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 challenge was exactly what I was expecting from the Daring Bakers! A tiramisu with many homemade components: mascarpone, savoiardi biscuits, zabaglione, pastry cream and of course whipped cream. Finding your own cow to milk to ensure non-UHT pasteurized dairy products was optional. Maybe next time, because I think I could manage that. Seriously. Thanks Aparna and Deeba for an amazing challenge!
I only had 4 days to complete this challenge, as I was leaving town for a month, so I couldn't do my usual procrastinating. I was a bit worried when it was recommended that we devote a couple of days to the components. In the end, it turned out that all the individual recipes were quite quick and easy. Really. According to some of my friends, I have a skewed notion of quick and easy, but I find time spent in the kitchen enjoyable and don't want to take shortcuts.
This is the raspberry Amaretto variation. It was my favourite, and the only one I actually ate. I found the tart-sweet raspberries helped cut the rich creaminess. It was also really simple: I put a bag of frozen raspberries through the food mill and added sugar and Amaretto. I used some as a sauce and the rest for dipping the Savoiardi biscuits.
This one is mandarin Amaretto. I had a big basket of mandarins in the fridge to get through, so I juiced them, reduced the juice with sugar and added a generous splash of Amaretto.
The original coffee version, with some coffee-rum jelly. All the components on the plate reminded of the coffee jelly parfaits I used to eat in Japan.
Because I had so much time, I froze some of the filling to make ice cream for some tiramisu parfaits: raspberry.
I also made a coffee one, but I wasn't quick enough to get a picture and it was a soupy mess. A tasty soupy mess.
Continue reading after the jump for photos of the ladyfingers, mascarpone, and zabaglione. Here's the link to the full PDF of the recipe.
Savoiardi, piped and ready to go into the oven. These were amazing! I promptly ate half the batch and had to make more the next morning.
Many were very concerned about the eggy flavour, but I thought they were great. They tasted just like store-bought. Better, actually. After last month's challenge I swore off buying graham crackers and I won't be buying ladyfingers any more, either. It's not like I ever bought either of those things anyway, but still, you've got to take a stand sometimes.
Cooling off. This must have been the first batch, because there are definitely not enough here.
There were so many questions and concerns about the mascarpone. Some bakers couldn't find non-UHT cream, others couldn't get the cream up to 190℉, still more couldn't get it to curdle when the lemon juice was added. Some had results that were too thick, some were too thin. I could go on and on and on. Anyway, there was a great discussion in the forums about it all. Should the bowl be suspended above the water, or placed directly in the water? Many speculated that only metal bowls should be used, as glass wouldn't allow the temperature to get as high as necessary. As usual, I ignored most of the advice, and made mine in a glass teapot. As you can see above, it got to the right temperature, and turned out fine in the end.
Draining mascarpone, meet cooling pastry cream.
And after. I whipped mine while it was cooking, so it was very fluffy instead of custardy.
The filling consists of mascarpone, the pastry cream and the zabaglione. Once these were combined I added whipped cream and rum. I think the recipe called for rum extract, but, there was no chance of that happening in my kitchen. Not with a nice bottle of Appleton Estates calling my name...
This is the large, coffee tiramisu that I hope is still in my freezer when I get home. If not, no worries M--I know that watering plants is hard work! I just might make another one for Easter. If you're still reading, thanks! Tune in in a day or so to see what I made with some of the leftover challenge ingredients. Oh, and go here to see what kinds of tiramisu the fantastically creative Daring Bakers have come up with.