The holidays are no excuse to quit the exercise routine.Â In fact, all those delicious eats and treats offer more of an incentive to put heart and soul into the workout.Â
My long run on Christmas eve was 12 miles. It wasn't easy even though I ran more than double just over a month ago.Â The weather was cold and there was some wind.Â At mile 9 when my mouth was craving some H2O, my hands were so cold I couldn't get my water bottle detached from the belt to take a drink.Â My body was chilled but nothing compared to frozen fingers. I knew heading home before running my mind set of 12 would leave me feeling unaccomplished for the day so I pounded out the last three miles at a snails pace, cold, nose running, fingers frozen but achieving the goal.
Christmas Day, Shane and I were no slackers.Â It was still windy but we jogged around the parks meeting only two other "die-hards" on the path.Â 4.6 miles was good way to start the celebration.Â The unfortunate thing was that my stomach wasn't feeling good all day. I felt hungry but each time I would try to munch, I'd get indigestion.Â Maybe it was the champagne at 9 am?Â
This is a Venetian dessert which is easy but tastes like you spent hours toiling over this perfection.Â Based on the recipe from "The Italian Baker" by Carol Field".
Makes a 2 layer, very long cake which will serve 18 â€“ 20
- 1 lb 2 oz Mascarpone cream OR really good quality cream cheese
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 6 TBS rum
- 6 TBS strong black coffee
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Genoise â€“ Like cake (or use Lady Fingers) *See recipe below
- 2 TBS cocoa powder
- 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate shavings
We'll begin with the Genoise cake which you make well ahead of time, freeze or simply leave on the counter covered for one day.
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 whole eggs
- 4 egg yolks at room temperature
- 2 TBS water
- 1 TBS honey
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- pinch salt
- 2/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- grated zest of one lemon
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Coat an 11 1/2 x 17 1/2 baking sheet with parchment or spray with non stick.
Whisk sugar, eggs, yolks, water, and honey over low heat until it feels luke warm.
Remover to a mixing bowl and beat on high until pale lemon, creamy and thickened to tripled volume (about 3 â€“ 4 minutes). If you over mix, the batter will fall. You want to keep it light.
Sift in the flour, salt and cornstarch plus the baking powder into the egg mixture.
Fold in the vanilla and lemon zest.Â The batter will be soft, airy and light.Â Gently pour onto your prepared pan and spread carefully.Â Bake for 15 â€“ 20 minutes or until a knife comes clean. You'll smell this lovely cake and at that point, test for doneness.
Leave to cool until you are ready to proceed with Tiramisu filling.
Mix the marscapone (or cream cheese) until smooth.Â
Add the cream, sugar.Â Â Mix together the rum and the coffee.Â Add 4 TBS to the cheese-cream mixture.Â Add the vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy.
Cut the cooled cake VERTICALLY (length wise) in half.Â
Brush each layer with rum-coffee mix.Â Spread HALF of the cheese mixture over one half. Top with second half.Â Top with remaining cheese mixture.
Sprinkle the top with cocoa powder. Top with chocolate shavings.
*I had extra filling so I added 1 TBS of cocoa powder and filled some cannoli shells with it.Â
What was your favorite dessert this holiday season?