Charlottiramisu, Gali’s Birthday Dessert
I’ve already told the love story of Gali and mine hundreds if not thousands of times and each time it excites me. Some people ask me to tell it over and over again, even though they already know it by heart, they want more and more of it. Maybe it’s the idea of dreams that come true, maybe it’s the courage, maybe it’s listening to the inner truth and maybe it’s the hope that someday we will all find true love.
If you’ve already heard the story, you know that we were born on the same date 18.2 and also on the same Hebrew day. The dates, which usually meet every 19 years, also meet in our case even though the age gap between us is only 8 years. I’m not looking for explanations, I just know that love does sometimes fall from the sky.
♥ She was born in Nahariya as Galit but you know her as Gali or Mamush.
♥ She’s the best cook I know. She and cooking are like Pierre Hermé and macarons.
♥ She’s the calmest person I’ve ever met, seriously.
♥ She has an amazing eye for design and aesthetics. She’s the one who’s responsible for the sets for our photos.
♥ She loves raisins—yep, you read that right.
♥ She’s responsible for the fact that when you enter our Deluxe Zimmer(on), it always looks like it was just polished.
♥ To get a local license, she took the theory test (which French people have a hard time passing!), as well as driving lessons and her license test—all in French!
♥ Before any trip, she puts together a map on Google of spots to visit—enough to fill a year’s worth of time in each place.
♥ She’s the best family woman in the world, and thanks to her my heart has a home.
♥ She loves Christine Ferber’s kugelhopf with Ferber’s jam, and Ferber’s linzer torte, too. In short, anything Ferber.
♥ She really loves the Alsace area, and our dream is to have a house in one of the towns there. Stay tuned.
♥ She survived a snake bite on a trip through the South American jungle.
♥ She can’t eat chocolate in the morning or at noon, only in the afternoon. Unclear 🙂
♥ She sleeps on the right side of the bed.
♥ She loves coffee, as well as coffee desserts.
♥ She is the longest food tour I’ve ever been on.
♥ She is the best person in the world, and every day I celebrate the fact that she’s mine.
♣ You can brush the inside part of the “wall” of ladyfingers with melted white chocolate to seal it and prevent them from getting soggy so they stay stable and beautiful.
♦ Coffee! It’s so important in tiramisu, bringing together all the layers, and you can taste it in every bite. Use good-quality coffee.
♣ Try sprinkling cocoa powder between the layers—it gives it depth of flavor and a lovely color.
240g hot espresso or coffee made of boiling water and instant coffee
20g sugar (optional)
45g coffee liqueur/brandy/rum
140g egg yolks (yolks from 6 large eggs)
60g Marsala wine or coffee liqueur
440g mascarpone cheese, at room temp.
250g heavy whipping cream
Coffee praliné (optional):
25g toasted coffee beans
Coffee praline and pailleté feuilletine crunch (optional):
50g white chocolate
50g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate (70% and up)
75g coffee praline
75g pailleté feuilletine (caramelized wafer pieces)
Approx. 60g cocoa powder, sifted
Approx. 350g ladyfingers
1. Coffee syrup: Stir the sugar into the hot coffee until it dissolves, add liqueur, and mix. Set aside to cool.
2. Zabaglione: In a heatproof bowl or the top of a double-boiler, combine yolks and sugar, and whisk lightly.
3. Fill a small pot or the bottom of a double-boiler with a couple of centimetres of water and bring to a boil. Leave on the stove.
4. Put the bowl with the egg yolks over the bottom pot, making sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water. The steam will reach and heat the bowl.
5. Beat the eggs with a whisk, add the wine or liqueur, and keep beating for about 10 minutes, until light and airy. Take the bowl off and cool.
6. Mascarpone cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat mascarpone with whipping cream, starting slowly to combine them and gradually increasing the speed until the mixture is stable but still soft.
7. Gently fold the zabaglione into the mascarpone cream until well combined.
Optional additions (prepare them the day before):
8. Coffee praline: In a medium saucepan, combine water and sugar.
9. When the syrup reaches 116 degrees Celsius on a candy thermometer, add almonds and hazelnuts and stir constantly, until the sugar becomes gritty and coats the nuts.
10. Add coffee beans and stir until the sugar melts and all the ingredients are coated with a thin layer of caramel.
11. Pour the mixture onto a parchment- or silicone-lined baking sheet and smooth it out using a wooden spoon. Cool to room temperature.
12. Transfer the caramelized nuts and coffee beans to a food processor and pulse until it becomes a paste (I like to leave some crunchy, unprocessed pieces of caramel). This can take several minutes. Once the nuts release their oil, the paste will become smoother and more spreadable. Use short pulses, stopping every once in a while to wipe down the sides with a spatula.
13. Transfer to a clean jar and store at room temperature for up to 3 weeks (or over a month in the refrigerator).
14. Coffee praline crunch and pailleté feuilletine: Melt the chocolate in the top of a double-boiler or in the microwave. Stir in the coffee praline until smooth. Stir in pailleté feuilletine until completely covered with chocolate.
15. Pour the mixture onto a cutting board lined with parchment paper. Flatten and smooth it into a thin rectangle using an offset spatula and refrigerate.
16. After a few minutes, remove from the fridge and use a knife to mark cutting lines to cut shapes, for example small rectangles. Return to the fridge for an hour.
17. Remove from the fridge, go over the lines again with the knife, and break along the lines. Transfer to an airtight container.
18. Line the sides of the pan with ladyfingers (not soaked in syrup) standing up to create a “wall” around the tiramisu and give it the appearance of a charlotte.
19. Soak ladyfingers in the coffee syrup and lay them along the bottom of the pan. If there are gaps, fill them in with broken ladyfingers.
20. Sprinkle some cocoa powder over the cookies.
21. Pour ¼ of the mascarpone cream in and gently smooth it out.
22. Pipe some of the praline paste over the cream (optional).
23. Repeat 3 more times (soaked cookies, then mascarpone, then praline paste if using). The last time, instead of praline paste, sprinkle cocoa powder until completely covered.
24. Decorate with pieces of coffee praline and pailleté feuilletine crunch (optional).
25. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, ideally a day before you plan on serving it, so the flavors can meld together.