Saturday, February 27, 2010

Daring Bakers February Challenge--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. 

When I took my tiramisu to work to share, I discovered that not everyone knows what it is (like I expected).  So, for a little description, tiramisu is an Italian dessert which translates to mean ‘pick me up’, supposedly referring to the ‘kick’ provided by the strong coffee, sugar and alcohol in it!

That presents my first problem, I don't drink coffee or alcohol.  So, I read some suggestions posted by others and read over the recipe to see how much of and how the coffee and alcohol are used.  And then came my substitute, Hot Chocolate!  Then, to add a little more chocolatyness I decided to add a layer of ganache (I think I may have a ganache addiction). 

This was quite the challenge, not only did we make Tiramisu, we made all the ingredients from scratch, the Marscarpone cheese, zabaglione and savoiardi biscuits (ladyfingers).  Plus, I made whipped cream from scratch.  I've never done that before, which is sort of funny because it's SO easy.  In fact, a friend of mine teases me for making everything from scratch, but yet she makes whipped cream from scratch and I don't.  She has told me once I tried it I'd never go back--and she is SO RIGHT!  

Speaking of whipped cream, that brings me to the many problems this challenge brought me.  First of all, don't mistake whipped cream with whipping cream--I did.  I made the whipped cream than used that in the next recipe that called for whipping cream.  When I discovered my mistake, I remade the whipped cream using some old heavy cream I still had in the fridge and which wasn't supposed to expire for a few more days.  I ran to the store for some whipping cream, and then when I got back and tasted the whipped cream I discovered that the heavy cream must've been bad.  Urgh!!!  So, rather than making another dash to the store I used store bought whipping cream.  I know, I'm bad....but I did make it once successfully, just didn't get to use it in the Tiramisu.

On to the next problem.  My lady fingers did not rise like they should've.

  And the recipe was supposed to make a lot more than I came up with, so my Tiramisu was a little shy on biscuits.  Although I don't think I would make this again (it was good just not quite worth all the effort), next time I would use a sifter to sprinkle the powdered sugar.
It was pretty fun getting to make my own cheese, how cool is that?  And it was pretty easy too.  I had trouble mixing the pastry cream and the zabaglione.  The recipe ought to say to stir fast--I was just stirring like you do making coconut cream pie (just enough to keep it from burning) and it was taking FOREVER.  After 30 minutes, my husband took over stirring while I went to read on the daring kitchen forums to see if anyone else was having this problem.  And within a couple of minutes he was calling out to me, letting me know they were thick--stirring quickly made all the difference.

To assemble the Tiramisu, I dipped my ladyfingers in hot chocolate (instead of espresso) and alternated a layer of those with the cream.  And in the middle I added some milk chocolate ganache to kick up the chocolate flavor.  


I used a springform pan.  It is a pretty loose dessert and doesn't really get firm.  But I was able to quickly take a snapshot of the entire Tiramisu before quickly putting the side of the pan back on.
  We each took a slice, drizzled with more ganache. 
And then I took the rest to work to share.

No comments: