Monday, October 17, 2011

Time Capsule, Coffee and Chocolate, Stolen Painting. Bull Running.

In the news on Friday, there was a report on a Maple Leaf Gardens Time Capsule. Apparently the Gardens were built in the late 20’s and opened in 1931 during the mapleleafgardens-cpdepression era. It was the home of the Toronto Maple Leaf team for many years but now has been taken over by Loblaw’s, a major grocery chain in Canada, and is being revamped. Whilst doing so, a time capsule was discovered under some steps. Loblaw took immediate possession and so far have not told anyone what was in it. Pity it came to light so soon, that is only about 80 years old, surely the idea of time capsules is that they should be there for several centuries.

Saturday morning I saw a segment on GMA which stated that due to global climate changes, coffee growing countries may not be able to UNEVEN_RIPENING_FLOWERINGproduce the beans in about 20 or more years time. Read this article. The problem is that the beans are ripening unevenly and flowering at the same time. Not only that, global climate changes are likely to affect the production of cocoa plants too, i.e. no chocolate. What with the problems with wine I reported on Saturday, I might as well quit right now.

A snippet on Yahoo News caught my attention, A fisherman's Daughterapparently a masterpiece which was stolen from a French art gallery, the Douai Beaux, by the Germans in the first world war, has been discovered in a gallery in New York and has just been returned to France having been missing for some 90 years. The painting was A Fisherman’s Daughter by Jules Breton. The painting had been heavily restored during the intervening years which cast doubts on its authenticity, but experts finally agreed it is the original painting.

Someone had to do it, you have heard about the Bull Running USRunning of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain? Well now you can run with the bulls in Cave Creek, Arizona. It is described as a gentler event than that in Spain where the bulls have been bred for years to be very aggressive. A young man who has participated in a number of Pamplona events said "These bulls (in the US) are like golden retrievers, and the bulls over there are like pit bulls with rabies," this is the 4th event apparently, I had not heard about it before. The organizers hope to spread the event to other areas. They had about 400 attendees, I am not sure if that was runners or just people watching. In Pamplona they number about 7,000.

Tiramisu is one of my favourite desserts, and when I spotted this recipe this weekend I decided to publish it. I used to make it quite a bit but haven’t done so in a long while. I am also very fond of Zuppa Inglese which is the forerunner of this dessert.


Source: Casual Cuisines of the World - Trattoria by Mary Beth Clark

Serves 8Tiramisu

Literally translated pick-me-up, tiramisu appropriately lightens the mood at the end of any dinner party. Store-bought pound cake may be used instead of the ladyfingers, and instant espresso or very strong coffee will do if an espresso machine is not at hand.

5 extra-large egg yolks

5 tablespoons sugar

1 2/3 cups mascarpone cheese, chilled

1 3/4 cups heavy cream, chilled

1/4 cup brewed strong espresso, cooled

1/4 cup coffee-flavored liqueur

24 good-quality plain ladyfingers

Fresh raspberries, optional

Dutch-processed cocoa


Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar in large bowl until pale yellow, smooth and shiny, about 7 minutes. Add the mascarpone cheese and beat until thickened and smooth, about 4 minutes.

In another bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula or whisk, fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until thoroughly blended.

Combine espresso and liqueur in small bowl. Arrange the ladyfingers in a single layer over the bottom of a decorative 10 inch-diameter serving bowl. Brush some of the espresso mixture evenly over the ladyfingers. Turn the ladyfingers over and brush again until each one is almost soaked through with the espresso mixture. Arrange raspberries around the edge, if desired. Spoon some of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers to make an even 1/2 inch-thick layer. Place the remaining ladyfingers in a single layer over the mascarpone mixture and brush their tops with the remaining espresso mixture. Again, arrange raspberries around the edge, if using. Spoon the remaining mascarpone mixture on top, smoothing to cover completely. Cover and chill at least 6 hours or up to 2 days before serving.

TO SERVE: Sift a light dusting of cocoa over the top. Using a large serving spoon, scoop portions of the tiramisu onto individual plates.

Have a great day


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