The Nostalgia Trip With Tiramisu

18 Dec

December is such a wonderful month for resolutions and nostalgia. I am always high on nostalgia and find myself fleeting several feet high up in my past, rarely wanting to get down.  While resolutions and me don’t really go hand in hand, I did have a bunch of resolutions written down last year, more out of peer pressure than anything else. But nostalgia is my friend. That is because my past and present are as evident to me as night and day.

All the time before 2009 was the past and time after that would be my present. As for the future, it’s not really my bother because I have always been the take-it-as-it-comes kind of person. You must be wondering about, how I got to this clear division of my past and present? Well it is simple really. I got pregnant in Jan 2009 and since then I have been living in the moment; in the present. Any event, occasion before that time is my past. When I think about my past, I see a very different person because, I looked different, I did different things and lead a different life. The year 2008 was an important year for me in many ways. Not only because I fell pregnant the next year, but I did a lot of growing up in that year alone.  Out of the 12 months, I had to be on my own for the half of it. That alone time, gave me lot of time for reading, watching movies, working out and reflecting. Now when I think about that time, I experience mixed emotions. Alone-ness sometimes turned to fierce loneliness and sometimes the sheer joy of being in my own company surprised me to no end.

In my opinion at a sub-conscious level my mind and body were preparing for a life altering event; arrival of Mimi. But ofcourse at a conscious level I wasn’t aware. I can say this now with some ounce of surety, because I lived a whole life in the year 2008 before embarking on this wondrous journey of being a mother.

The year started with prepping for the half marathon in November. A healthy diet and exercise became the norm and I completely enjoyed my running  jigs.

Middle of year saw my hubby moving away to Seattle for  next 5-6 months. To fill my time, I joined spinning classes apart from my regular gym and running jaunts.

I haunted all the book shops in the city and gathered an enviable collection. Weekends were devoted to reading through different books at the same and at a rate that surprised me. I can proudly claim that I may have read more books in that year than the rest of the life put together. It is during this time, that I read a life changing book , ‘ Eat Pray Love’. To me, during that phase, this book made so much sense that it has etched an indelible mark. I even bought extra copies for my girlfriends and my mum too. I also read the Harry Potter books several times and  you can quiz me about anything in the books and I am sure, I won’t disappoint.

I also watched a whole lot of movies  that I always wanted to watch but never had time to. I was able to watch brilliant movies like ‘Closer’,  Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind’, ‘ My house in Umbria’, ‘ Talented Mr. Rippley”, “Under the Tuscan Sun’ and many more. Under the Tuscan Sun and My house in Umbria clearly remain as favorites even today. If you haven’t seen them yet, get your copy of the DVD and watch it. I also watched the entire Kill Bill series and I think, Uma Thurman is a Goddess. I worship her.

In between, when I felt the world was closing in on me, I took a breather and went visiting my parents in Kerala. I spent a whole lot of time with them discussing, chit chatting and mostly just being around them. I am so glad I took that time off.

I went around Delhi to explore places I hadn’t been before and stopped for coffee at the quaintest little coffee shops that served the most amazing coffee.

I also went partying on weekends and danced the nights away. I was always the quintessential party girl and dancing was my first love and my greatest stress buster.

For an office assignment, I found myself wandering the streets of Amsterdam ( The Netherlands). I spent my time admiring the mannequins on display in shops only to realize they were actual people displaying their ‘wares’. It was here I fell in love with the foulest smelling cheese and the heavy wooden clogs.

Just around Christmas, I traveled to Stockholm ( Sweden) to see Santa Claus and tell him my little wish. It is here, I started to believe again in the magic of Christmas and Santa Claus when I saw my wish come true.

Just before my wedding anniversary and the year-end, my husband returned. He bought my first Chanel perfume and we celebrated it with Champagne. That was my first taste of Champagne and I loved it.

We took a memorable trip to Goa with friends and that was my last real vacation.

2008 was a year that I experienced  momentous joys and also fell into the deepest chasms of despair. During my trying moments I picked myself up by rewarding myself with little things that made me happy. It could be a new dress or a new music CD or sometimes a guilty dessert. I always felt chocolates loved me unconditionally. They always set my mood up and I felt positive  even on the dreariest days.

It was during this year that I also coined the term, ” Earn your dessert”. According to this,  only after doing my 7 km run every weekend, I would reward myself with a dessert and it had to be Tiramisu. I loved Tiramisu in puddings, in biscuit flavours, in cakes and in ice creams. Funnily, I may have never had an authentic Tiramisu, if there is any such thing. In the most up market Italian restaurants in Delhi, I was certain that they had a sponge cake or a pound cake dipped in coffee essence and not the lady fingers which made it more Italian. But what the heck, it tasted wonderful, this not-so-authentic Indian version of the Italian Tiramisu.

