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.

What a challenge! We had to make our own savoiardi/ladyfinger biscuits and mascarpone cheese with the given recipes as well as the zabaglione and pastry cream. Here are the recipe sources:
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

I started preparing the tiramisu ingredients 3 days before I planned to serve it since many of the ingredients require a long rest in the refrigerator. First, I made the zabaglione and pastry cream since both needed to rest for at least four hours. The zabaglione recipe called for Marsala wine, which I did not have, so I used Port instead. I couldn’t help but sample the zabaglione before I put it in the fridge and, let me tell you, I could have made a meal out of this stuff. And the aroma was absolutely intoxicating!

On Day 2, I made the ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese. Making the ladyfingers was my favorite part of the process since it allowed me to put my pastry bag to good use. 🙂 I had some difficulty with getting the cream to 190 degrees for the mascarpone cheese. I finally did, but it took much longer than the 15 minutes the recipe indicated.

 

Day 3, I made the whipped cream then combined the zabaglione, pastry cream, and mascarpone cheese. Next, I gently folded the whipped cream into the zabaglione/pastry cream/mascarpone mixture.

Finally, it was time to assemble the tiramisu. I dipped the ladyfingers in espresso as quickly as I could. I decided to use a trifle bowl for my tiramisu instead of the 8×8 square dish as suggested. I’m not 100% satisfied with the appearance, but that’s what I get for not listening to Aparna and Deeba (aka the tiramisu masters).

Twenty-four hours later, the flavors had married perfectly! This is hands-down the best tiramisu I’ve ever had. Then again, I’m pretty sure I’ve never had ladyfingers or mascarpone cheese made from scratch. It was a big hit with the gals at last week’s game night. I’ll definitely use this recipe the next time I feel the need to do a little showboating! 😉

After all this hard work, I think all the Daring Bakers deserve a round of applause. Please visit our blogroll and give them an “atta girl” (or boy). I’m drooling in anticipation of next month’s challenge. With this group of bakers, there’s no doubt it will be something exciting and delicious!

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