February 28, 2010

I think I got a lot of this wrong.

BLOG-CHECKING LINES: 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.

Making this tiramisu was not easy, not at all.  It wasn’t even easy to decide to participate.  With the rush of school and dance, my time is pretty limited.  I’m also trying to eat healthier, which is not encouraged by creamy (delicious) tiramisu.

But I couldn’t pass up the challenge.  I started with the ladyfingers, which went along smoothly.  I think that whipping egg whites may be one of my new favorite activities.  I’m inspired to try out some souffles or meringues in the near future. However, the mascarpone presented more of a challenge.  First of all, there was no unpasteurized cream at my grocery store, and the creams they did have weren’t labeled.  I have no idea what percentage cream I used.  I decided to try anyways, heating the heavy cream in my makeshift double boiler (a saucepan and glass bowl).  After about an hour (four times longer than the recipe called for), the cream was still at 160 degrees.  I finally gave in, added the lemon juice, and threw it in the fridge.  It seems like using a metal bowl might help next time.  The pastry cream and zaglibone also took about three times longer to thicken than they were supposed to, but they got there eventually.

I checked on my cheese the next day to find a very firm block lacking the creamy smoothness of mascarpone cheese.  Not about to start over (or go buy any from the store – I’m cheap!) I proceeded anyways, beating the cheese, cream, and zaglibone together with an electric beater.

Finally, I think I dipped the ladyfingers a bit too long.  Those little cookies soak up liquid extremely quickly!  However, everything turned out okay.  My tiramisu was not perfect (nothing I make ever is), but it tasted pretty darn good.  My Italian friend K- said it tasted like tiramisu, so I guess I did some things right!

I really liked this dessert, but if I were ever to make it again I would add chocolate, chocolate, and some more chocolate.  A chocolate pastry cream and plenty of chocolate shavings on top would, in my opinion, make this dessert pure heaven.  Tiramisu purists may frown, but I would be in such a sugar coma that it wouldn’t bother me.

Feeling daring?  Try out the recipe here.


3 Responses to “Tiramisu”

  1. Aparna Says:

    YOur Tiramisu doesn’t look like you got anything wrong, its beautiful. I really like the picture, btw.
    Thanks for baking with us.

  2. Aparna Says:

    Answering your question about the Tiramisu, it doesn’t really firm up too much. It would be firm enough to hold its shape but quite soft when you push a spoon/ fork throught it.

    If you feel it still didn’t firm up enough, could be that your mascarpone wasn’t too firm in the first. Sometimes draining the mascarpone for an extra 12 hours makes a difference.
    Or perhaps your cream wasn’t whipped stiff enough. Too much of folding the cream and zabaglione-pastry cream-mascarpone can also make it a bit runny.

    And once you have assembled it, just freeze it. Then slice it while its still frozen and put it back. Defrost it in the fridge about half an hour to an hour before serving.

    • conniex721 Says:

      Thank you! I think I probably didn’t whip my cream stiff enough or folded it for too long. I’ll have to try again for some special occasion; this would be a great holiday dessert!

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