So 2008 was the year of the Tiramisu for me; bittersweet. 

So to toast my Nostalgia that December, I made some kick -*** Tiramisu inspired from a lovely blog -Sunshine and Smile. Kankana’s blog has become my go-to blog for most of my experimentation in the kitchen and I must add, the success rate has been 100%.  I tried this decadent tasting Tiramisu only to realize how ridiculously easy it is to make it. To stay true to my fond memories of Tiramisu, I decided to use  pound cake strips dipped in espresso.

Recipe for Tiramisu

Ingredients

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

4 tbsp mascarpone cheese

24 lady fingers or strips of pound cake or sponge cake

2 tbsp cocoa powder plus extra for dusting

1 cup strong espresso, cooled down to room temperature

1/2 cup bitter-sweet chocolate shavings, for garnish

Directions:

1. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in an electric mixer or whisker until they are thick and pale.

2. Add mascarpone cheese and continue beating until smooth.

3. Add 1 tbsp of coco powder and mix until its thoroughly combined.

4. Dip each ladyfingers/ pound cake strip/ sponge cake strips  into espresso for about a second and place on the bottom of the serving bowl (I placed 3 in each).

5. Next, pour the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers.

6. Now, arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers and top with remaining mascarpone mixture.

7. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (I keep it overnight).

8. While serving, sprinkle some more coco powder with chocolate shavings.

44 Responses to “The Nostalgia Trip With Tiramisu”

  1. bikram December 18, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    Wow half marathon.. I dont know what to say.. Mam tusin great hon jahanpanah tusin great hon..
    I want to do it tell me how you a legend for me and I know you yayyyyyyy

    • Anita Menon December 18, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

      Bikram, but I never competed. I was sent off to an assignment by my company. I was so sad to miss it. But such is life.

      • Bikram December 27, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

        oh ho thats not good.. BUT you were ready .. I am not even ready.. I can run about 5-6 miles thats it and then I am done ..

        Well are you still practising if yes then can still do it :) tell me I can always come and cheer up he he he he :)

  2. martha84 December 18, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    What an exciting journey, and a positive outlook on life! Your blog is a breath of fresh air! (and that tiramisu looks so so yummy!)

    • Anita Menon December 18, 2011 at 11:40 pm #

      Thanks so much Martha. Good to have connected. Heading over to yours now.

  3. Bulbul December 19, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    Love this post… it has given me a warm, happy feeling… I tried Tiramisu once in Spaghetti… did not like the bitter flavour…

    • Anita Menon December 19, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

      Thanks Bulbul. Tiramisu spaghetti sounds exciting.

  4. yummychunklet December 19, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    That’s the best kind of nostalgia trip, with yummy tiramisu!

  5. Gayathri December 19, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    Such a feel good post…:)

  6. anh@anhsfoodblog.com December 19, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    Delicious tiramisu, and a lovely story on the side :-)

  7. Gayathri December 19, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Loved the collage of your pics..You seemed to have been a different person altogether…and loved the first of the tiramisu clicks.. yum yum yum…

  8. Marie December 19, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    I loved this post. Funny how much your life can change in so little time huh? I loved hearing all about your adventures. I’ve lived a lifetime but mainly in the same place, with no Chanel perfume. Now I want to watch all those movies and read ‘Eat Pray Love’.

    Tiramisu is hands down one of my top desserts. Funny because I don’t even drink coffee.

    • Anita Menon December 19, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

      Please do read the book and let me know how you liked it.

  9. a spoonful of yumm December 19, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    gorgeous clicks !

  10. La @ FoodSlice December 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Hey girl, this post reminded me of your archives and what made the first 100 or so posts of your blog.. loved it.. Saw this Tiramisu on Kankana’s blog earlier but was scared of raw egg yolks. You are doing great :)

  11. Baker Street December 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Loved your post Anita! What a lovely journey! Brilliant shots of the tiramisu! Thanks for sharing. :)

  12. Ameena December 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    You are beautiful Anita! I love all the pictures…and Kerala…I hope to visit there one day. I hear it is lovely.

    Tiramisu is the best. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    • Anita Menon December 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

      Thank you so much Ameena..Anytime you want to go to Kerala, let me know. Will help you plan a swell trip

  13. Yasmeen @ Wandering Spice December 20, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    I’m a nostalgic person myself, so it was lovely to read your reflections.

    Your tiramisu looks divine – love how you’ve served them in martini glasses! Agreed about Kankana as well. Her blog makes me hungry!

