There was food, wine, Champagne, music and dancing...Prime rib, oven roasted potatoes, salad...and desserts. My contribution to the sweet side of dinner was a Tiramisu/Trifle from an old edition of Bon Appetit, which I had tried once before. It is light and rich at the same time. You will love it, and not just for the holidays!
Serves about 16 people
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Captain Morgan rum
3 Tbsp Cognac
12 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
4 8-oz containers of Mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Cognac
1/2 Tbsp Captain Morgan rum
1 1/2 cup freshly brewed espresso or very strong coffee
1/2 cup Kahlua, or other coffee liquor
50 to 60 Lady Finger cookies (I buy mine at Trader Joe's)
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
A trifle dish
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, water, rum, Cognac, egg yolks and nutmeg. Set the bowl over simmering water (bottom of the pan should not touch the water). Whisk until the mixture thickens. It will become foamy and light (until candy thermometer reads 140F). Whisk a couple of minutes more.
Remove from the heat and add the Mascarpone, one container at a time. Whisk until blended. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the heavy cream, vanilla, Cognac and rum until firm peaks form. Gently fold in the Mascarpone mixture.
Ground the chocolate chips in a food processor until it resembles small pebbles.
In a medium bowl, mix the espresso and Kahlua together.
Dip the lady Finger cookies in the coffee mixture, one at a time, and line the bottom of the trifle dish.
Pour about 2 cups of the Mascarpone mixture on top of the cookies.
Sprinkle about 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top of the cream. Place another layer of dipped cookies on top and repeat until your dish is filled. Finish with the cream topped with the chocolate chips.
Refrigerate at least over night.
If you have too much Mascarpone mixture for your dish - as was the case for me! - you can make mini parfaits in Martini glasses.
I made this dessert two day ahead and it was delicious. The cream was firm and did not run all over as I was cutting it. And all the flavors had blended together.