This winter has truly sucked. Majorly. I’ve got a few other stressors playing into my winter blues, but this lack of sunshine and bitter cold has really gotten to me this time around. I haven’t even had the will to bake, and that’s saying something!
Thanks to my health and fitness guru, Jen, I started taking some vitamins, B12 and D, and I’ve instituted a new workout plan (I even bought new running shoes today!), so I’m hoping that I can kick this sad-tired-I-don’t-want-to-get-off-the-couch nonsense in the butt. Really, it’s annoying. It’s time to get back in shape, be happy with my body, and take control of what I can in my life and let everything else just be.
My first order of business was to take my vitaminas. Then go for a run. And then spend a lovely Sunday afternoon with my friends decorating Ukrainian Easter eggs, psyanky.
It’s not perfect, but for my first try I say not too shabby!
Well, as we would (and did) be spending a few hours slaving away over eggs, you know I just had to bring a snack, and since I was already feeling better with my conscious decision to make changes, I was in the mood to bake again! A few weeks ago I made a fantastic Lemon Blueberry Sponge Cake, with a base sponge cake recipe I found on the back of a can of potato starch, of all places. It was seriously amazing. I thought this might be the perfect replacement for ladyfingers in Tiramisu. Not that I’ve ever had or made it before (I was completely dairy free for a number of years), but I just felt like this would work with what I understand Tiramisu to be. And, what better way to pay homage to the eggs?! So many eggs…a whole carton, to be exact, went into this bad boy. But oh is it worth it. 🙂
So, I started with this recipe for the sponge cake (I omitted the lemon rind for this recipe), and baked it in a giant rectangle Pyrex dish, for about 50 minutes at 350 degrees. I got it stuck to my dish, again, so I’m not really sure how to go about making this sucker slide right out, but I haven’t found this to be too problematic. If I was going for presentation, then yes, I’d be a little disappointed, but I cut it into 24 “ladyfingers” (cut the cake into 12 pieces, then cut each in half through the middle, like a sandwich) and hid it under lots of custardy-boozey deliciousness.
While the cake cooled, I worked on the filling from this recipe (you don’t need 3 cups of coffee, one and a half at the most) ((and I highly recommend you add the 2 shots of rum)).
I dipped my sponge cake pieces in the coffee by cupping them in my hand, because if I were to hold them by one end and dip, the weight would cause them to break. But they were actually spongy enough to squeeze out the excess coffee and press into my cleaned Pyrex dish.
Then a layer of filling, followed by a dusting of cocoa powder, and repeat.
After a few hours in the refrigerator, we chowed down on this decadent dessert while we waited for our eggs to dye in between wax coatings. It was soooo yummy!
Well, I thought it was perfect, but Marco said this wasn’t as custardy as what he’s used to, so if you prefer a firmer Tiramisu I would go with a different filling. I was just limited to recipes that didn’t call for whipping cream, because I didn’t have any, and I didn’t have time to go back to the store to pick some up. I would say this resembles more of a trifle-type dessert, but the flavor was really fantastic. I mean, coffee and rum and whipped custard, how can you go wrong?
And, of course, if you don’t feel like making your own sponge cake, you can certainly do this with gluten-free ladyfingers, such as Schar brand (I just prefer to stay away from things with gums in them). You should check out this recipe from Gluten is my Bitch; hers looks scrumptious, too!
Bottom line here, you do NOT have to give up on some of your favorite desserts pre-gluten-free lifestyle, or you can finally try some of those foods that others have been raving about! It takes a little effort, but doesn’t that make it better? 🙂
So I had a lovely weekend with friends, food, wine, and made some decisions that I hope will get me back on track and ready to tackle the summer full force!
What about you? How is April treating you? What do you do to pull out of the winter blues?