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.
Marsala wine, strawberries, lady fingers

Voila, here is my completed Daring Bakers challenge for February. This month we were challenged to make tiramisu and since I’m itching for spring I decided to put a spin on the regular recipe and add fresh strawberries and chocolate.

I struggled somewhat with this challenge. First of all, I was feeling very lazy the day I made the tiramisu and even though the challenge called for making my own mascarpone cheese, I bought mine instead (Shh, don’t tell anyone!). Second of all, I completely suck at folding. The recipe calls for gently folding the egg whites into the batter for the lady fingers. I did my best and I made a good attempt, but just as it usually does, the batter turned out flat and seriously lacking in volume. The recipe was supposed to make several dozen lady fingers and I ended up with about ten. I suppose that’s something I can work on.

Lacking a large enough supply of ladyfingers to make the large cake I had planned on, even after I made two batches, I had to get creative. I couldn’t decide exactly what I wanted to do and so I ended up with two presentations of my tiramisu. The first was a miniature version of my original plan. I used a ramekin to layer the lady fingers with strawberries, chocolate, and a filling made from mascarpone cheese, zabaglione, and vanilla pastry cream.

The second was a quicker assembly, layering all the components in a martini glass. I actually preferred the tiramisu this way as it was a better-sized individual portion. But both were fun and looked beautiful. And they tasted delicious! The zabaglione filling paired very well with the strawberries and chocolate. The taste of the fresh strawberries brightened my day and now I’m looking forward to warmer weather and more fresh berries than I know what to do with.

More details of the challenge and the recipe can be found on the Daring Bakers website.