Twice a week in the evenings Adam has band practice. The kids go to bed, he leaves, and I’ve got two whole hours to myself. Most nights I pop the top off a pale ale into an ice cold mug from the freezer, and snuggle into the couch by the fire, covered in piles of blankets. Then up goes the laptop, on goes the TV, and I spend all my alone time burning through sitcoms, editing photos, and catching up on work. Basically just staring at screens.
There is something about a quiet house in the evening hours that makes me feel unsettled. I like the voices from the television filling the first floor rooms, I like browsing my social media channels knowing there are other people around, awake. It’s time to myself, finally, but I’m not quite ready to be alone.
“How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.” -Virginia Woolf
I used to spend time each day in solitude: writing, meditating, and just being present. Somewhere among the years I let those minutes slip away, and forgot how to be still without being entertained. I’ve silenced the silence.
This has nothing to do with tiramisu. But the TV was extra loud tonight; the voices clashing with all the rambling thoughts I need to deal with but have put on hold. Time to power off here, and pick up a book. Or sit in the stillness, with just the bare things…
adapted from the Paris Pastry Club by Fanny Zanotti
Lady fingers are traditional in tiramisu, but a white cake layer will also work here. Slice the cake layer in half through the center, and use each piece as the two different layers. If you do use a cake layer, use a pastry brush to brush the cake layer instead of soaking it in the coffee mixture (soaking it will cause the layer to get very soggy).
I’m also excited to announce that I am collaborating with Dishes Only. That beautiful bowl above with the blue flowers? You can find that here. I’ll be featuring more of their gorgeous handmade dishes and cake stands in posts to come.
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
5 ounces mascarpone
6-8 lady fingers (see note)
1 cup strong coffee, room temperature
2 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
cocoa, or grated bittersweet chocolate, for sprinkling
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (a hand-held mixer will work also), whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar for 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and has doubled in size. Add the mascarpone a few tablespoons at a time, beating well in between each addition.
Pour the coffee, rum, and vanilla in a shallow dish. Soak the lady fingers for a few seconds in the coffee and place 3 or 4 in the bottom of a bowl. Cover with half of the mascarpone cream. Top with more of the soaked biscuits and then spread with the rest of the cream. Sprinkle some cocoa or grated bittersweet chocolate on top and chill the tiramisu for at least two hours.