Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunset (Finally!!) and Tiramisù

Monday, May 30, 2011

Last night Becca, Erica, Liz and I went up to Piazzale Michaelangelo to FINALLY watch a sunset.  We had been up once before during the day time and all of us were in awe of the view of the entire city of Florence. The sunset made it incredibly more beautiful with the sky painted in orange, pink, and blue.  We took many pictures as we watched the sun go behind the mountains in the distance.

After the sunset we walked back down into the city towards our apartment to search for something to eat.  We stumbled across a Ristorante Pizzeria and Wine Bar 100 Posti.  We pass it every morning on our way to class and I had always admired how cute it looked with the white wood and decorations.  I ordered the chefs spaghetti special which ended up being a seafood pasta!!! It was a pleasant surprise!  At the end of our meal our waiter gave us a complimentary shot glass of limoncello. It was a little too strong for my liking and I was barely able to get it down.  I did my best to drink half, but the burning of the vodka was not satisfying.

Today’s class we made Parmigiana di Melanzane (Eggplant parmesan) and Tiramisù.  The preparation of the Eggplant used in today’s lab was that similar to what is used in Sicily and southern Italy.  The layers go as following
1.     1. Tomato sauce (which we made with olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, and tomatoes)
2.     2. Eggplant (we sliced and fried in oil)
3.     3. Tomato sauce
4.     4. Parmigiana
5.     5. Mozzarella
6.     6. Basil
7.     Repeat 3 times (last layer with no basil so it won’t burn)

In Naples Eggplant Parmesan is made differently.  The eggplant is dredged in flour and egg and then fried and a piece of mortadella di bologna is place inside.  The Sicily one seems a lot more appealing than Naples, and it was fantastic!! Another simple dish to prepare at home, but instead I would either grill or roast the eggplant, instead of frying.

The Tiramisù was a bit of a struggle for me.  The first step was to do a procedure known as pâte a bomb, which is a procedure used in culinary schools and professional kitchens to sterilize the egg yolks to prevent salmonella.   In today’s lab we used only 2 eggs for the recipe.  The steps for pâte a bomb are as follows
1.     1. In a small sauce pan place 200 grams of sugar with some water to make a simple syrup and heat to 121°C.
2.     2. Meanwhile, separate the egg yolks from the whites and place in separate bowls
3.     3. Once the simple syrup is heated to 121°C, place 50 grams into the bowl with the egg yolks and whisk until creamy.

After the pâte a bomb was complete I add the marscapone cheese and then egg whites (whisked to soft peaks).  Next the Lady Fingers were dipped in heated coffee and layered between the marscapone mixture.  The Tiramisù was then chilled for 30 minutes and then ready to enjoy, with a sprinkle of cocoa powder on top!! It was quite delicious, although I wish we had chosen to put the rum in the coffee to add that extra kick like the restaurants use of coffee liqueur.

Chef Tommaso was please with both of our completed dishes, although the eggplant parmesean needed more salt, as always!

Tonight our group of nine (Erica, Liz, Becca, Shep, Audrey, Missy, Lacey, Laura, and I) are going to Chef Tammaso’s favorite restaurant Trattatoria Cammillo.  He was so excited that we wanted to go he called and made a reservation for us and promised that he would join us, not for dinner, but for some coffee.  He says it is the best!!

I will let you all know the details tomorrow!!


Molly Jean

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