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.
I’ve never made Lady Fingers, or Savoiardi until now. Making these were an absolute joy! They turned out perfect, and I made disc from the batter as a base for my cake. It was pretty cool.
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!
Following is the rather lengthy recipe, that is worth making at least once!
(Recipe source: Carminantonio’s Tiramisu from The Washington Post, July 11 2007 )
This recipe makes 6 servings
For the zabaglione:
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar/50gms
1/4 cup/60ml Marsala wine (or port or coffee)
1/4 teaspoon/ 1.25ml vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
For the vanilla pastry cream:
1/4 cup/55gms sugar
1 tablespoon/8gms all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup/175ml whole milk
For the whipped cream:
1 cup/235ml chilled heavy cream (we used 25%)
1/4 cup/55gms sugar
1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract
To assemble the tiramisu:
2 cups/470ml brewed espresso, warmed
1 teaspoon/5ml rum extract (optional)
1/2 cup/110gms sugar
1/3 cup/75gms mascarpone cheese
36 savoiardi/ ladyfinger biscuits (you may use less)
2 tablespoons/30gms unsweetened cocoa powder
For the zabaglione:
Heat water in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place a pot with about an inch of water in it on the stove. Place a heat-proof bowl in the pot making sure the bottom does not touch the water.
In a large mixing bowl (or stainless steel mixing bowl), mix together the egg yolks, sugar, the Marsala (or espresso/ coffee), vanilla extract and lemon zest. Whisk together until the yolks are fully blended and the mixture looks smooth.
Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler or place your bowl over the pan/ pot with simmering water. Cook the egg mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 8 minutes or until it resembles thick custard. It may bubble a bit as it reaches that consistency.
Let cool to room temperature and transfer the zabaglione to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.
For the pastry cream:
Mix together the sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. To this add the egg yolk and half the milk. Whisk until smooth.
Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling.
Add the remaining milk a little at a time, still stirring constantly. After about 12 minutes the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble. (If you have a few lumps, don’t worry. You can push the cream through a fine-mesh strainer.)
Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.
For the whipped cream:
Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer or immersion blender until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside.
To assemble the tiramisu:
Have ready a rectangular serving dish (about 8″ by 8″ should do) or one of your choice.
Mix together the warm espresso, rum extract and sugar in a shallow dish, whisking to mix well. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold. Add the prepared and chilled zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.
Now to start assembling the tiramisu.
Workings quickly, dip 12 of the ladyfingers in the sweetened espresso, about 1 second per side. They should be moist but not soggy. Immediately transfer each ladyfinger to the platter, placing them side by side in a single row. You may break a lady finger into two, if necessary, to ensure the base of your dish is completely covered.
Spoon one-third of the cream mixture on top of the ladyfingers, then use a rubber spatula or spreading knife to cover the top evenly, all the way to the edges.
Repeat to create 2 more layers, using 12 ladyfingers and the cream mixture for each layer. Clean any spilled cream mixture; cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight.
To serve, carefully remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the tiramisu with cocoa powder using a fine-mesh strainer or decorate as you please. Cut into individual portions and serve.
(Source: Vera’s Recipe for Homemade Mascarpone Cheese)
This recipe makes 12oz/ 340gm of mascarpone cheese
474ml (approx. 500ml)/ 2 cups whipping (36 %) pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized), preferably organic cream (between 25% to 36% cream will do)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering. Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F. If you do not have a thermometer, wait until small bubbles keep trying to push up to the surface.
It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating. Add the lemon juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles. Do not expect the same action as you see during ricotta cheese making. All that the whipping cream will do is become thicker, like a well-done crème anglaise. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly. You will see just a few clear whey streaks when you stir. Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time). Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.
Vera’s notes: The first time I made mascarpone I had all doubts if it’d been cooked enough, because of its custard-like texture. Have no fear, it will firm up beautifully in the fridge, and will yet remain lusciously creamy.
Keep refrigerated and use within 3 to 4 days.
LADYFINGERS/ SAVOIARDI BISCUITS
(Source: Recipe from Cordon Bleu At Home)
This recipe makes approximately 24 big ladyfingers or 45 small (2 1/2″ to 3″ long) ladyfingers.
3 eggs, separated
6 tablespoons /75gms granulated sugar
3/4 cup/95gms cake flour, sifted (or 3/4 cup all purpose flour + 2 tbsp corn starch)
6 tablespoons /50gms confectioner’s sugar,
Preheat your oven to 350 F (175 C) degrees, then lightly brush 2 baking sheets with oil or softened butter and line with parchment paper.
