Friday, February 26, 2010

Feb 2010 Daring Bakers Tiramisù


Tiramisù is a heavenly dessert I was glad it was this month's challenge. And every component was to made from scratch - that is the savoiardi biscuits, mascarpone cheese, zabaglione and the pastry cream - then these were assembled with whipped cream and a flavoured liquor to make the final tiramisù. Tiramisù is already a plural in Italian so it is three tiramisù not three tiramisùs.

Overall the challenge recipes are very simple and give great results. Thank you Deeba and Aparna for an excellent challenge.

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.

The Savoiardi Biscuits recipe is a minor miracle the end results are wonderful and so so good, the biscuits have a crisp crust and a lovely texture inside. The only slight change I did was to beat the egg yolks until they formed a thick stable foam which makes it so much easier to fold them into the egg whites without loss of volume and even adds some more volume I think.

Unbaked biscuits

Baked biscuits

The final biscuits were lightly browned on the bottom but had a crisp firm crust and a lovely cakey inside that was delightfully. And they are so much better than the store brought ones and so easy and quick to make. The small ones took the 15 mins but the larger ones I left in the cooling oven which baked them to the right degree. They certainly do taste of eggs but I like that.

Moroccan Hot & Cold Spicy Walnut Mint Coffee Tiramisu served with a blood orange sauce
I made a quarter batch of the reveal recipe for testing the baking methods and making the tiramisù methods. I added 1 teaspoon each of cardamom and sumac and 2 tablespoons walnut meal to the cream filling, also I used mint coffee with gin to soak the savolardi biscuits, then I added cocoa powder with 1/4 teaspoon of home-made hot harissa powder on top. Yum Yum this is perfect. And the Moroccan spices add that nice touch of exoticness that is needed. The mint gives a cool fresh flavour and the cocoa with harissa powder gives a hot deep flavour. I feel this contrast is necessary for such a rich dessert. The savolardi biscuits are not soggy at all I only soaked one side which helps keep their shape. It's very hard to get good photos of this treat. This was so good great flavours. Sorry I forgot to take a photo of the blood orange sauce it is too dark now will do it tomorrow.

Powdered harissa my recipe - dried red chillies, powdered saffrron, coriander, mint, cumin, caraway, orange peel and garlic.

Blood orange sauce - juice of 2 blood oranges with 2 tablespoons of sugar simmer reduce to 1/4, add 1/2 teaspoon of balsamic vingear adjust seasoning to have a balance of sweet and sour.

Mascarpone – this is simple but it really does take 15 mins of gentle heating and stirring to get to 190F I used a candy thermometer. Adding the lime juice just thickens the cream slightly and draining overnight in the fridge firms it up to the correct consistency.
Zabaglione – this is so delicious I could just eat this and not worry about the rest of the challenge. Again gentle heating and constant stirring gives you a wondrously thick yet light custard great recipe.
Pastry cream – not as tasty or as rich as the zabaglione also it takes longer but it is very light and full of bubbles which remain when left overnight.
Making the tiramisu – it is much better to have an even layer of savoiardis without holes which helps the completed tiramisù maintain a better shape. The filling sets only to 'soft firm' which is what you want but makes it almost impossible to cut cleanly.

Exotic pick-me-up tiramisù

I thought I would some very refreshing tiramisù since it is a pick-me-up!

The four different tiramisù waiting to be refrigerated for 24 hours

Persian date tiramisù – Cardamom/cumin/vegemite coffee infused dates, soak the biscuits in coconut cream with powdered chilli, flavour the cream with saffron and mint. Top with moist coconut flakes. The dates are so soft and add a lovely look to the tiramisù, and the overnight soaking of the dates in the salty spicy coffee really adds a great contrast to the sweet filling.

Italian lemon tiramisù – Preserved lemon and candied citrus, finely cut up ½ preserved lemon (you need a lot to contrast with the sweet filling) add to the cream filling, soak the biscuit in lemon liquor. The salty preserved lemons adds a lovely zing to this tiramisù. Serve with blood orange sauce you can see the sauce near the bottom of the photo yum yum.

