Anyhow, it is with great joy that I write about the February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge which is hosted by Aparna of "My Diverse Kitchen" and Deeba of "Passionate About Baking". They chose "Tiramisù" as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, "Cordon Bleu At Home" and Baking Obsession.
As I am a big "Tiramisù" fan and I love testing different recipes, Aparna and Deeba's choice could not have made me more happy. My excitment was also multiplied by the prospect of trying my hand for the very first time at baking "Ladyfingers" and making my own "Mascarpone Cheese". Awesome!
"Tiramisù" is one of the most popular desserts/cakes hailing from Italy. It is composed of light, crispy and sweet Génoise cake-like biscuits called "Ladyfingers" (or "Savoiardi") which are dipped in espresso or strong coffee or rum, a whipped mixture made with egg yolks, mascarpone cheese, sugar and is sprinkled with cocoa. This kind of pudding is somehow comparable to the French "Charlotte" or the English "Trifle".
The origins of "Tiramisù" are not very clear as there is no documented mention of the dessert before 1983. Some think that it is a recent invention. Apparently, "Tiramisù" was created in 1971 in Treviso by Giuseppe Di Clemente. Several sources claim that "Tiramisù" was invented in Treviso at Le Beccherie restaurant by the god-daughter and apprentice of confectioner Roberto Linguanotto, Francesca Valori, whose maiden name was Tiramisu. It is believed that Linguanotto named the dish in honour of Francesca's culinary skill. Then, other sources report the creation of the cake to have originated in the city of Siena in honour of Cosimo III on the occasion of his visit to the city. Alternatively, accounts by Carminantonio Iannaccone as researched and written about by The Washington Post and Baltimore Magazine establish the creation of "Tiramisù" by him on December 24, 1969, in Via Sottotreviso while he was head chef at Treviso, near Venice.
To be perfectly honest with you, I don't really give a damn who invented this dessert or when it was created as the one thing that comes to my/our minds when thinking about it is it's incomparable deliciousness that is so soul-uplifting and mind-boggling. No wonder the phrase "tirami su" literally means "pick me up" or "pull me up" in Italian...
Making this recipe was not difficult in itself. The diverse componenets (ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, pastry cream, zabaglione, whipped cream) were not very complicate to realize and, for the exception of "Ladyfingers" and "Mascarpone Cheese", I already knew how to make the other elements composing this dessert. My main problem resided in finding the right dish to contain that "pudding" since all of my dishes were not deep enough. Somehow, I managed to find a dish that was not as shallow as all the others...
Although the "Tiramisù" was extremely unphotogenic (very difficult to unmold cleanly, thus looking somewhat like a "dog's dinner" and only wanted to lean dangerously on one side like the Tower of Pisa), it was nonetheless a real success once it hit our palates.
The taste of that dessert is just divine and it's texture is heavenly. All the aromas blend perfectly together in order to create a sweet symphony of flavors that'll blow your brains out. That "Tiramisù" dissolves without chewing and is so silky, smooth, creamy, fluffy, spongy in texture. Orgasmically luscious!
Many thanks to Aparna & Deeba for making me discover a different version of that Italian speciality and for intriducing me to the art of homemade "Mascarpone Cheese" and "Ladyfingers".
~ TIRAMISÙ ~
Mascarpone Cheese - Vera’s Recipe (Baking Obsession) for Homemade Mascarpone Cheese Savoiardi/ Ladyfinger Biscuits – Recipe from Cordon Bleu At Home
Tiramisu – Carminantonio's Tiramisu recipe from The Washington Post, July 11 2007
Makes one 20 x 20cm (8 x 8 inch) Tiramisù or 6 servings.
Tiramisu is made up of several components which can be made separately and ahead of time and put together the day before serving. Making tiramisu from scratch requires about 2 to 3 days (including refrigeration) from when you start making the mascarpone to the time the tiramisu is served.
So this challenge requires some prior planning. Please read the instructions as you need to begin making the mascarpone at least a day in advance. The zabaglione & pastry cream also need 4 hours to an overnight for chilling, as does the main dessert.The flavours mature after an overnight rest, and the dessert can be kept refrigerated for 2-3 days.
