Daring Bakers time again! Tiramisu this time, with homemade lady fingers. The homemade ladyfingers are definitely worth making - they really weren't too difficult, and they tasted much better than store-bought. In addition to the mini-trifles (above), I made a tiramisu sandwich as well (see pic below); I think it's adorable!
I absolutely loved the cream filling on this tiramisu, though I didn't follow the recipe exactly. Instead of making the pastry cream (which is not present in a traditional tiramisu anyway), I increased the zabaglione, and just folded that in with the whipped cream and mascarpone. It was delicious! I absolutely loved the cream filling on this tiramisu. The coffee and lemon combination was wonderful, and I'll definitely serve this as a mousse in the future, with some raspberries on top. Yum!
Fine Print: 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 Yield: 3 individual tiramisu trifles + 1 tiramisu "sandwich" + some leftover ladyfingers
For the Ladyfingers
3 eggs, separated
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Separate the eggs. Beat whites until foamy, then gradually add sugar while beating. Keep beating to stiff peaks. Whisk yolks together, then gently fold into the whites with a wooden spoon. Sift the flour over the egg mixture, and gently fold in. Work gently so as not to deflate the batter.
Fill a decorating bag with the batter, and a wide round tip. I think I used a 1/4" or 3/8" tip, but I'd use bigger next time. Pipe your desired ladyfinger shapes: disks, individual lady fingers, or lady finger band (pipe individual ladyfingers that touch), so you can either make the tiramisu sandwich or wrap the ladyfinger band around the outside of your round tiramisu.
Bake for about 10 minutes, then rotate pans, and bake another 5-7 minutes until just golden. Cool for about 5 minutes on the tray, then use a metal spatula to remove the ladyfingers from the pan while still warm (otherwise, they might stick to the parchment).
For the Zabaglione
1/4 cup + 1/2 tablespoon sugar
3/8 cup brewed coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon lemon zest
Whisk together all the ingredients in a metal (or other heatproof) bowl, and place over a saucepan with 1 inch of simmering water. Whisk constantly over low-medium heat until the mixture thickens. This took me a little over 15 minutes. The original recipe says it should resemble a thick custard, but mine never really looked like a custard, though it did get considerably thicker.
For the Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Whip the cream until very soft peaks, then gradually add the sugar while continuing to whip. Add the vanilla, and beat to firm peaks.
To Assemble the Tiramisu
1/2 cup brewed espresso (4 shots)
2-3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup mascarpone
chocolate shavings or unsweetened cocoa powder
For the individual tiramisu trifles: Dip a ladyfinger disk in the sweetened espresso on both sides, and shake off excess liquid. Place on the bottom of the trifle dish, and spoon a layer of cream on top. The cream should be about as thick as or slightly thicker than the ladyfinger disk. Top with some chocolate shavings if desired. Repeat with a second ladyfinger disk. You can use a decorating bag and star tip to pipe little rosettes of cream on the very top. Top with chocolate shavings or cocoa powder. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
For the tiramisu sandwich: I piped a ladyfinger band roughly 3" x 6". I cut the band in half to make two 3" x 3" squares. I just dipped the flat side of the band in the sweetened espresso, and kept the ridged, undipped side for the exterior. Spread a thick layer of cream on the wet side of one of the ladyfinger squares, and top with chocolate shavings. Place the remaining ladyfinger square on top, wet side down. Top with a dollop of cream, and more chocolate shavings or unsweetened cocoa powder.