Monday, March 1, 2010

Daring Bakers: Tiramisu

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.

This was a challenge. Not because it was so difficult, necessarily, but because there were so many steps, involving several days of prep, and like anyone with a job and other responsibilities, the challenge was timing. Making Tiramisu is one thing; making the lady fingers, the pastry cream, zabaglione, and marscapone over a period of a few days is quite another. And oh yeah – we had plans to visit friends in Eastern Washington (the site of my very first baking challenge , in an inadequately equipped kitchen, no less), so the plan was to make as much as possible before leaving and assemble the Tiramisu when I got there.

Wednesday night I made lady fingers. Not many ingredients in lady fingers.

They didn’t take too long, so I also made the pastry cream. I’d made this a few weeks ago to use as filling in a pink champagne cake and used what I had left over to make pâte à choux. But this recipe produced a kind of grayish, not-very-attractive-looking pastry cream. Tasted good, though.

Thursday between work shifts I made zabaglione. It never did resemble “thick custard,” but I ran out of time and had to go back to work, so I called it done.

On Friday we traveled halfway across the state and I set out to make marscapone at about 10p. I neglected to bring a lot of my own kitchen tools (like a double boiler, among other things), and it took for-EV-er.

I couldn’t get it above 90 degrees. I finally resorted to the microwave. I cooked it for a minute on high power, added the lemon, stirred, cooked another one minute. It refused to curdle, so I blasted it two more times before I gave up. I poured it into a cheesecloth-lined pasta strainer, stuck it in the refrigerator, and went to bed. And in the morning woke up marscapone!

One thing this kitchen did have was an espresso machine. Gotta love that.

Dipping the lady fingers into espresso, rum, and sugar.

Back to the marscapone. It was to be mixed with the zabaglione, pastry cream, and whipped cream. Did you catch that? Was. I forgot to add it! I added a little of the leftover espresso-rum and spooned it over the finished dessert, but that made it more of a sauce.


(Something else I didn't have with me was some kind of sieve or sifter for the cocoa powder.)

Reviews were good. It tasted great. But it wasn’t pretty, and the layers between the lady fingers had no stability. I dubbed it Tiramisoup. I’d like to try it again, but like books…so many desserts, so little time. We went wine tasting this weekend and I tasted a port wine that I’m dying to incorporate into a cheesecake. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. hehehe... Tiramisoup. Mine didn't set up either. I think the whole project was WAY too much work. But your lady fingers look beautiful.