Thursday, November 25, 2010

the unconventional tiramisu

Can I tell you a secret?  I've never had tiramisu before so I'm not even sure you could even call what I made tiramisu.  According to what is considered traditional tiramisu, I deviated from it in more ways than one.  First, I wanted to avoid salmonella poisoning by cooking the egg yolks in the zabaglione and the egg whites in the Italian meringue (both of which served as my pastry cream when combined with the mascarpone cheese).  Second, I wanted an alternative to the imported ladyfingers (savioardi biscuits) to better fit to my taste buds by baking up my own sponge cake.  Third, since I don't booze I went with the suggestion of using rum over marsala wine.

This was the original game plan:


So here's the low down on what I did.  This was a three day process.
Day One: I made my own mascarpone cheese (successfully)!
Day Two: I baked 2 sponge cakes (nothing new because I've done this before) and I prepared the zabaglione custard (fail - I'm pretty sure I did it wrong because it wasn't as thick as I expected, that is according to my research).
Day Three: I made my Italian meringue and used it to create my pastry cream.  I pulverized chocolate chips in the food processor.  I divided the cakes into four layers and assembled the cake.

Overall, my tiramisu did not go according to plan.  Because I made more pastry cream than I needed, I opted out of the chocolate and vanilla whipped cream layers.  I baked 8-in cakes but used a 8.5 inch spring form pan (all I had) and filled the empty space in the sides with pastry cream.  When I put the cake together with what I had, it was literally overflowing out of the spring form pan and looked as tall as a mile high apple pie would.  So this is how it looked after assembling:


Overnight, it turns out that the sponge cake absorbed the pastry cream in between the layers, so when it was sliced the following day, it looked like I placed one sponge cake on top of the other with a dusting of chocolate chips in between each layer with the exception of the pastry cream on the sides which was not absorbed by the cake.  I suppose I can use the excuse that this was my first time and I can only improve from here.  But this cake was way to difficult to make and I think I'll pass.  But if I should ever attempt tiramisu again, I'll do it the authentic way and use raw eggs, imported lady fingers, and marsala wine.

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