My train for Paris leaves in less than a week. I am looking forward to it, in an abstract way. Because I can’t really picture what life in France is going to look like. At all.
It feels like I should be doing things about the move. Arranging matters, sorting through stuff, perhaps making a few panicked last-minute phone calls or tracking down important missing documents. Thing is, though, don’t know which things to do. I have a place to sleep for the first weeks, and a contract for the room after those first few weeks. I have a train ticket, and an appointment with a French bank to open an account. Seems like the only thing left to do is pack my bag. But I can’t pack my bag a week before I leave (what if I still want to wear that stuff I just crammed into the suitcase?), so I have been doing a lot of laundry. Anything I could want to pack will be clean.
In the mean time, I have happily started the year like nothing is about to change. Meeting friends, going to the office, cooking my way through my cookbooks and pantry. It has been a good first week, reconnecting with quite a few friends I don’t see nearly enough of. For a second New Year’s Eve party with a number of them, I made tiramisu with Frangelico from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen. Well, tiramisu with Koffiekaatje. I went out to buy Frangelico, but the size and price of the bottle at the liquor shop so terrified me that I scuttled back to the domestic distilled shelf and picked out a bottle of Koffiekaatje. I had no idea what it tastes like, but the bottle said it is “the tastiest extra to serve with coffee”. Tiramisu has coffee. Koffiekaatje is affordable. Deal sealed.
Tiramisu and Koffiekaatje like each other, as it turns out. Koffiekaatje tastes like Bailey’s, and brings a chocolaty flavour to the cream, cookies and coffee, with a bit of a bang from the alcohol. The combination with the cocoa-dusted hazelnuts on top would probably have worked better with the hazelnut-flavored Frangelico, but that just means I won’t have to chop hazelnuts (round and slippery with a tendency to end up on the kitchen floor) next time I make this. Because a next time there will be, soon. And not just because I have an opened pack of lady fingers that needs to be used.
If only I were this sure about anything surrounding the move toParis. Ah well, there are 246 types of cheese in France. Preparations all in order or no, I am sure I will be happy.
But first, tiramisu:
Tiramisu with Koffiekaatje
Based on a recipe in Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
- 125 ml espresso coffee
- 125 ml + 1 tablespoon Koffiekaatje
- 14 lady fingers
- 1 egg
- 250 gr mascarpone
- 40 gr sugar
- tablespoon of cocoa (not sweetened!)
Mix the coffee and 125ml of Koffiekaatje. Split the egg into yolk and white, and mix the yolk with the sugar and a tablespoon of Koffiekaatje. Then add the mascarpone and whisk thoroughly until you have a pale golden mixture.
Whip the white until firm, but not dry. Gently fold it into the mascarpone mixture.
Pour half of the coffee/Koffiekaatje mixture into a shallow dish and dip 7 lady fingers into it, turning them a few times to cover all sides. Leave to soak for a bit, until most of the liquid has been absorbed but the cookies aren’t mushy. Place the soaked ladyfingers in a dish that fits them in one layer. Pour over any liquid that might remain in the shallow dish.
Take half of the mascarpone mixture and smooth over the ladyfingers. Soak the remaining ladyfingers, spread them over the mascarpone layer and pour over any liquid left. Top with the second half of the mascarpone, even the top and cover the dish with plastic foil. Refrigerate for three hours or more.
When you’re ready to serve, take the tiramisu from the refrigerator and dust with the cocoa. Cut into six portions and serve.