over here. Trust me, I know even less about gardening than I do baking, so if you have any advice to give, hop on over. (For instance, it could snow - what should I do for the spinach and lettuce I planted? Ah, crazy weather).
Back to tiramisu. 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.
Included in the challenge was that everything had to be made from scratch, including the lady fingers (savoiardi) and mascarpone cheese. I've made tiramisu before, although not such a complicated recipe, so I was honestly the most excited about making cheese from scratch, something I've never done! First I had to hunt down cheesecloth, and I had some funny phone conversations with people working at various grocery stories until I found some at a craft store. It seemed essential, and I'm glad I bought it since it was pretty liquidy before it cooled. I actually got to a point in the recipe where I'd already cooked it twice as long as it said and it wasn't getting any thicker, so I called it good and thought I'd see what happened.
I loved how it turned out - thick, spreadable, soft - I now have almost a cup left over, and would love suggestions for how to use it! I will never buy mascarpone at the store again. This was probably 1/4 of the cost to do it this way, and simple.
Ultimately I was unhappiest with the filling. It was made of four components - the mascarpone, whipped cream, the zabaglione, and the pastry cream. It was pretty soft when I layered it with the lady fingers, but I was hopeful that it would set up. Maybe it isn't supposed to entirely in "real" tiramisu, but I just feel like I must have done something wrong. WIth all the variables and my complete and utter last-minuteness (actually overdueness at this point!) I didn't have time to retrace my steps. I'd hate to think it was something as simple as underbeating the whipped cream.
During one of the stages, I think when I made the zabaglione and pastry cream, Sleepless in Seattle was on the television. If you know the movie enough, you probably know what comes next, but probably the best movie quotation about tiramisu ever:
Sam Baldwin: What is "tiramisu"?
Jay: You'll find out.
Sam Baldwin: Well, what is it?
Jay: You'll see!
Sam Baldwin: Some woman is gonna want me to do it to her and I'm not gonna know what it is!
A few years back, I had developed a chocolate tiramisu recipe based on the cheater recipe we used at the tearoom where I worked (it involved pudding, cream cheese, and pound cake, be very afraid). I hope I can track it down because this entire venture has made me really want to make that again. Until next time....
Categories: Cheese, Custard, Daring Bakers