Beat the egg whites using a hand held electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gradually add granulate sugar and continue beating until the egg whites become stiff again, glossy and smooth.
In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with a fork and fold them into the meringue, using a wooden spoon. Sift the flour over this mixture and fold gently until just mixed. It is important to fold very gently and not overdo the folding. Otherwise the batter would deflate and lose volume resulting in ladyfingers which are flat and not spongy.
Fit a pastry bag with a plain tip (or just snip the end off; you could also use a Ziploc bag) and fill with the batter. Pipe the batter into 5″ long and 3/4″ wide strips leaving about 1″ space in between the strips.
Sprinkle half the confectioner’s sugar over the ladyfingers and wait for 5 minutes. The sugar will pearl or look wet and glisten. Now sprinkle the remaining sugar. This helps to give the ladyfingers their characteristic crispness.
Hold the parchment paper in place with your thumb and lift one side of the baking sheet and gently tap it on the work surface to remove excess sprinkled sugar.
Bake the ladyfingers for 10 minutes, then rotate the sheets and bake for another 5 minutes or so until the puff up, turn lightly golden brown and are still soft.
Allow them to cool slightly on the sheets for about 5 minutes and then remove the ladyfingers from the baking sheet with a metal spatula while still hot, and cool on a rack.
Store them in an airtight container till required. They should keep for 2 to 3 weeks.
it turned out beautiful! actually, everything you make is just beautiful!!! now i'm totally looking up recipes on mascarpone. thanks for showing how you made chocolate curls… i always have a difficult time with that. i have always tried to work off of a bar of chocolate, but they never come out as pretty as yours.
I can't believe this is your first DB challenge! Your tiramisu is amazing! Do you mind me adding you to my favorite daring bakers in February blogroll? I just think that people who visit my blog MUST have the chance to see your tiramisu. Kudos!!!!! Looking forward to reading from you again in March.
Holy cow, that is gorgeous!!! I just love the chocolate curls and all the work you put into it. Awesome job with your first challenge, I can't wait to see what you will dno next!
What a great job you did! Talk about making it all from scratch! Congratulations – it looks wonderful!
omg! I heart tiramisu! I can't wait to try this! Your turned out so pretty!
Kim @ http://frostmeblog.blogspot.com
This looks SO great and was wondering when you were going to join! I'm so gutted I'm not doing this months challenge but I'm happy just looking at yours!
That is just beautiful! I love the chocolate scrolls for decoration…yum
Heather I did not know you'd joined Daring bakers! Welcome to the group! You've done a gorgeous job with your tiramisu – I love the chocolate curls 🙂
So fancy! What a gorgeous tiramisu! Yum!!
I am floored! Absolutely gorgeous tiramisu! And it's your first challenge?! Well done – you knocked it out of the park!!
Your tiramisu looks amazing! Good job 🙂 I've been a mamber of the Daring Bakers for a few months now and I'm really starting to enjoy it. Welcome to the group!
It was also my first DB but mine looks like a very first time, not like yours, awesome!! 😉
How exactly do you join The Daring Bakers I have been trying to figure it out! Please send an email –email@example.com. The Tiramisu looks delishh!!
with love and cupcakes,
Wow, what a job on your first challenge – that came out beautifully!! I love the chocolate curls on there. Congratulations on a job superbly done!
Congratulations! Can't believe this is your first, what a great challenge to enter the daring bakers.
Love the curls with the espresso powder!
Wow! Your tiramisù (accent on the "u") looks perfect!!! Wow! Congratulations on your first entry!! I love your photos.
Fantastic creation for your first (really??!!) challenge!! Welcome to DB!!
I have yet to get to mine and you sure make it all look easy! Beautiful photos!
omg those look fantastic!!!
Ditto on all the above admiration…but I have to say that this looks so good I had to quickly scroll down for fear that the calories would come through my screen….that or I would start licking the screen..it looks SO GOOD!!! Bravo!!
What an incredibly beuatiful Tiramisu. COngratulations on not only compelting but owning your first DBC. Awesome photos too
Yes, and not only that the mascarpone is way more delicious than store bought.
You did a mucho fabulous job on this challenge. You are very creative!
wow, you are the woman! this is crazy with all the steps and definitely a daring baking experience. I was in the DB for a bit but I kept forgetting and I think I got kicked out 😉
This looks phenomenal! Not only delicious, but beautiful, too… very nice!
What a fabulous idea making a disk for the bottom of your tiramisu. It looks beautiful, recipes like this make me wish I was a DBer again! Congratulations on your first event!!
