This dessert is a celebration of my two favourite Italian desserts: Gelati and Tiramisu.
If you live for coffee and chocolate as I do, you will be in MOCHA heaven when you taste this Californian “Gelato-Misu”.
With utmost respect, I pay homage to these iconic sweets by marrying them together. So that I do not offend the ancient Republic to which the United States owes its foundations, I decided to give this dessert a Californian title, making it a remote descendent of its Italian forefathers. Thus, if you are a traditionalist, there can be no offense taken.
My recent Verona trip reminded me of how a great cup of coffee can taste. I have yet to have a bad cup in Italy. Though my palate is green when it comes to drinking espresso straight up as compared with the seasoned Italian coffee aficionado, I discovered how wonderfully perfect a true Americano (named for its namesake beginning in WWII) can be.
Needless to say, I looked forward to that morning cup of “Giuseppe” before starting each day at the printers. And, on occasion, this was pressed not by hand at the city’s omnipresent caffè, but from a vending machine, of all things! If only our cafes here could replicate a roast like this coin-operated steel monolith! Ahh, the discoveries we make when we travel!
When I bake, I like to keep things simple, and I have reduced the steps in this recipe to the bare bone minimum, so as not to discourage anyone from attempting this effort. Believe me, it is worth it!
California Gelato-Misu Recipe:
Uses one oblong 8 ½” x 4 ½” deep dish
Ice Cream Maker
5 fresh cold egg yolks
1 cup 2% milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp instant coffee granules
3 tbsps unsweetened cocoa powder
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate bar, chopped
2 oz. >60% bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped
1 pkg (12) lady-fingers
½ cup fresh mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
½ tbsp. white sugar
1 cup strong freshly pressed coffee
¼ cup cocoa powder or 1 oz grated unsweetened chocolate bar, for topping
1. Make Gelato mixture first by combining all ingredients in a heavy duty blender, and liquefy.
2. Place Gelato mixture in large aluminum bowl over hot steaming water on stove, and stir constantly until mixture has the consistency of thick syrup, about five minutes. (To make this chocolate mixture more like a Mousse, heat for two minutes longer, until the consistency is like a liquid pudding.)
Gelato Mixture: Watch video for consistency.
3. Set #2 aside to cool. Place in ice cream maker, and blend until mixture is set. (This will not be as hard as regular ice cream.) Place in freezer until needed.
4. Prepare “Misu” by blending sugar, mascarpone and whipping cream together, then whip until slightly thickened, but not stiff. Refrigerate until needed.
5. Lay down the first set of lady-fingers (10-12) on the bottom of dish. Pour 1/2 of the coffee over the fingers until every one is soaked. Spread cream mixture over the fingers. Then, scoop the Gelato/Mousse to cover the cream layer, followed by another set of lady-fingers. Carefully drizzle the remaining coffee over the all fingers, until all are soaked. Apply another creamy layer. Garnish with cocoa powder or shaved chocolate.
**A note of caution for those with a light stomach: this dessert packs a large dose of caffeine, and should be eaten in small quantities, best shared with friends and family! Mangia mangia!