A few weeks ago I found your YouTube Tiramisu video, watched it a couple dozen times, and last week I make Tiramisu for the first time and being daring, I made it for my wife’s 45th birthday party, which I held at a local Italian restaurant.
I made a couple of small mistakes along the way, like not brewing enough espresso in advance, but in my defense, I made it in an 11×15 pan, and simply forgot to make enough. I am not a baker or a cook, although I do make the most delicious pecan cookies and everyone compliments me on them, but now I have added Tiramisu to my short list and I have you to thank for your wonderful recipe, video and preparation tips. Oh yeah, I also forgot the layer of unsweetened cocoa between layers, but it still came out awesome. So much so, my wife offered some to the manager and wait staff at the restaurant, and the restaurant manager and waiter both came to our table to compliment me, and the waiter even shook my hand saying it was the best Tiramisu he had ever tasted, high praise, especially when you factor in that the restaurant offers Tiramisu on their dessert menu.
I was going to use your decoration with the fork and spoon, but I got courageous and melted some Ghiradelli white chocolate, and using a scripted printout below some wax paper, I wrote a birthday message in chocolate and gently dropped it onto the cake. I’ve attached photos (it was also her best friend Elizabeth’s birthday, both name Elizabeth, so that is the reason for the size and wording, my wife and daughter are on the right in the second picture).
Everyone is still talking about it a week later.
The first time my wife and I both tasted Tiramisu was in Venice in 2005, we ended up having it for every dessert for the the remainder of our trip, but I never thought to try to make it.
Anyway, it came out perfect, I made a couple of small mistakes, and made some notes to remind myself next time, but it was still unbelievably delicious, I still can’t believe that I made it so good.
My sincere thanks to you Chef, you not only helped me to make a delicious birthday dessert for my wife, you helped me to put a big smile on her face as well.
I’m speechless. Thank you for sharing your letter Michael. It really really gives me such a warm feeling inside to hear stories like this. This is really what food and eating is all about, and this is really the reason I have my food show and why I try to share my knowledge – so that people can create some happiness and memories in their lives. What better way than through sharing food? Look at those happy faces. Happy birthday Elizabeth and Elizabeth!
I also love that Michael went off on his own with decorative ideas and got inventive. Be brave with your cooking adventures. Try new things. Remember that cooking is partly an art, and a chance to express your individuality. Sometimes the best ideas lie very close to the worst, so yes, you have to risk failure sometimes, but it’s worth the risk, for the great adventure of cooking. You think Chef Tony hasn’t had his own kitchen disasters? Of course I have (but I have buried them deep in the yard so you will never know!).
I know there are more stories out there, so if you have something to share, good or bad, please let us know. As they say, shared misery is half misery, and shared joy is double joy.