Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lost in Translation

It is always a risk baking first thing upon rising in the morning as your brain might not be firing on all cylinders quite yet. But what is even more dangerous is attempting to bake with a recipe not written in your first language at the crack of dawn.

Having had several successes and failures with beating egg whites, I felt pretty confident translating -- battre le 3 blancs d'oeufs en neige -- to: beat them until they look like the soft, fluffy snow on mountain peaks. Not that dry, powdery stuff that makes it impossible to create snowballs... Then you've gone too far.

But with the beaten egg whites still standing ready on the mixer podium, I quickly took incorporer le melange avec blancs d'oeufs the wrong way and dumped the melange of mascarpone, sugar and egg yolks into the egg whites and whipped on the mixer. Flat. Splat. Runny whipped topping for my tiramisu. Something was wrong.

Oh yes, you're supposed to carefully, by hand, INCORPORATE -- this shouldn't have been so difficult since we do have a similar word in English, but for some reason I was thinking MIX, the first word I learned to translate from the French word incorporer.....aaaand probably because I do love to use my mixer so -- le melange avec blancs d'oeufs. Not to mention, I had messed up this process before and knew the quick-mix method with egg whites destroyed their foamy peaks.

But, never fear, I was saved by the leftover coffee from soaking les biscuits I had been drinking.

After a split second of panic when I realized that was the only mascarpone I had, I grabbed three more egg whites and beat them en neige, carefully incorporating the two mixtures together.

So I apologize if the tiramisu is a bit eggy and there are no eggs left in the carton for breakfast. I knew there was good reason for taking advantage of that 'buy one, get one free' sale on eggs at the grocery last week....

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