Saturday, February 27, 2010

Daring Bakers - Tiramisu


Tiramisu! It's one of those fascinating words like "entschuldigung" which, when said out loud, remind me of Mary Poppins and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (which according to Wikipedia, means "Atoning for educability through delicate beauty"). "Tiramisu" is in fact Italian for "pick me up", and does indeed pick one up with a healthy dose of sugar, coffee and marsala.


The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.



According to the Daring Bakers forum:



The perfect Tiramisu is a balance of flavors of a sweet zabaglione, strong coffee, marsala wine, creamy mascarpone cheese and the dusting of unsweetened cocoa.



My first experience with tiramisu was not in its pure dessert form, but rather, as a flavour of gelato that my university friend Jen bought on a trip to New Farm. Before that, I'd never even heard of tiramisu. My next encounter with tiramisu was at the movies, when Tom Hanks' character in
Sleepless in Seattle, Sam Baldwin, asks his friend what is tiramisu. At that stage, I couldn't have told you what tiramisu was either. Now, I not only know what it is, I have made a low fat version of it and made it in cake form (twice!), and it was served at my friend Charet's wedding in lieu of traditional wedding cake, made by the Italian groom (both the traditional version and a raspberry version).


For this Daring Bakers challenge, we were asked to go one step further. Instead of buying the mascarpone and savoiardi, as you normally would, we were challenged to make our own, together with zabaglione and pastry cream for the filling.



I have never made mascarpone before, and in fact would never have dreamed of doing so. I was very surprised to learn that mascarpone is effectively cooked cream with a little lemon juice, strained through a cheesecloth (or in my case through a Chux superwipe!):





Making savoiardi made me slightly nervous, as the one and only time that I have tried to make them in the past, they turned out dry, hard and horrible. Ho, ho, how far we have come, because this time they were perfect - light, spongy and delicious:





I suspect that when I made them a few years ago, I hadn't a clue that the egg whites should be treated gently and folded in, not beaten vigorously into the other ingredients. However, my yield from the recipe was only 14 biscuits - rather short of the 24 promised, so I was only able to make a double layer tiramisu rather than the triple layer version in the recipe.


Here are my zabaglione, pastry cream and whipped cream respectively for the filling:




None of these components was hard to make, just time consuming. I used Marsala in the zabaglione as called for by the recipe.


Here are the four filling components (zabaglione, pastry cream, whipped cream and marscapone) combined to form the filling:




The final step involved dunking the savoiardi in rum-spiked coffee and lining an 8" x 8" tin with them:


then slathering over the cream filling and starting again to build up two layers:


The final step is to dust the top of the tiramisu with cocoa (or otherwise decorate it as you wish):



This tiramisu is of course delicious, and I am serving it at a dinner party tonight. (I have already taste-tested it.) It also froze well, and on defrosting the flavour and texture was still very good.


There will be various versions of the tiramisu popping up everywhere today, and if you'd like to check them out, visit
The Daring Kitchen.


Thanks to Aparna and Deeba for being our hosts this month. They will have the tiramisu recipe that we used on their websites, if you are interested in trying it for yourself.

35 comments:

Aparna said...

Looks pretty good. Am glad this one measured up to your expectations.
Thanks for baking with us.

Marthe said...

Your tiramisu looks amazing, I love that you made your own saviordi: going to have to try it myself one of these days!

Lazy Cook said...

wowza! that looks INCREDIBLE *drools*

Audax said...

WOW your tiramis├╣ looks delicious and the savoiardi biscuits look exactly right well done on this challenge. Love the last photo. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

The Blonde Duck said...

It looks gorgeous! And so delicious...

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Deliciously turned tiramisu...have a happy day....

Ellie said...

What a stunning classic tiramisu. Very nicely done :)

Liz @ Jarod and Liz dot com said...

Looks fantastic. Glad the biscuits worked this time for you.

jillbert said...

I'm glad it turned out so well! I hope your dinner guests enjoyed it.

I never would have thought of making mascarpone. Really, until I started reading food blogs, I didn't know it was possible to make cheese at home!

Trissa said...

Well done! I am sure your guests will enjoy it tonight. I also had apprehensions about freezing it but it turned out okay when thawed.

Dharm said...

Great Job!! Your Savoiardi looks just fantastic. I had to make mine twice!! That Tiramisu looks just wonderful and I wish I could pop over now and have some...

Brenda said...

From scratch?! Good on you! That looks so good, well worth the effort!!

Deeba PAB said...

Oh glad you enjoyed it and had some fun too. It looks yummy delicious to me. Hope the guests enjoy it! Well done my friend. I loved co-hosting the challenge!

Mary said...

Looks great! I ate most of my first batch of ladyfingers and had to make more:)

s said...

stunning!!! DELICIOUS!

Lisa said...

Taste testing is most important .. I did quite a bit of that myself along the way. I heartily approve! Lovely looking tiramisu :)

limo hire said...

Pretty stuff.............

ap269 said...

Good job on the challenge!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Fantastic job Cakelaw! Your tiramisu looks gorgeous and luscious :D

Yasmeen said...

Nicely done.I have to check you the low fat version :D

Pam said...

This looks gorgeous! And I'm sure it is delicious! I'd love a bite right now!

Natalie, aka "Sheltie Girl" said...

Beautiful job on your tiramisu! I'd never made mascarpone either and I was really excited to give it a try. I have to admit though, once I finished cooking it and it was still so runny, I was thinking I'd have to give it another go. But after sitting in the fridge overnight it was miraculously perfect. Wow! It was so much fun making cheese. It was a really great challenge this month.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Jeanne said...

Your tiramisu looks delicious! I had to laugh because "entschuldigung" is one of my favorite words as well!

Wic said...

amazing job with this months challenge it looks stunning.

Nina said...

Looks pretty.I loved them too.

Sheltie Girl said...

Great job on your tiramisu! This was a great party dessert. My guests just loved it.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Y said...

Hehe I love the word Entschuldigung. Your tiramisu looks fab! Tiramisu in gelato form sounds pretty fantastic too, actually.

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

Lovely lovely lovely, looks delicious!

Also, entschuldigung is an awesome word.

Happy Cook said...

Now i want them again seing all the tiramisu, this looks really yumm and one of the dessert my family loves too.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great job! your tiramisu looks luscious!

Cheers,

Rosa

culinography said...

Well done!

TeaLady said...

Tiramisu looks great. Excellent job to make all the componants. Not easy.

Jennifer said...

You are Superwoman! Making all of those components could NOT have been easy!

Your Tiramisu looks SO amazing!!!!

Lisa Michelle said...

Wow..It's been a while since I've popped in here and everything looks great..including your awesome tiramisu and photos. Well done!

lily said...

You get a Highly Commended for your savoiardi(s?)!