à soupe de rhum (ou plus selon les gouts)
10 cl de crème liquide entière
1 sachet de sucre vanillé
100 g de cassonade
250 g de mascarpone
28 à 30 biscuits à la cuillère
30 g de cacao en poudre
1. Faites tremper la gélatine 10 minutes dans un bol d’eau froide. Mélangez le café froid et le rhum.
2. Dans une casserole, faites chauffer sur feu doux la crème liquide avec le sucre vanillé. Dès le premier bouillon, retirez la casserole du feu, puis ajoutez la gélatine essorée. Mélangez jusqu’à ce qu’elle soit bien fondue. Laissez refroidir.
3. Séparez les blancs d’oeufs des jaunes. À l’aide d’un batteur, mélangez les jaunes et la cassonade. Ajoutez la crème avec la gélatine et le mascarpone, puis continuez de battre pour bien les incorporer.
4. Montez les blancs en neige, puis incorporez-les dèlicatement à la préparation.
5. Procédez au montage. Trempez le coté plat des biscuits dans le mélange café-rhum. Dans un moule à charniére, disposez des biscuits dans le fond, puis sur les parois. Ajoutez une couche de créme au mascarpone et recouvrez de biscuits. Déposez une seconde couche de crème, puis recouvrez avec les derniers biscuits. Filmez et laissez reposer 4 heures au minimum au réfrigérateur (ou toute une nuit).
6. Juste avant de servir, démoulez la charlotte, saupoudrez d’une couche de cacao et décorez de mures.
**En réalisant le tiramisu dans un moule à charnière, le démoulage sera facilité.
*Recipe in English*
from the blog Pop & Soda
Preparation 20 minutes ~ Refrigeration 4-12 hours
For 8 people
3 sheets of gelatin
1 cup of coffee, cold
2 tablespoons of rum (or more as per your tastes)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract/1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/2 cup brown sugar
250 grams mascarpone
28-30 lady fingers
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1. Soak the sheets of gelatin in cold water for 10 minutes. Mix the cold coffee and and rum.
2. In a small pot over medium heat, mix the heavy cream and vanilla. When the cream begins to boil, take it off the heat and add in the gelatin. Mix until just combined and place in the refrigerator to cool.
3. Separate the eggs into the whites and the yolks. Mix the yolks and the brown sugar, and add in the cream/gelatin mixture. Continue beating until well combined.
4. Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently incorporate this into the egg yolk mixture.
5. Proceed to the assembly of the dessert. Dip the flat side of each lady finger into the coffee/rum mixture, and set rounded side down on a cookie pan or on the counter. In a small springform pan, place a few biscuits along the bottom, and then line the sides of the pan with lady fingers–coffee soaked side facing inwards. Scoop some of the mascarpone mixture on top of the lady fingers lining the bottom of the pan and top this with more lady fingers. Place a second layer of cream on top of the lady fingers, and finish this off with a final layer of lady fingers. Depending on how much of the cream you have left, add additional cream on top of this if you like. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (or overnight). (The gelatin needs to set up, and the flavors need to settle in and mingle together).
6. Just before you serve the tiramisu, unmold the pan, sprinkle with cocoa powder and top with blackberries. (You can add a ribbon to the outside for stability and for appearances if you like).
I hope you enjoyed this recipe and the pictures! Sorry I haven’t been updating my blog much lately >_< I will do my best to catch up over the next few weeks!
Until next time 🙂