Once assembled, the tiramisu can be frozen till you need to serve it, in case you are not serving it immediately.
This recipe makes 6 servings.
Ingredients for the "Zabaglione":
2 Large egg yolks
3 Tbs Sugar/50gms
1/4 Cup/60ml Marsala wine (or port or coffee)
1/4 Tsp/1.25ml Pure vanilla extract
1/2 Tsp Finely grated organic lemon zest
Ingredients for the "Vanilla Pastry Cream":
1 Cup/235ml Chilled heavy cream (I used 25%)
1/4 Cup/55gms Sugar
1/2 Tsp/2.5ml Pure vanilla extract
Ingredients to assemble the "Tiramisù":
2 Cups/470ml Brewed espresso, warmed
1 teaspoon/5ml rum extract (optional/I used 1 3/4 Cups espresso and 1/4 Cup Whiskey)
1/2 Cup/110gms Sugar
1/3 Cup/75gms Mascarpone cheese
36 Savoiardi/ ladyfinger biscuits (you may use less)
2 Tbs/30gms Unsweetened cocoa powder
Method for the "Zabaglione":
1. 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).
2. 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.
3. 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).
4. Let cool to room temperature and transfer the zabaglione to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.
Method for the "Vanilla Pastry Cream":
1. 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.
2. 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).
3. 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.
Method for the "Whipped Cream":
1. Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl.
2. Beat with an electric hand mixer or immersion blender until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside.
Method to "Assemble The Tiramisù":
1. Have ready a rectangular serving dish (about 8" by 8" should do) or one of your choice.
2. Mix together the warm espresso, rum extract and sugar in a shallow dish, whisking to mix well. Set aside to cool.
3. 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).
4. Add the prepared and chilled zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined.
5. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.
6. 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.
7. 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).
8. 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.
9. Repeat to create 2 more layers, using 12 ladyfingers and the cream mixture for each layer. 10. Clean any spilled cream mixture; cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight.
11. To serve, carefully remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the tiramisu with cocoa powder using a fine-mesh strainer or decorate as you please.
12. Cut into individual portions and serve.
This recipe makes 12oz/ 340gm of mascarpone cheese.
474ml (approx. 500ml)/2 Cups Whipping (36 %) pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized), preferably organic cream (between 25% to 36% cream will do)
1 Tbs Fresh lemon (organic) juice
1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering.
2. Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F/87° C (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.
3. 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). 4. Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes.
5. 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).
6. Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.
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.
This recipe makes approximately 24 big ladyfingers or 45 small (2 1/2" to 3" long) ladyfingers.
3 Eggs, separated
6 Tbs/75gms Granulated sugar
3/4 Cup/95gms Cake flour, sifted (or 3/4 cup all purpose flour + 2 tbsp corn starch)
6 Tbs/50gms Confectioner's sugar
1. 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.
2. Beat the egg whites using a hand held electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
3. Gradually add granulate sugar and continue beating until the egg whites become stiff again, glossy and smooth.
4. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with a fork and fold them into the meringue, using a wooden spoon.
5. 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).
6. 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"/12.5cm long and 3/4"/2cm wide strips leaving about 1"/2.5cm space in between the strips.
7. 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).
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
Step by step pictures for making Tiramisù (including zabaglione & pastry cream).
Gluten Free Ladyfingers - 1000 gluten-free recipes by Carol Fenster (ladyfingers pg 436, Tiramisu pg 651).
Gluten free Ladyfingers & Tiramisù.
Diary Free Tiramisu - Levana Cooks Diary-Free by Lévana Kirschenbaum, Menachem Adelman, Meir Pliskin (pg 86).
Video links for making "Tiramisu":
These are not for the recipe given for this challenge, but the procedure in the video would be a helpful guide.
Gordon Ramsay's video for dipping savioardi
C'est pourquoi je vous suggère de vous rendre sur le blog mentionné ci-dessous. Vous y trouverez cette recette en version française.
Chez Isa de "Les Gourmandises d'Isa" (Canada)