This is the end! If you really want to get into the right mood whilst you read this, click for some musical accompaniment. With this final recipe, I’m taking us back to the very start of this blog. I started writing all this when I was living in Genova for a year, and I was looking for a fun way to record all the new food I was getting to know there. I’d been thinking about writing something food-based for a while before then, but I never knew how to approach it. Genova changed that.
In one of those early posts, I wrote about a place I sometimes went to eat, da Maria. Such a wonderful place. Nothing too fancy or atmospheric, with bare walls, tube lights, and plain white tiles on the floor. But its casualness is also its charm: daily changing, hand-written and photocopied menus, some dishes crossed out with black marker after they’ve run out (the fish always the first to go, then the stew). The waitresses calling out to ask if you’re ready to order whilst on their way to other tables, never writing down what you want, always just shouting it directly into the kitchen. And most importantly, really good food.
It’s just around the corner from where I used to live, less than a minute’s walk, so the temptation was ever present. As I wrote all those years ago, I usually chose the same thing. Always the trenette al pesto to begin with, followed by whatever was still left by the time I showed up – fish if I was lucky, but usually the veal and aubergine stew or stuffed vegetables.Then I’d always get the only dessert that they had (aside from fruit salad, which doesn’t count): their famous dolce delizioso, or ‘wonderful dessert‘.
And wonderful it is, indeed. It took me a while to figure it out, but the dolce delizioso is actually a variation on tiramisù, with the same cream made with mascarpone and eggs. It is also packed with rum, although it only took me one bite to figure that out. With two wonderful things right there, together in one dessert, you can’t go wrong. Now I may have to admit, I ate off many a hangover at Maria‘s, and sometimes I found the rumminess of the dessert to be a bit much (although of course I always finished it). You can decide for yourself how much booze you want in it. If you’re having this after dinner (as opposed to after lunch which was really breakfast, as in my case), you’ll appreciate the excessive alcohol, no doubt!
So this is it, the end of our goodbye party, and the end of the dictatorship. Thanks so much to everyone who read and commented on the blog over these past five years. I really had fun, I hope you did too. Now go make dessert!
For four, use:
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 egg white
- 200 gr mascarpone
- 50 gr sugar
- about two glasses of rum
- about 20 to 24 lady fingers
- 2 candied cherries
Separate your eggs, put the two yolks in one bowl and one of the egg whites in another. First beat your egg white until it’s all stiff and it stands up in peaks. Then mix the sugar with the egg yolks and beat that into a smooth cream. Now add the mascarpone and one tablespoon of rum (don’t worry, we’re using more later), mix well. Then add the egg white to the yolks and scoop it all around without breaking the egg white that you’ve just spent so much energy on – fold, don’t stir.
Put some rum in a bowl that’s big enough to put a lady finger in, roll said lady fingers around in the rum for a bit (depending on how rummy you want the dessert to be, quickly dunk them in and take them out, or actually drag them around in the booze for a couple of seconds). Put the lady fingers in a little glass bowl (you won’t believe it but these are the exact type of bowls that Maria served her wonderful dessert in!) until you’ve got one layer of rummy biscuits. Now top the biscuits with the cream. Put the bowls in the fridge for a few hours (at least three, I’d say – the cream needs to settle).
Then, when you serve up, you have to put half a candied cherry on top of each dessert. Why do you have to add candied cherries, which are totally disgusting?
Because Maria adds them, that’s why.