Saturday, February 27, 2010

Daring Baker's Challenge: 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. (Recipe is located here)

OK, I  have to admit, I wasn't pleased to see that this was the challenge this month. I'm not a fan of Tiramisu--I know, sacrilege to those of you who adore it, but between the soggy cookies/cake and the overly alcohol flavor, I never liked it. Nevertheless, the point of Daring Bakers is to try something you otherwise wouldn't have -- and this was definately the case.

The most difficult part of this challenge was making the 4, count them 4, different components to the creme before mixing it together. It was interesting to make Mascarpone Cheese from scratch, but also making zabaglione, pastry cream, and whip cream to mix together was --- time consuming. It would seem that since 2 of the 4 items have to be cooked in what amounts to a double boiler, that perhaps they could have been combined.

I ended up using espresso for the flavoring -- instead of the marsala. And I used a Danish Pastry flavoring in place of the Rum Extract. I have to admit, it was pretty good -- better than any tiramisu I've ever had before, that's for sure. The recipe called for it to be assembled in an 8x8 pan, but I didn't think I had enough ladyfingers for 3 layers in an 8x8 pan, so I assembled mine in a bread pan.

Even after waiting overnight to taste it, the ladyfinger biscuits held enough texture to make interesting -- although if I were to make it again, I think adding toasted hazelnuts or chocolate nibs would really enhance the experience.

Will I make it again? Not sure, but perhaps for company with lots of notice -- then again, maybe I'll make the easy and delicous Carmel Walnut Banana Torte.

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