Thursday, February 26, 2015

Donna Hay's Deconstructed Tiramisu for Food 'N Flix February Movie: 'Lady and the Tramp'

We have gone to the dogs this month at Food 'N Flix with the 1955 Disney classic, Lady and the Tramp, hosted by Elizabeth of The Lawyer's Cookbook. In truth when it comes to Disney animated dog movies, I was always the bigger fan of 101 Dalmatians, but I have seen Lady and the Tramp many times over the years and I think it might have inspired a love for cocker spaniels in me as a child. I am going to assume that if you haven't seen the movie, you at least know the story but if not, you can read the plot here. A family-fun pick that still holds its charm after sixty years.

It's always fun to re-watch a classic for the food inspiration and there is food to be found in Lady and the Tramp, even beyond the romantic shared spaghetti and meatballs scene (although that one is very inspiring). As I watch each month's film, I always take notes--sometimes jotted on paper and sometimes captured electronically. 

Here's my Lady and the Tramp list below copied directly from the notes on my iPhone:

Coffee & donuts--Lady fed at breakfast 
Bones--Jock (maybe shortbread for Jock/ southern for Trusty?) 
Restaurants--Tramp: grill, French pastries, Tony's Italian: pizza/bones
Watermelon & chop suet*--Darling preg cravings (Note: that was meant to be chop suey--darned auto correct
Wiener schnitzel / corned beef--Tramp neighborhood meals
Spaghetti & meatballs dinner, breadsticks
Thai food?--Siamese cat twins

I had wanted to make a veg-friendly chop suey, one of Darling's pre-baby cravings, but then as usual I was late to the party and Heather at girlichef made a too-perfect-to-compete-with chop suey. ;-) So I put my thinking cap on and decided on a tiramisu--not in the film but what you might expect after a romantic Italian dinner, and it uses lady finger biscuits--in honor of Lady. 

When looking for a non-chocolate version (we are talking dogs that shouldn't be eating chocolate here), I came across Donna Hay's Deconstructed Tiramisu recipe and decided it was perfect because it also conjured up thoughts of the breakfast scene where Jim Dear pours a cup of milky-looking coffee into Lady's bowl and gives her a doughnut to daintily dunk into it. I can picture a romantic dunk and nibble dessert scene after dinner for Lady and Tramp. ;-) 

Here's a video demo of Donna making the recipe and you can find the recipe here too. If you aren't serving a favorite canine couple, I think that a small bowl of finely-grated dark chocolate is a nice addition.

Deconstructed Tiramisu
Adapted from Donna Hay via Fast, Fresh, Simple
(Serves 2--dogs or adults) ;-)

2 Tbsp espresso coffee
1 Tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
2 Tbsp coffee liqueur (I used
Kahlua Hazelnut)
1/4 cup (60g) mascarpone
1/4 cup (60ml) singe (pouring) cream
2 tsp icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 small sponge lady finger biscuits

(I added 2 Tbsp finely-grated dark chocolate--optional)

Place the espresso and sugar in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Simmer very slowly for 1 minute. Remove from heat, add the liqueur and chill.

Place the mascarpone, cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.

To serve, divide the coffee mixture between 2 small serving glasses. Spoon the mascarpone mixture into 2 separate small serving glasses. (Add a small bowl with grated ch0colate if desired.)

Place the glasses on serving plates and serve with the biscuits.

Notes/Results: I love this idea from Donna Hay--it totally calls to my lazy girl side--very low effort. To illustrate how truly low effort I was feeling today, I was working out of my satellite office (aka: my neighborhood coffeehouse) this morning and as I was leaving I asked them for a couple of shots in a to-go cup. A 5-minute trip home and I immediately put it into a pot and heated it with the sugar to make my coffee mixture to chill. It saved dragging out my stovetop espresso maker, grinding the coffee, heating it up, etc. ;-) Yep, lazy! And, it's much more fun to eat than tiramisu--dipping is always entertaining. Since each person gets their own, double-dipping is totally allowed. You can vary the flavor of coffee liqueur you use (I like hazelnut) or do a fun version for kids with drinking chocolate instead of the coffee and coffee liqueur. Child or adult, I think the grated chocolate addition is a nice touch. I will happily make this again. 

It's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs--a chance to make any recipe from any of our previous IHCC chefs, so I am linking up Donna's dipping tiramisu there. You can see what everyone else made for Potluck by checking out the picture links on the post.

Despite my best intentions, I am flying in under the wire for this month's Food 'N Flix deadline which is today, Thursday, February 26th. Elizabeth will be rounding up the entries on her blog in the next couple of days so check out the Lady and the Tramp-inspired dishes everyone made. If you missed out this round and like food, films, and foodie films, join us for March with the John Wayne classic, The Quiet Man, hosted by Joanne at What's On the List?   



  1. Oh, so clever! And much easier than constructing the traditional dessert! I LIKE it!

  2. Hahaha, this is such a neat dessert! I like the idea too! :D

  3. Gluten Free A-Z BlogFebruary 27, 2015 at 2:37 AM

    very clever ideas , and I love the simple way to make Tiramisu. I'm usually too intimidated to make it, I think I could handle this ..

  4. A fun idea for a dessert! Looks really yummy! A quick and easy way to enjoy Tiramisu!

  5. I would never have thought to go that route. Love it. (Coffee and Casseroles)

  6. It's such a pretty dessert!

  7. LOL, well there is always room for two perfect chop sueys ;)! That said, I'm glad you made this - because YUM. I love the deconstructed perfect for dunking and dipping, and very clever association to that moment in the flick. :)

  8. Love that you went 'outside' the box!

  9. Great idea, Deb. I am not a huge tiramisu fan, but I love this idea of dipping to my own desires! :) Very inspired post!

  10. I love these deconstructed tiramisus Deb. I think they would be an fun and elegant dessert following dinner with friends.

  11. What fun! I love making tiramisu, but it's always an involved process that I can't do quickly. This is awesome!

  12. I love the idea of deconstructed tiramisu. What a fun way to finish off a dinner party with friends.

  13. Really brilliant inspiration with Lady fingers and I so want to taste your deconstructed tiramisu

  14. Amy CookingAdventuresMarch 1, 2015 at 5:55 PM

    Oh my gracious, that looks amazing! Great choice!

  15. What a fun way to serve this dessert (and much quicker and easier to make than the traditional version).

  16. Flourishen Test KitchenMarch 3, 2015 at 4:14 AM

    I made tiramisu recently. The idea of a deconstructed version intrigues me. I didn't think this is a lazy-girl approach. Gathering all the ingredients and making the cream take up most of the time!

  17. Very clever how you tied this to the movie! From one lazy girl to another I will tell you that I appreciate this post and giggled my way through it. Easy and fun to eat, this deconstructed tiramisu would be a hit with anyone. Love the Lady = ladyfingers. Too cute!


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