OF COURSE your tiramisu looks GORGEOUS!!! You did a phenomenal job! I especially LOVE the chocolate curls, especially on the sides! I also LOVE the photo of Biscuit peering over the edge of the table:) CONGRATS on your first challenge, and WELCOME!
(I flaked out this month, but really want to make the marscarpone cheese!)
This is absolutely beautiful!
I am speechless. This is without a doubt the most beautiful tiramisu I've ever seen. I so want a slice of that.
ok this looks absolutely divine. Tiramisu is my all time fave dessert and I would adore a piece right now. I will have to try this sometime! 🙂 xx
I tried making tiramisu once and haven't attempted it since…i'm inspired to try it again;)
Come by and check us out we are new on the food blogger scene:)
Gorgeous! Wow so impressed and you are so spot on it is what we all want at least once in a while genuine authenticity, it is exactly what you think it is right down to the mascarpone! Love it!
wow this is spectacular 🙂 you re a master. I m drooling 🙂
very nice, I like your desing.
yummmmm your tiramisu looks delicious!
What a great version for this challenge.
I love the flavors combination and the making of pictures are great
(also a DB)
There is no doubt that you can hang with the best of them Heather.. NO doubt! Marvelous job on your first challenge. I'm looking forward to your next ones. 🙂
WOW! That is just amazing! You did a beautiful job on it and the pictures are great too! Thanks so much for sharing!
We are having a Spring Hop with 7 Amazing Bakers, we would love for you to link up! It starts next Monday!
I'm not a daring baker…….for very obvious reasons but I have made this twice – each time to stunning reviews. What amazes me is how the cookies transform to cake overnight!!!!!!!!! Superb…..love the base and the curls and everything else!
I just joined daring bakers, and am a little terrified of the recipes.
Your tiramisu looks amazing though. I had never once considered making marscapone before, but now I think I will have to try it!
i HAVE to try this. My fav tiramisu is a recipe by the Scotto sisters and I've made it for the last 2 decades but this beats it hands down for sheer awesomeness! Cannot wait to try this…
I really love baking, this is a very good recipe to prepare at home, I really want to make all this, ingredients are so easy to get and preparation is so quickly.
I am OBSESSED with your site.
I'd love to see more dessert and cupcake recipes those are my favorite. YOU ARE AWESOME, and your dog is adorable.
I want to try making this recipe and I see that you used a springform pan for the roundness and cake-looking effect. In the assembly instructions call for a platter so i'm confused as to how you would assemble in the springform pan. Maybe i'm missing it somewhere but i'd appreciate your reply. Thanks a lot !
The recipe is copied directly from the daring Baker's forum. I did not use a platter. I made mine in a small springform pan. I piped and baked a round disc of lady finger batter (pictured in the post) to fit the bottom of my springform pan, and then layered the biscuits and filling on top. From there you refrigerate (or freeze) until firm. After you remove the spring for collar you can press the chocolate curls into the sides.
Hope this helps!
what size springform did you use?
I'm going to attempt your tiramisu this weekend, but after reading through the recipe, I have some questions. After heating the mascarpone, the recipe calls to line the sieve with 4 layers of dampened cheesecloths. In your photos, did you opt to line the sieve with a coffee filter and just one cheesecloth? It appears that you removed the cheesecloth before refrigerating and the cheese was left to firm in the filter. Is this correct? I want to make sure I'm setting myself up correctly!
Thanks and please keep creating!
Your notes talk about using a springform pan. How do you stabilize it once you have removed the frame and how did you get it off the base? Did you put it on parchment? The picture looks as though you put whipped cream around the outside to hold the chocolate sprinkles. Yes?
Hi there! It seems I have missed some previous questions. Very sorry about that. Will check my email notification settings to make sure it's working properly. Anonymous 1 – It was a 6-inch pan. Stephanie – I strained through a cheesecloth and then turned the cheese out into a coffee-filter lined sieve. Anonymous 2 – I don't think I mention this in the instructions (because they were specific to the daring baker guidelines) but I froze the tiramisu in the spring-form pan. It's easier to remove the collar when frozen and it's also easier to lift off the base with… Read more »
hi heather! I just want to know if mascarpone is still good if I will do it one week in advance. thanks!!
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Hi Heather! I am doing a test run for my son's wedding next month. Using the springform pan, I will let it set for 12 hours then freeze it. My questions: how long did it take to come to room temp. after freezing? From your pic, it looks as though you have another topping, in addition to the curls and the cocoa. Yes?