Arabian Evening tiramisù – Soured cherry preserves in the filling and and the pomegranate sauce on top has chilli, mint and vanilla bean. Soak the biscuits in hot honey with some rose water. Heavenly for people in love.

Eye-popping Egyptian Jaffa (Orange and bitter chocolate) tiramisù- make neon-orange jelly (jello) and use orange rinds without the fruit to make the jelly oranges for the topping. Bitter chocolate flavoured cream (the more bitter the chocolate the better) with orange liquor soaked biscuits.

Collage - starting at the top-left-hand corner going clockwise - Persian date, Italian lemon, Arabian Evening and Egyptian Jaffa


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

(Source: Recipe from Cordon Bleu At Home
This recipe makes approximately 24 big ladyfingers or 45 small (2 1/2" to 3" long) ladyfingers.

3 eggs, separated
6 tablespoons /75gms granulated sugar
3/4 cup/95gms cake flour, sifted (or 3/4 cup all purpose flour + 2 tbsp corn starch)
6 tablespoons /50gms confectioner's sugar,


Preheat your oven to 350 F (175 C) degrees, then lightly brush 2 baking sheets with oil or softened butter and line with parchment paper.
Beat the egg whites using a hand held electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gradually add granulate sugar and continue beating until the egg whites become stiff again, glossy and smooth.
In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with a fork and fold them into the meringue, using a wooden spoon. Sift the flour over this mixture and fold gently until just mixed. It is important to fold very gently and not overdo the folding. Otherwise the batter would deflate and lose volume resulting in ladyfingers which are flat and not spongy.
Fit a pastry bag with a plain tip (or just snip the end off; you could also use a Ziploc bag) and fill with the batter. Pipe the batter into 5" long and 3/4" wide strips leaving about 1" space in between the strips.
Sprinkle half the confectioner's sugar over the ladyfingers and wait for 5 minutes. The sugar will pearl or look wet and glisten. Now sprinkle the remaining sugar. This helps to give the ladyfingers their characteristic crispness.
Hold the parchment paper in place with your thumb and lift one side of the baking sheet and gently tap it on the work surface to remove excess sprinkled sugar.
Bake the ladyfingers for 10 minutes, then rotate the sheets and bake for another 5 minutes or so until the puff up, turn lightly golden brown and are still soft.
Allow them to cool slightly on the sheets for about 5 minutes and then remove the ladyfingers from the baking sheet with a metal spatula while still hot, and cool on a rack.
Store them in an airtight container till required. They should keep for 2 to 3 weeks.


(Source: Vera’s Recipe for Homemade Mascarpone Cheese)
This recipe makes 12oz/ 340gm of mascarpone cheese

500 ml whipping (36 %) pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized), preferably organic cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering. Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F. If you do not have a thermometer, wait until small bubbles keep trying to push up to the surface.
It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating. Add the lemon juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles. Do not expect the same action as you see during ricotta cheese making. All that the whipping cream will do is become thicker, like a well-done crème anglaise. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly. You will see just a few clear whey streaks when you stir. Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time). Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.
Vera’s notes: The first time I made mascarpone I had all doubts if it’d been cooked enough, because of its custard-like texture. Have no fear, it will firm up beautifully in the fridge, and will yet remain lusciously creamy.
Keep refrigerated and use within 3 to 4 days.


(Recipe source: Carminantonio's Tiramisù from The Washington Post, July 11 2007 )
This recipe makes 6 servings

For the zabaglione:
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar/50gms
1/4 cup/60ml Marsala wine (or port or coffee)
1/4 teaspoon/ 1.25ml vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

For the vanilla pastry cream:
1/4 cup/55gms sugar
1 tablespoon/8gms all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup/175ml whole milk

For the whipped cream:
1 cup/235ml chilled heavy cream (we used 25%)
1/4 cup/55gms sugar
1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract

To assemble the tiramisù:
2 cups/470ml brewed espresso, warmed
1 teaspoon/5ml rum extract (optional)
1/2 cup/110gms sugar
1/3 cup/75gms mascarpone cheese
36 savoiardi/ ladyfinger biscuits (you may use less)
2 tablespoons/30gms unsweetened cocoa powder

