I did it -I joined the Daring Bakers community. My very first challenge is everyone's favorite afternoon pick-me-up. Tiramisu! I love tiramisu so much. This is the second time I've made it this year.
I'll admit that one part of the challenge was not something I understood very well upon first blush. Specifically when I read the words "...make your own mascarpone cheese..."
Luckily, making the cheese was very easy. And henceforth I will probably always make my own mascarpone cheese. It takes less time than you'd think and cuts the expense of pre-packaged mascarpone nearly in half! I'm all for that!
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.
Here's a tip for the mascarpone cheese. Use a stainless (or metal) bowl when heating your cream. It took nearly an hour of gentle heating to get mine to the required 190 degrees. It should have taken about 20 minutes.
I'll let the recipe do most of the explaining, but it's pretty simple. Heat cream to 190, add lemon juice, strain, refrigerate overnight and that's it! Mascarpone demystified.
Biscuit thoroughly approved, even though he only got to sniff them.
I couldn't believe how perfectly spongy they were on the inside, and crispy on the outside. They were so delicious. I had a few biscuits leftover after assembling the Tiramisu, and I've been dunking them in my morning coffee since.
The ladyfingers recipe was taken from the Cordon Bleu at Home cookbook. I have a Cordon Bleu cookbook (but not the same one) that demonstrates part of the biscuit-making process. At first I didn't understand why you had to grease your pan then place parchment on top. I found that it makes the parchment stick to the cookie sheet when you shake off the additional powdered sugar. (above, fig.3)
Below is the complete printable recipe, assuming you have already made your mascarpone and ladyfingers. Or have bought them. :)
I chose to make my Tiramisu in the smallest springform pan I have. It looks more like a cake!
I made some chocolate curls too.
Before the chocolate set, I sprinkled it with some espresso powder for an extra coffee-kick! I feel energized just thinking about it.
I really enjoyed my first challenge as a Daring Baker. There's something so wonderful about building a dessert like this from scratch. Every element is authentic. Isn't that what we all want out of life every now and then - something genuine, whether it be someone saying "I love you" and really, really meaning it, or whether it be your Mom's scratch made chicken noodle soup? I mean, it's not something you get every day, but there are occasions when nothing less will do.
I am SO looking forward to the next challenge because I've learned so much from this one! I just hope I can keep up with all the talented and seasoned bakers that this online community holds.
We'll certainly see!
Until next time!