Among the top fantasy desserts,words can't describe this Italian delicacy.Spongy biscuits soaked in coffee,layered between delicate,light and fluffy creamy goodness and sprinkle of cocoa,tiramisu is heaven in every bite.
Thanks to the lovely hostesses(Aparna and Deeba) of the month, who made the excellent choice.I was overwhelmed to make(bake) it from scratch,after all that is the challenge of being a daring baker.While I was very satisfied with the result of this baking adventure,my sister and her family who visited, driving in winter ,despite all the odds,were overjoyed to feast on it.
So when, where and how was tiramisu born?
Tiramisu is said to have its origins in Treviso (Italy), and there are quite a few stories about how it came to be created.
One story traces the tiramisu as far back as the Renaissance claiming that it was first made in honour of the visit of Grand Duke Cosimo di Medici to Tuscany. Yet another one points to the tiramisu being an adaptation of the "Zuppa Inglese" referring to the sponge cake and cream layered English Trifle.
However, experts in this area generally agree that the tiramisu as we know it today, was born in the ‘70s.Some believe that the Tiramisu was created in the the Le Beccherie (a restaurant in Treviso). Ohters suggest that Tiramisu was first made in 1971 by an Italian baker named Carminantonio Iannaccone in a small bakery in Treviso, Italy.
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 Lady finger biscuits light and spongy are easy to make ,as long you are good at whipping up a fluffy meringue.I don't do alcohol,the flavors are essentially coffee and cocoa.The homemade mascaporne cheese was not at all complicated like most other cheeses I tried making.Another change for dietary reasons,is light cream with no Zabaione or pastry cream,the cream mixture is just sweet mascaporne and whipped cream.For the extra fruity look to the dessert,garnish the slices of tiramisu with wild blueberries,fresh sliced pineapples and kiwis or any other fruit in season.Can also layer the fruit over the biscuits before spreading the cream.
Alcohol-free Tiramisu with Eggless Cream
Recipe adapted from 1000 Italian Recipes by Michele Scicolone:
18-20 savoiardi/ ladyfinger biscuits(Recipe follows)
1 1/2 cups/350ml brewed espresso, warmed
1/2 cup/110gms sugar
8 oz/226gms Mascarpone cheese(Recipe follows)
16 oz/473ml chilled Organic heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract
2 tablespoons/30gms unsweetened cocoa powder
Pour the whipping cream into the bowl and whip at high speed for about 4 minutes or till the cream forms soft peaks when the mixer is lifted up.
In another bowl, whisk together the mascarpone and sugar till smooth. Add 1/3rd of the whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture and fold it in gently. Carefully fold in the remaining cream as well.
Assemble the tiramisu:
Have ready a rectangular serving dish (8x8 inches).Mix together the warm espresso, and sugar in a shallow dish, whisking to mix well. Set aside to cool.
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.
(Source: Vera’s Recipe for Homemade Mascarpone Cheese)
Makes 12oz/ 340gm of mascarpone cheese
474ml (approx. 500ml)/ 2 cups Organic whipping cream(36 %), pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Method: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.
LADYFINGERS/ SAVOIARDI BISCUITS
(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 Organic 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)
Method: 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.
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.