For the zabaglione:
Heat water in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place a pot with about an inch of water in it on the stove. Place a heat-proof bowl in the pot making sure the bottom does not touch the water.
In a large mixing bowl (or stainless steel mixing bowl), mix together the egg yolks, sugar, the Marsala (or espresso/ coffee), vanilla extract and lemon zest. Whisk together until the yolks are fully blended and the mixture looks smooth.
Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler or place your bowl over the pan/ pot with simmering water. Cook the egg mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 8 minutes or until it resembles thick custard. It may bubble a bit as it reaches that consistency.
Let cool to room temperature and transfer the zabaglione to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

For the pastry cream:
Mix together the sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. To this add the egg yolk and half the milk. Whisk until smooth.
Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling.
Add the remaining milk a little at a time, still stirring constantly. After about 12 minutes the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble. (If you have a few lumps, don’t worry. You can push the cream through a fine-mesh strainer.)
Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

For the whipped cream:
Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer or immersion blender until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside.

To assemble the tiramisù:
Have ready a rectangular serving dish (about 8" by 8" should do) or one of your choice.
Mix together the warm espresso, rum extract and sugar in a shallow dish, whisking to mix well. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold. Add the prepared and chilled zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.

Now to start assembling the tiramisu.
Workings quickly, dip 12 of the ladyfingers in the sweetened espresso, about 1 second per side. They should be moist but not soggy. Immediately transfer each ladyfinger to the platter, placing them side by side in a single row. You may break a lady finger into two, if necessary, to ensure the base of your dish is completely covered.
Spoon one-third of the cream mixture on top of the ladyfingers, then use a rubber spatula or spreading knife to cover the top evenly, all the way to the edges.
Repeat to create 2 more layers, using 12 ladyfingers and the cream mixture for each layer. Clean any spilled cream mixture; cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight.
To serve, carefully remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the tiramisu with cocoa powder using a fine-mesh strainer or decorate as you please. Cut into individual portions and serve.


shelley c. said...

Beautifully done. I love the flavor selections that you made - very creative! As always, very impressive. And also as always, very helpful!!

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

I bet no one's ever made as many flavour variations as you have with Tiramisu! Congratulations and thanks for baking with us.

Maya said...

Wow, your flavors are really creative! Were you able to pick a favorite?

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Great job as always Audax! Love your variations :D You have a flavour to suit every mood here!

Anonymous said...

Lovely tiramisu. Very nicely done. Love all the variations :)

Cakelaw said...

As ever, Ilove your creativity Audax. I am eager to try the Persian date version in particular - anything with dates in has me. Also, thanks for the tip about beating the yolks - that will be handy for making all sorts of things involving sponge.

Liz @ Jarod and Liz dot com said...

Amazing flavours as usual! They look fantastic.

Esther said...

what a wonderful set of different versions.. as usual you manage to make such a variety !

Trissa said...

So many exotic flavours Audax! How do you manage to come up with such interesting flavours?

Dharm said...

Well done as always! I love that you did so many versions - where do you find the time?

Deeba PAB said...

You constantly amaze me Audax...combinaions I could never dream of! Thank you for embracing the challenge with such gusto! Was a pleasure to host the challenge.

Eat4Fun said...

As usual, I enjoy the experimentation with the technique and the flavors. Terrific job!

Sue said...

You are so ambitious with your Daring Baker feats! Variations that I couldn't even imagine! :)

Emily said...

These look wonderful. Love the creative flavours as always. Interestingly, we tried the traditional and a creative flavour and the traditional won out. Our fig, rose and wild willow water tiramisu was nice but the flavours were just too subtle. As always, the experimentation is fun though!


Rachel said...

Great job as always...Your creativity is just too good.

Mary said...

I'm trying to decide which is my favourite flavour, but I can't! They all sound delicious. Nicely done!

Lisa said...

I find myself waiting each month to see what you've come up with - such a creative thinker! Beautiful job, Did you have a favourite out of these?

Khadija El Mary said...

I love your variations. Very creative and can't tell which one is my favorite, they all sound great. Impressive job. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Very creative, as always. I LOVE the Arabian evening tiramisu and the Egyptian Jaffa tiramisu. They are on my to-do list now!

