Sunday, February 28, 2010
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.
Tiramisu is one of The Husband's favorite desserts so I had planned to make it for Valentine's day... but, things did not go as planned. In fact this is being posted a day after the reveal date, as I only finished the dessert today. The week before Valentine's day, I started getting a sore throat and it escalated into a full blown bad case of strep throat plus a bad sinus infection set in, and since the first doctor's visit amounted in an antibiotic that didn't work, by Friday I also had pink eye in both eyes and my ears hurt and I felt just terrible. It took a good week to get over and finally last week I began thinking about putting together the tiramisu. The recipe is made up of several components... a zabaglione (like an egg custard type of thing), mascarpone cheese, whipped cream, pastry cream, savoiardi / ladyfinger biscuits, and such.. many of it having to be done in advance. I began with the mascarpone cheese on Wednesday but again my plans were foiled for finishing the tiramisu on time.
The Husband had gotten the stomach flu earlier in the week and by Thursday it had spread to me... awesome.. sick again! So, with more days off work and not wanting to even look at food, even by Saturday the 27th, the reveal date, I wasn't able to put together the tiramisu in time, let alone even eat it if I had it. Still, I was starting to feel a little better, though my stupid throat still hurts due to that sinus infection that won't seem to go away and my immune system must be in terrible condition.... anyway I finally made two more components on the 27th (yesterday). I made the pastry cream which was basically milk and flour and very tasty, as well as the zabaglione, which was egg yolks, lemon, and marsala wine. I am not so sure about my zabaglione... it seemed really thick and there wasn't much of it. It tasted pretty good though and I was happy to use up some of my marsala wine.
This morning, my appetite was finally starting to come back and The Husband has pretty much totally recovered, so it was time to finish up this challenge. I made the savoiardi / ladyfinger biscuits, which actually turned out really good. You make them by making a meringue of egg whites and then folding in the yolks and flour and then pipe them into finger shapes and top with powdered sugar.. they baked up great and mine were crispy and tasty. I brewed some extra espresso and added the sugar and had that ready to go.
I then whipped more heavy cream with vanilla and sugar and was ready to incorporate that with the homemade mascarpone cheese (I think mine was a little soupy), the zabaglione (mine had to be warmed up so that it was mixable), and then the pastry cream. Then it was simply a matter of dipping my ladyfingers into the sweetened espresso, laying them in a layer in the bottom of my trifle dish, putting a layer of cream, a sprinkling of cocoa and repeating for 4 total biscuit layers. Then it was off to the fridge to chill.
I found the taste to be very rich, from all of the crazy amounts of heavy cream in this and it was heavy on the lemon flavor. I did enjoy the marsala touch, and I wished it had more of a coffee flavor so maybe I didn't dip my biscuits long enough or just needed to add more coffee somehow.. I think I would like a little more chocolate or coffee incporated in my next trial of this, maybe in the form of a chocolate/coffee liqueur which I have used in previous tiramisu recipes. This is the first time I've made my own ladyfinger biscuits and they were delicious, and I'd definitely try the zabaglione and cream mixtures again. A very tasty challenge and I know my coworkers will appreciate tasting it tomorrow and the leftovers won't last long around here.
Thanks for the great challenge and sorry it's a day late but I'm glad I finally feel well enough to finally do some baking! I missed the January Daring Bakers and I certainly didn't want to miss two in a row and risk getting the boot!! :)
Posted by Kitchen Bliss! at Sunday, February 28, 2010