Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Little Something Sweet

My finished version of Tiramisu di Pasty
I know money has been tight for everyone. It's been especially tight for us since I have not been able to work for going on two years now. So, since we have limited income and severe expenses we have to start cutting corners. One thing we can't afford to do is go out to eat - so we have to learn to be creative in the kitchen.
I was missing Tiramisu. It is one dessert that I really love. I don't know if it's the coffee or the filling or the entire thing together. I do know that if you go out to a restaurant and you are lucky enough to find it on the menu it will cost you over $5 usually. Way out of my budget right now.
Making this dish isn't cheap either. It has ladyfingers, which run about $5 or more at the store, more if you shop online and have to have them shipped. You can't always find them in the grocery store. Marscarpone cheese is another ingredient that isn't cheap either. If you are lucky you can find 8 ounces for about $8 or so, depending on where you live. Again, it isn't found in all stores. Regardless, the dessert was out of budget. So, what do you do?
Well, first you can become creative! I decided to see if I could find a substitute for the Marscarpone. I did. Here it is:
1 8 oz package of cream cheese (regular not the low fat)
1/4 c whipping cream
3 TBS sour cream (I used light to cut down on calories)

I then had a brilliant idea for the lady fingers. First, I didn't want a lot of calories. Second I wanted something inexpensive. So, I found a loaf angel food cake for only $1.98.

So, these two ingredients that would have cost me about $13 is now less than $5. But, I didn't want to get too excited. I still had to figure out the best way for me to make this low cost and lower in calorie. The original recipe called for a lot of eggs - which means a lot of cholesterol. Not good for me.

So, I put the cream cheese, whipping cream, and sour cream in the bowl and started whipping. I let it sit for a bit. Then I read the recipe for Tiramisu and decided to go ahead and add the liquor. We have a bit that has been around her for ages. I found an orange liquor left over from last Christmas. I decided to use it in place of cognac or rum. Now I figured that if I really wanted I could even put in a vanilla extract, coffee extract, or even a rum extract if I wanted. I started whipping and then realized that I probably wanted to add some sugar. I added about 3/4 cup of sugar to the mix (give or take because I just sprinkled it in until I liked the flavor.) I realized that it was getting fluffy without the egg. Brava!

I had sliced the angel food cake into three long pieces. I then started dipping them in some strong decaf coffee - strong so that it would hold a coffee flavor and because the original recipe calls for espresso. I noticed that the angel food didn't absorb the coffee like the lady fingers. No worries. I just dipped them and turned them, and then I sprinkled a little more on top and let them sit for a bit.

After this I went ahead and layered the dessert like the original recipe. Angelfood on the bottom, cheese mixture, angelfood, cheese mixture, until the cheese layer was on the top. I didn't have the chocolate bar to make the nice pretty curls on the regular recipe so I improvised.

I sprinkled the top with cinnamon instead of coacoa powder, and then I just used some of the kid's chocolate syrup to make a squiggle. I decided to do this because as yummy as it sounded I still wanted it to be a family friendly dessert.

I let my youngest, who is skeptical about all foods that aren't pizza, have a small taste before chilling (which I recommend doing for at least an hour before serving.) He liked it!

So, not only was I able to make an affordable nice dessert, but I also managed to cut on calories and fat. I'm feeling pretty darn good about that right now.

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