    • Anita Menon December 20, 2011 at 7:37 am #

      Thank you Yasmeen for your kind comments.

  14. Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb December 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    oh wow Anita! I love tiramisu,your photos aare making me nuts here. I can smell them here. =D

    next time u come to goa let me know so we can meet up. =)
    must have been so horrible when u r husband was gonne for all those months. I dont know what I would do without my honey.

    • Anita Menon December 21, 2011 at 8:57 am #

      That sounds like a great idea. Hope to make it to Goa when you are around.

  15. Deeba December 20, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    What an evocative post Anita…sometimes I wish I could pour my heart out in words like you! Yay for this fabulous tiramisu. It’s one of my favourite desserts; brilliantly put together by you. Stunning pictures too!!
    Hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and a fabulous new year! Hugs!!

  16. Plateful December 20, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

    Friends with nostalgia — tell me about it. I while away a lot of mornings and evenings too lost in thoughts of shoulda-coulda-woulda. I’m sure a few years from now, I’ll be yearning for what I’m today :) For some reason, we all spend most our time thinking about the past or planning for the further, and the present just slips away. Ha.

    I like everything about this post, Ani. The memories, gorgeous pictures from the past, decadent dessert — every bit of it. I like the last picture of the tiramisu the best, lovely shot!

    • Anita Menon December 21, 2011 at 9:04 am #

      Thanks Nash. Words of encouragement from a master stylist & photographer like you, will take me a long way.

  17. I Live in a Frying Pan December 21, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    Your life in 2008 reminds me of my summer in 2006, between graduation and full time work, when I had to spend it all alone in Philadelphia. I ran and worked out a heck of a lot, went on super long walks, experimented with food, explored the city, and sometimes went mad with loneliness. But there are times I look back and wish I could have that space again, just for a day every now and then. Bittersweet is the perfect way to describe it, this post has made me nostalgic too.

  18. Pia December 21, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    I dropped by to wish you a happy holiday, and then your post had me nodding in agreement, though I’m not one for year-end nostalgia.
    My life too has clearly two sections. In fact, two persons – before my daughter, and after. And I had a by-myself phase for 5 months when my husband was working in a different city – the time was both wonderfully self-indulgent, and bone-crushingly lonely. i’m glad i had that time, i would not want it again.
    Gorgeous photographs of you, Anita! And the tiramisu looks equally divine :)
    A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family!

  19. ThirtySumting December 22, 2011 at 12:39 am #

    This time of the year gets us all nostalgic. I love this post!

  20. Cassandra @foodmyfriend December 22, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    Yum Anita! What a great way to present them too. Very classy :P

  21. sangeetakhanna December 22, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    Hi Mimi’s mama…it’s my first time on your blog and it was so nice to know about in the first post i read about you… Getting yourself ready for the marathon must have been fun as such goals are a huge motivation to keep ourselves driven….so what you could never compete ( i understand as i experienced something similar :)) , you get to experience the befits…and yes, you earn your desserts… and what a dessert it is for the motivated gal :)

    • Anita Menon December 25, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

      Thanks so much Sangeeta for dropping by.

  22. sangeetakhanna December 22, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Noticed the typo i did :)
    You get to experience the benefits i mean…after preparing for marathons ans such things.

  23. Audrey December 22, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    I love your story. I’m all about rewards. All throughout the day I tell myself “get this done and then you can ____” It really does keep me focused and motivated throughout my day.

    • Anita Menon December 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

      The carrot at the other end of stick works for all of us, I suppose

  24. Gayathri Ramdas Sreekanth December 24, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    Though saw this earlier post..I only got around to actually reading it only now…Such a honest post and wow, aren’t you one pretty gal ! I always fantasized being all alone in a foreign land all by myself touring around, but it never actually happened…I love everything of this post..how your narration gradually transcends into a recipe..U should seriously think of writing a food memoir post your current venture..and also a suggestion would be to mention the actual brand names of the non-common ingredients you utilise.. :)

    • Anita Menon December 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

      Thanks so much Gayathri.. :-)

      What uncommon ingredients did you want to know about?

      • Gayathri Ramdas Sreekanth December 29, 2011 at 12:23 am #

        Such as pound cake for this recipe ..and which brand of mascarpone cheese ? Just helps since we are based in the same region and considering there are so many brands available to use from…

  25. Devina Divecha (FooDee) December 28, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    Looks absolutely yummy. For me, 2011 has been a tough and very bittersweet year. I had good things come my way and absolutely horrific ones.
    Tiramisu is one of my favourite desserts…can never get tired of it!

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