Heaven on a Dessert Plate


Although I had decided to give this months DB challenge a go , I did a complete turnaround when I read that 2 of my favourite bloggers were this months hosts…..
Nothing could stop me.
Not the never ending guests we had this month, not the diet I was on, not the painting deadline that was inching so close.
Nothing!!

And I’m so happy I did try this lovely dessert that lives up to its name. It was delicious. Really!
I usually distribute everything I made to near and dear and not so dears..but this one we polished off on our own! I mean actually licked the plates clean!!!!It was excellent!!

I made the dessert over a period of 1 week…made the Savoiardi(Ladyfinger Biscuits) first, then the mascarpone cheese(I can NEVER thank you enough Deeba) and then yummy sauces.
hmmmmm….HEAVEN!!!!!!

TIRAMISU

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.

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

Ingredients:
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 tiramisu:
2 cups/470ml brewed espresso, warmed
1 teaspoon/5ml rum extract (optional)
1/2 cup/110gms sugar
1/3 cup/75gms mascarpone cheese(see below)
36 savoiardi/ ladyfinger biscuits (see below)
2 tablespoons/30gms unsweetened cocoa powder

Method:
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 tiramisu:
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.

HOME MADE MASCARPONE CHEESE

Ingredients:
474ml (approx. 500ml)/ 2 cups whipping (36 %) pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized), preferably organic cream (between 25% to 36% cream will do)
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.
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.

Ingredients:
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,

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.
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.

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44 Comments

  1. ahhh heaven on a plate indeed. looks like this tiramisu was done with a lot of love… it shows! would love to take a part of it!
    thanks for visiting my site s!

    xoxo,
    malou

    Reply
  2. this looks great! delicious!

    Reply
  3. Beautifully presented.

    Reply
  4. this looks to die for… awesome

    Reply
  5. s

     /  March 10, 2010

    @saswati.. Great to see that you are blogging again!!LOVE ur blog….I am a FAN!

    Reply
  6. hi sheba!!gr8 to find you here…you have an amazing space..and the tiramisu looks yum..what a presentation!

    Reply
  7. Excellent job on this month’s challenge! To echo everyone else, the heart shape is adorable.

    Reply
  8. i completely agree..that is one heavenly plate

    Reply
  9. Its my favorite dessert!

    Reply
  10. Oh my goodness! I think our brains were aligned during this challenge – check out my tiramisu and you’ll see what I mean!! I think yours looks beautiful, love the heart shape.

    Reply
  11. I love tiramisu especially from Schubert bakery in San Francisco. The long list of ingredients with the details that go into making this cake is a wee too much for someone who rather cook soup and stir fry. Can you imagine if you brought a home made tiramisu cake to a party like the one pictured on this post? No one will believe you made 🙂

    Reply
  12. Soooo dreamily gorgeous… I love how you shaped yours in a heart! 🙂

    Reply
  13. What a beautiful tiramisu, such a lovely presentation, and I bet it was yummy!

    Reply
  14. Wow !! thats a perfect tiramisu !! I am in love with Tiramisu.. drooling here sheba.. Perfect clicks and nice presentation !!

    Reply
  15. oh wow, this tiramisu looks divine! very nice presentation for this yummy dessert.

    Reply
  16. Cham

     /  March 2, 2010

    That is a work of art!

    Reply
  17. Ooohhh…I am groaning and salivating looking at this. Bravo!

    Reply
  18. Wow such a tempting and a delicious dessert!!! Love tiramisu, yummy!!!

    Reply
  19. pragmaticattic

     /  March 1, 2010

    Beautiful! I love the heart shape and stripes on top. Great job!

    Reply
  20. Love the decorations on top and ofcourse the hear shape too which was perfect for this month.

    Reply
  21. Lovely presentation and a delicious desert.

    Reply
  22. OMG..this is pure heaven..:).Love the heart shaped Tiramisu..it looks so so pretty.I really need to buck up and try making this..:):)

    Reply
  23. Very beautiful Tiramisu! Great efforts on Tiramisu project. Look so good. 🙂

    This is one of my fav dessert and i always prefer to make it at home only. 🙂

    Reply
  24. I agree this was lick your plate clean good! Yours is so creative!

    Reply
  25. Tiramisu is one of my fav desserts and yours look so perfect and yumm!!!! I really really wish to have some tiramisu now:)

    Reply
  26. What a gorgeous looking tiramisu. So pretty!

    Reply
  27. You made such a beautiful tiramisu! I just love the stripes on top. It’s definitely an irresistible dessert, and yours looks spectacular!

    Reply
    • s

       /  March 10, 2010

      thank you all… your compliments really do make me smile..and trust me Ive not being doing too much of that lately!

      Reply
  28. I love your hearshaped tiramisu! It looks so beautiful and elegant!

    Reply
  29. Oh, your Tiramisu looks gorgeous and I bet it has an amazing taste! Great presentation!

    Reply
  30. I love, love, love the presentation of your tiramisu. I always kind of blank on those final little details that make such a difference, like the stripes of your cocoa (not to mention the heart-shaped mold. It looks really great, and I know it tasted fabulous. Cheers!

    Reply
  31. What beautiful presentation Sheba! Glad you made it. I too am very glad that Deeba has helped me get over the thought of making my own mascarpone 🙂

    Reply
    • s

       /  March 10, 2010

      @shaz…home made mascarpone..is just one of the best discoveries Ive ever made!
      @cakelaw..thanks a ton!

      Reply
  32. This is the cutest tiramisu ever – just lovely.

    Reply
  33. What a beautoiful Tiramisu and I love the heart shape and the striped cocoa pattern! And yes licking the plates is definitely a compliment! 😀

    Reply
  34. Your tiramisu heart looks absolutely gorgeous. This is one that’s difficult to share, so next time make plenty of it. 🙂
    Thanks for baking with us.

    Reply
    • s

       /  March 10, 2010

      @aparna..I most def will….!
      @sayantani..I though it being feb and all…what better theme than valentines!

      Reply
  35. WOW! I’m speechless!

    Reply
  36. come every Daring Baker Posting time I wont visit any of you DBS. those are so sinfully gorgeous creations…what do I do now. have to go to Via Milano to have some from there tonight itself.Perfect and I like the idea of making it in the shape of heart.

    Reply
  37. Oh delicious Sheeba!! And beautifully presented too!

    Reply
    • s

       /  March 10, 2010

      @suma, deepa…thanks for the lovely words..
      and deeba thanks for the great challenge

      Reply
  38. mmmm…such a delectable dessert..turly heaven on earth..lovely presentation

    Reply
  39. This is an awesome Tiramisu. You’ve done a beautiful job and I’m glad you enjoyed it (including polishing it off yourselves!). Thank you for enjoying the challenge; I loved playing host!

    Reply

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