Isabelle Lambert said...

Que de parfums dans tes réalisations, je ne sais lequel je choisirais de manger tellement ils sont tous appétissants !
pareille que toi, j'ai aimé faire ce dessert du début à la fin ! c'est du vrai challenge !
Superbe comme d'habitude, tu as tellement d'imagination :)

Lauren said...

All of your tiramisu look sensational! The flavours are magnificent, and I love the idea of the dates =D.

Simones Kitchen said...

You've outdone yourself on all those great flavor combinations Audax! Delicious!

LittleRed said...

Great variety! And that Jaffa flavour sounds yummy!

Wic said...

from the first to the last version it all looks delicious.
stunning job.

Faery said...

Oh Audax that is Tiramisu heaven, I'd like to eat them all. mine was chocolate due to the lack of items here in Venezuela, I wanted to make a soursop inspire me to experience new flavor combinations.

Unknown said...

Amazing flavours of tiramisu! Each so individual and unique!

Natalie, aka "Sheltie Girl" said...

Gorgeous job as always Audax. Your flavor combinations are great and so very inventive. I can't wait to see what you bake for our March challenge.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Nina said...

Wow looks great Audax.So many variations...thats fantastic.I am so glad i found ur blog:)

Barbara Bakes said...

Another wonderful, over-the-top job on this challenge! Love the ladyfingers!

juliana alonso dorola said...

as always, icredible creations!

Nadia said...

wow, what to say Audax, great posts and awesome flavors

Lara (Tartacadabra) said...

Audax, your flavour combinations take my breath away!!If I ever visit Australia (I live in Spain so don't worry it well be well in advance announced ;-) ) ) I sure will visit your heavenly gastronomic home-restaurant!! Just incredible what you made!! You are an inspiration to us all!! Thanks!!
Un fuerte abrazo, Lara

Jenny said...

You've outdone yourself again with those flavor combos! They all sound great, wonderful work as always!

Jen H said...

You do some amazing Cooking. I stand in awe! also thank you for checking out this months cooking challenge!

Jamie said...

You amaze me! Gorgeous and too creative! And I so want to try that Arabian Evening Tiramisu. Love those flavors! Wow! Loved this recipe, especially the ladyfingers! What fun!

Valérie said...

Mmmm, that spicy version is so intriguing! Splendid, as always!

Anonymous said...

I like the sound of the arabian nights version. Good flavor combo.Another job well done !

Poires au Chocolat said...

Such incredible flavour combinations! Really wonderful, as always.

Kelly-Jane said...

Wow you have a terrific imagination to come up with so many variations, well done :)

Cristina @ TeenieCakes said...

I like your flavor combinations. You are very creative and have a good feel for complimentary ingredients. Nicely done!

Lisa said...

Eeny meeny miny mo..and it would never end because I'd never be able to choose just one of your gorgeous and uniquely flavored tiramisus. They are amazing..especially the Arabian Evening. Gorgeous photos too. You never cease to amaze me, my friend xoxoxoxoxoxo

anda said...

Wow! Amazing, how many variations you have made.

Jenny said...

Wow, Audax! I love the idea of the honey/rosewater combination - something I wouldn't have ever thought to do with tiramisu, but now that I've seen you do it, it makes so much sense. Bravo!

Becca said...

Thanks for stopping by! Yes, it was a very boozy tiramisu but absolutely delicious. Love all your creative flavors..good luck on March's challenge!

Baking Addict said...

Wow, love the different flavours, such dedication and creativity. Excellent website too :)

Myvegfare said...

Hi audax, you are amazing, I haven't made it yet!!, but I could never do like you!!, They are lovely and beautiful, great job, very creative aren't you? with flavours

Monkeyshines in the Kitchen said...

Once again you have outdone yourself - those exotic creations look amazing! Congratulations

fairy_mi said...

Hi Audax!
As always your version for the challenge is remarkable!
Your tiramisu looks soooo delicious!
I love the differernt flavors combination you've done
Absolutly stunning

Greetings from Israel

Two fit and fun gals said...


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