I found this pretty shell at an estate sale. Like rock collections, I often see shells and coral at estate sales. The first thing I am naturally inclined to do when I come across a shell like this, is pick it up and listen for the ocean.
This week, however, I don’t hear the sound of the ocean when I listen — I hear the sound of people screaming about sharks in the vicinity. That’s right — it’s Shark Week, right on the heels of Sharknado 2. Although Shark Week has been featured since 1988, I only learned about it a few years ago. I was sitting (i.e., propped up trying to stay awake) in a “Women’s Initiative” meeting at my prior law firm, and we were planning a luncheon, when someone piped up that our proposed date fell during Shark Week. Huh? Well, it turns out that Shark Week was much more interesting than anything we were discussing at the Women’s Initiative meeting, the initiative apparently being to bore each other to death. In fact, my friend and I used to sit there emailing each other during the meetings, things like “Do you want to phone in a bomb scare or should I?”
Shark Week is an annual week-long feature on the Discovery Channel, showcasing shark-based programming, and usually runs in July or August. According to Wikipedia, it is the “longest-running cable television programming event in history,” and is broadcast in more than 70 countries.
Here’s a shark fact for you — Do you know why sharks won’t attack lawyers? Professional courtesy.
Thinking of getting one of these for my shingle
So what to serve for Shark Week? Well, the interwebs is full of cute ideas for shark cupcakes, like these:
Or how about a shark watermelon?
As for me, inspired by my pretty shell and the close relationship between sharks and lawyers, I’m serving the favorite dessert of lawyers — Tira-me-sue! Not funny? So sue me! This recipe is adapted from one from Gourmet magazine (sniff). Although the recipe is pretty easy to put together, it is a little time-consuming. Based on the comments to the recipe, I made it in an 8×8-inch pan, and had a little left over which was just right for an individual portion for a baby shark. I added a chocolate shark fin, just for Shark Week.
- 2 cups freshly-brewed espresso (or 3 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 cups boiling water)
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided use
- 3 tablespoons Kahlua or Tia Maria (coffee liqueur)
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup dry Marsala
- 1 pound mascarpone, at room temperature
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- 24 crisp ladyfingers (also known as savoiardi)
- Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
- Dark chocolate, for grating over tiramisu (optional)
- Stir together espresso, 1 tablespoon sugar, and coffee liqueur in a shallow bowl until sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
- In a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, beat egg yolks, Marsala, and remaining ½ cup sugar, using a whisk or handheld electric mixer. Beat until tripled in volume, approximately 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and beat in mascarpone with electric mixer, beating just until smooth.
- In a separate large bowl, beat cream with electric mixer until cream holds stiff peaks. (Be careful not to overbeat to the point where it turns into butter!)
- Gently fold mascarpone mixture into whipped cream, until thoroughly combined.
- Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of each ladyfinger generously with coffee mixture (without allowing them to become too soggy). Line the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking pan with 12 ladyfingers, trimming edges to fit as necessary. Spread half of the mascarpone filling on top, smoothing with an offset spatula. Repeat with remaining 12 ladyfingers and mascarpone filling.
- Place cocoa powder in a mesh sieve, and sprinkle cocoa powder over top layer of mascarpone filling. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
- Allow tiramisu to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Just before serving, dust with additional cocoa powder, and sprinkle with grated chocolate. Cut into individual portions and serve.
Beat egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala over simmering water
Fold in mascarpone
Beat cream until it holds stiff peaks
Fold together whipped cream and mascarpone mixture
Layer coffee-soaked ladyfingers alternately with mascarpone cream
Dust with cocoa powder
Shark Week dessert!