Do you believe there is such a thing as a Food Soulmate? After meeting with Janika, I am convinced I may have found mine! Her iterative approach to food-making and natural inclination to favor savory over sweet, added to her “unabashed love of cheese on everything” has me wonder: could there be more of us out there?
When she is not taking her hyperactive dog out for a long stroll , this thirty years old “action addict” mother, fitness and mixed martial art “aficionada” also presents sports on television! Avid motocross practitioner and event organizer she tirelessly lists her everyday activities & hobbies (some of which includes renovating her patio and horseback riding !); I can’t help but inquire how on earth she had the time to put together the alluring tiramisu, we are about to taste!
“It is such an easy dish”, she explains. “I combined a few different recipes to create the ultimate Tiramisu; the most complex part is literally separating the eggs!”
Philosophy for a balanced lifestyle
After a few minutes with Janika, what strikes me the most is this incredible mix of raw energy & zen-like confidence. Her genuine candor and curiosity for other people combines with her ability to share meaningful stories with a peaceful tone. It seems almost nonsensical that the gentle individual softly adjusting a basil leaf on the plate, is in fact a fast paced working mom addicted to action & speed! Not only is Janika’s approach to eating well balanced & laid back it is also incredibly delicious! While we shamelessly dig large spoonful into the creamy Tiramisu, she tells me countless hilarious stories about her unconditional love for Italy!
To each person there is a well suited diet, and it’s up to us to find it – to feel better and have more energy.
“I don’t recommend any diet without surveillance, everyone should really find what works for them, and not follow dieting or fitness instruction blindly! Just applying some “ready -made” program given to somebody else or read from a magazine might cause more harm than help! Instead, trust a professional to help you reach your goal in a balanced manner! There are many elements to take into account for the body to be in balance- And food is a big part of it! “
Carpe Diem, Mi Amor!
As the afternoon light gently lingers, it becomes clear that she did not pick this particular dish by chance. Her bond & love to Italy is so intimate and sincere that, as we share the coffee flavored dessert, I can literally taste it! Even the box in which she carefully placed the creamy treat is meaningful: instead of the classic glass bowl, she decided to serve it in a blond wood box giving it drama, intensity & a provocative flair!
It is a re-purposed parmesan box, I wanted something that is a part of me, of my personality, I love wood, its natural feel and it brings me back to Italy!
“To me, Italian Food is the definition of Perfection”. Janika evokes the perfect balance of flavor and respect of the ingredients, sitting together for long hours as a family, the musicality in the language and the incredible scenery and weather! As she speaks, it almost sound like pure, unadulterated love!
Tiramisu is an important dish for me, it connects me to those people and the moments I have experienced with them!
- 500 g Mascarpone
- 6 eggs, yellow & white separated
- Lady Fingers biscuits – Brought back from Italy but bigger shops like Prisma would have them
- 360 ml brewed Espresso – room temperature
- 3 tablespoons powder Sugar
- 4 Tablespoon cocoa powder – the good stuff
- 50 Ml cognac or brandy –can also be made optional
- For the Garnish: a few chosen leaves of basil
- mix the sugar & egg yolks into a creamy consistency
- Add the mascarpone and half of the alcohol – Mix thoroughly
- In a clean bowl – Mix the egg whites until stiff and gently incorporate to Mascaparone mix – do not over mix
- Pour the coffee into a deep dish, add th rest of the alcohol and 1 tablespoon of the cocoa powder
- Quickly dip the ladyfingers into the liquid 1 second on each side- be quick as otherwise they will break
- In a deep dish- set it up in layers, cookies, mascarpone mix, sift cocoa powder on top and 2nd layer until the dish is filled!
- Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours and up 48 hours
Garnish with more cocoa powder & finish with some basil. Can be made the night before and would even taste better the next day
The nuanced dish inevitably reminds me of Janika’s personality! The deep intensity of the coffee for her fast paced lifestyle against the gently flavored mascarpone reminiscing of her inner peace & generosity! We savor what is left of the tiramisu, and for a moment we could be in a ranch, thirty minutes north of Rome, soaking the last few rays of sunshine, in one of these incredible leaps of time when life has given you all the signs that you are where you belong; where people & places’ gentle rhythm makes you feel home, at last.
“Life is full of meaningful encounters, they inspire me and when it comes to Italy, I just know something will happen”