Monday, March 1, 2010

A Daring Bakers' First Anniversary

One year ago I joined the Daring Bakers'; a conglomeration of world wide bakers who gather together every month to embark upon a baking challenge. Twice this year I've had to remake something I failed at multiple times in the past, Puff Pastry and Flourless Cake, both successes! I tried my hand at Macarons, and Moon pies, one failure-one success. And enjoyed Bakewell Pudding Tart, Almond Strudel and Dobos Torte.

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.

This was a fun, busy, complicated and intricate challenge. Tiramisu is comprised of multiple parts, zabaglione, pastry cream, mascarpone and savoiardi biscuits - all which had to be handmade.
Traditionally, Tiramisu is flavored with wine and coffee, but since I don't drink either, I substituted with fresh orange juice which lent a delicate fresh and airy flavor to the pastry dessert. This dessert is well worth the challenge and effort, and is a delicious and sophisticated pastry.

2 cups whipping cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon, or lime juice
Fill a large skillet half full with water and bring to a boil
Pour cream into metal bowl, and place bowl directly into the water in the skillet
Cook until cream reaches 190°, or becomes very thick
Stir in fresh juice and cook until mixture curdles
Let rest for 20 minutes
Line a sieve with 4 layers of cheesecloth
Pour cream into cheesecloth, cover and refrigerate a minimum of 24 hours to harden
**Tip: Mixture is cooked enough when cheese does not drip through cheesecloth-if it drips, transfer back to pan and continue cooking.

Mascarpone is actually surprisingly easy to make, and since it's proved difficult to locate on store shelves where I live, I'm excited to know now that I can make it from scratch. I did have some trouble with the first batch of cheese, but the second attempt was perfect!

2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together until smooth
In a bowl fitted over a saucepan of boiling water, or in a double boiler cook mixture for 8 minutes, or until mixture is thick and resembles custard
Let cool, transfer to bowl and refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours
Orange Pastry Cream
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Whisk together in a saucepan over low eat, stirring constantly

½ cup whole milk a little at a time
Cook for 12 minutes, or until mixture
Transfer to a bowl and let cool
Refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours
Both the pastry cream and the zabaglione were fairy uncomplicated, just make sure to stir constantly and bake at a low temperature with patience.

Savoiardi Biscuits
3 eggs, separated
Lightly whisk yolks with a fork to separate
Whip whites to soft peaks, add 6 tablespoons powdered sugar, and whip to stiff peaks
Gently fold yolks into whites, slowly, to keep all volume in whites

3/4 cup sifted cake flour
Fold into eggs, slowly, to keep all volume in whites

Pipe onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, let rest 10 minutes
Sprinkle with 3 additional tablespoons powdered sugar
Bake at F350°, 10 minutes-rotate and bake for 5 additional minutes
Transfer to wire rack to cool completely
I opted for layered biscuits by measuring the pan I would eventually assemble the Tiramisu in and tracing that on the parchment, making 4 large square biscuits.

Whip 2 cups heavy whipping cream with ½ teaspoon vanilla and ¼ cup sugar
Mix with Pastry Cream, Zabaglione, and ⅓ of Mascarpone until smooth
Brush tops and bottoms of biscuits with a light coating of orange juice
Layer biscuits with cream and top with cocoa powder or shavings
Chill, or freeze for several hours or up to 3 days allowing the flavors to mature
**Tip: Line your pan with saran wrap so you can easy pull it out for serving.

I opted for 3 layers beginning with the Savoiardi Biscuits, topping with a layer of cream and then a layer of chocolate shavings, finishing with a top layer of Savoiardi Biscuits. I used the entire batch of Mascarpone, and I didn't brush my biscuits with syrup/juice, although I definitely will the next time.

One Year Ago: A Daring Bakers' First Adventure, Flourless Chocolate Valentino Cake with Peanut Butter Ice Cream Filling, topped with glazed and quartered Strawberries

Don't forget to enter my giveaway: The Price is Right! Simply leave a comment; Deadline March 5.

14 Sweet Talkers:

Barbara said...

Tiramisu from scratch is not an easy matter! You did a marvelous job! I really liked you hints here and there. Congratulations!

Barbara Bakes said...

Great idea to make your ladyfingers the size of your dish. It looks scrumptious!

Aparna said...

Looks great, with perfect layers. A wonderful way to celebrate your blog anniversary. Congratulations.
Thanks for baking with us.

kitchen koala said...

Wow, you ARE a Daring Baker! Tiramisu can be a challenge in and of itself, but to make all the components from scratch? You're amazing! How fitting that it's your anniversary as a DB :)

ice tea: sugar high said...

Congratulation on your first DB anniversary. Mine was last month, but I forgot to commemorate it =p. Great job on the challenge, the cake looks divine

tonic said...

Happy DB Anniversary!! Your tiramisu turned out amazing!! It looks beautiful and the orange flavour sounds great!

Tracy @ Sugarcrafter said...

Your tiramisu came our wonderfully! And orange pastry cream, that sounds divine!!

Lisa Michelle said...

Happy Daring Bakiversary, Kitty! Your tiramisu is brilliant and beautiful. I love how you made the savoiardi into genoise like layers and essentially made a tiramisu cake. YUM..I can almost taste that fresh orange pastry cream.

That said, looks like I'm in your giveaway too! LOL

Mighty M said...

Wow - That looks delicious! I am most impressed. My husband loves this dessert, sometime when I am brave I will have to try to take on this baking challenge! :)

Vegan Von Vittle said...

Congrats on one year of Daring Baking! Your tiramisu looks absolutely delicious!

Chef Aimee said...

I have been seeing many of the tiramisu recipes, but wow this one whet my appetite the most! The layers are DIVINE!

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