Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tiramisu from Scratch, the most challenging Daring Baker's Challenge to date

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 and it was the most challenging yet. Everything we did was new to me! I successfully accomplished 3.5 out of 4 things, which isn't so bad. As usual a full recap and pictures are below.

After reading the trials and tribulations of other Daring Bakers with the Marscapone I thought I was in trouble late last Friday night but I skipped the double boiler and didn't have any issues beyond finishing it at 11:30 p.m. The next morning I made the Zabaglione in a makeshift double boiler substituting Bailey's, as I'm obsessed with it and already had it on hand, for the Marsala/Port Wine. To my surprise this was incredibly simple. I expected a disaster like the chocolate "soup" that developed when I attempted Malted Chocolate Pudding last year. Instead it gelled and was smooth, delicious and boozy; the pan was licked. The Pastry Cream was more work but also felt suspiciously easy and tasted delicious.

I placed both items in the fridge to chill and went out to enjoy the beautiful (almost 40 degrees Fahrenheit) Saturday feeling confident about making the Savoiardi Biscuits before dinner that night. I figured if I could handle Macarons I should be able to tackle the Biscuits no problem. I was so wrong. I suspect it was my decision to mix the yolks with the flour mixture, then fold into the egg whites instead of mixing yolks with whites, then the flour mixture as per the recipe but I won't know until I try again, which I will. The 12 not 36 biscuits weren't spongy and there weren't nearly enough to make Tiramisu.

Completely out of eggs and time, I headed to dinner and while drinking delicious cocktails like a Mango-Cinnamon Margarita, enjoying great company and eating good but uneven food at Poco decided make the rest of the "Tiramisu" with homemade "Oreo" wafers. A vicious hangover and laziness waylaid my progress until Sunday around 9 p.m. when I made the aforementioned cookies, stole some creme brulee coffee from my roommate (Sorry, Tracey!), brewed it extra strong in the microwave, mixed it with 4 shots of Starbucks espresso and the sugar, made whipped cream (Twice...because naturally I overbeat it the first time) and proceeded to follow the recipe to compile the "Tiramisu."

I use quotes because I've got to tell you I don't think my Tiramsiu was remotely authentic. It started so well and then sigh. However I liked my adapted version of boozy decadence with the dipped and layered "Oreo" cookies just fine.

Vera’s Recipe (Baking Obsession) for Homemade Mascarpone Cheese.
Savoiardi/ Ladyfinger Biscuits from Cordon Bleu At Home
Carminantonio's Tiramisu from The Washington Post, July 11 2007

Makeshift Double Boiler for the Zabaglione
Attempted Savoiardi Biscuits
DELICIOUSNESS (Pastry Cream at the top, Marscapone in the middle and Zabaglione at the bottom)
Luscious Whipped Cream Mixture
The Final Result


  1. I agree, it was challenging. My mascarpone was too runny, the ladyfingers too eggy and I didn't put enough cocoa on top! But it was still great tasting. Congrats for finishing this!

  2. Good job on the challenge!

  3. Good for you for completing this challenge! I think the oreos are a great idea.

  4. It looks good, and your savoiardi look fine to me. I beat the egg yolks with some of the sugar until they were really thick and light and then folded them together with the whites and the flour. Glad you liked your non-traditional flavour--my favourite was the raspberry Amaretto one I made.

  5. Lovely tiramisu. Very nicely done.

  6. I agree, the recipe yielded less ladyfingers than it was supposed to. But i thought ladyfingers were SOOOO much easier than macarons! I've tried making macarons twice and they both failed miserably... i'm too traumatized to try again, haha. Love how you added bailey's to the zabaglione, gives it a nice color too.

  7. Creme brulee coffee brewed extra strong with 4 shots of starbucks espreeso--Oh my!! I want your tiramisu!! Great job!

  8. Sarah - Thank you! Perhaps I can be too hard on myself. Perfectionism has its pluses and minuses but at least I always finish one way or another.

    ap269 - Thanks!

    Mary - I'll have to try your methodology for the lady fingers next time. Perhaps I didn't beat the yolks enough based on your description.

    Ellie - Thanks so much!

    Anjelikuh - That's a relief to hear. I just thought I was completely crazy... :) Then again I didn't mind the macarons too much so perhaps I am.

    Chef D - It was a very intense flavor! I'm just thankful she had coffee to steal as the Dunkin Donuts down the street had closed by that time.

  9. I think your addition of "oreo" sounds fabulous, and it looks like it all came out very well! Nice job on the challenge!! :)

  10. Kel - Thank you! I don't think you can ever go wrong with those Oreos. :)