Tiramisu for Two! Happy New Year!

A few days late but what the heck: Happy New Year! I hope you had a fun, safe NYE no matter how you celebrated. I'm all about staying in with a few friends but this year we went for the gusto! We saw The Legendary Roots at the Filmore in Silverspring, MD and rented a hotel room within walking distance. Drive, on New Year morning with all the crazies out? No thanks! Besides, it gave us the opportunity to explore the area!

A friend was spot on with his recommendation of  Abyssinia, an Ethiopian restaurant. The last time I had Ethiopian was during college and it was a forgettable experience. Dinner, however, was a very pleasant surprise. Mike ordered spiced chicken and I ordered a mix of vegetable curries. The brought our meal all together on one big round of flat bread (injera), his chicken in the middle surrounded by spots of different curries. Absolutely delicious and great variety in a single meal! Highly recommend! 

The hotel was easy to find and one block away from the Fillmore. The receptionist explained politely that the room I had ordered online was sold out, so we were going to get a suite. I was confused for a moment- you don't have my room?? She smiled and explained we were getting a free upgrade at no additional cost. Then she gave me a cookie that was in their front desk warmer. Score. 

At last, showtime at the Fillmore! This was my first time there and it was impressive. It's like the clean version of the 9:30 club in DC. There's a small ground floor rimmed with the bars; the view is decent from any angle. The upstairs has a few rows of bench seating along the side and then restaurant seating at the center. Not too shabby! It was a mature crowd so no bumping, pushing, spilled beer, or sweat.

As for The Roots... no wonder they're self-titled "Legendary." The live show kicks the crap out of their recorded stuff!! They are the true definition of performers. It was unlike any show that I have ever been to and trust, I went to a lot during highschool. They never played through an entire song, things were constantly transitioning and kept fresh. The beats were funky and fun. I mean come on... they have a tuba in their band. A tuba! They did an hour long encore in which we were ready to tear the roof off.  The Roots did short mash up covers of old rock and hip hop songs, included Guns-and-Roses and Led Zepplin. If you get a chance, go see them live. You enjoy their versatility and energy on stage. 

The next day we knew there was something special waiting for us at home: tiramisu! I have made variations of tiramisu in the past, like my mother's day cake, the 8 texture monster, and lite berry version. This go around, there was an ingredient  that always catches my eye.... Kahlua! This delicious coffee liqueur deepens the flavor of chocolate and adds dimension to iced drinks. The best part, you can buy those tiny bottles at the ABC store. No need to buy an entire bottle of masala wine that you're only going to use once in awhile! Thank you Call Me Cupcake for this recipe!

The ingredients are simple and super. Seriously, it's one of the shortest grocery lists you will ever write and the taste is spot on! There's something to be said for keeping it basic. If you don't have a coffee maker at home, use the instant espresso! I've made this twice- once with fresh coffee from Caribou and the second time with instant espresso- there was no radical flavor difference.

Enjoy a cupful of tiramisu for two... or solo : ) There's no shame in eating the whole thing! Mike loved it so much, I made it again this week to finish up the marscapone cheese. Don't forget the Asti on the side! Salud!

Tiramisu in a Cup
recipy by Call Me Cupcake, portions slightly adjusted
Makes 2 generous servings

Coffee syrup
1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso
1/4 cup kahlua
1/3 cup sugar

Mascarpone cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tub mascarpone cheese (125g)
1 tbsp sugar

About 7-9 savoiardi biscuits/ladyfingers or stella d'oro cookies

Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
Saigon cinnamon, for dusting
Dark chocolate, grated (optional)

Make strong coffee or espresso. Mix with kahlua and sugar in a saucepan. Let simmer about 8-10 minutes. Let cool.

Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Add mascarpone and sugar and whip until smooth. Put a heaping spoon, of the mascarpone cream into glass. Powder some cocoa powder over mascarpone.

Break each cookie into multiple pieces and layer them over the mascarpone cream. Use two-three cookie for each serving. Spoon some coffee syrup over the cookies and then keep on layering with mascarpone cream, cocoa powder, ladyfingers and coffee syrup ending with a layer of mascarpone cream. I got in 2 layers of cookie. 

Powder some cocoa and cinnamon on top and grate a generous amount of chocolate over each serving. Store in fridge for a couple hours before serving to make sure the cookies soak up the syrup.