Two times Tiramisu

February 27, 2010

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 essentials to this recipe are making mascapone cheese from cream and lemon juice, making a zabaglione, a pastry cream, and sweetened cream mixture, and the lady finger piped biscuits.

These biscuits were light as air, a dream to pipe, and baked up spongey and beautiful. I could have snacked on them all day with a nice ice coffee by my side (given that we’re having a bit of a hot week over in Perth right now).

The mascapone I made without a thermometer, which I don’t have, and really can’t be bothered with. Just waited till it looked bubbly and hot enough and added the lemon juice to curdle. Didn’t look like much but overnight in the fridge it firmed up a charm.

from left: zabaglione, mascapone, pastry cream

The zabaglione was easy enough, never made it before and wonder if the foamy texture is right? It was very sweet, as I substituted another ‘Queen bee’ honey desert wine for the marsala. I assume marsala is a desert wine?

The pastry cream was fine, but not my cup of tea, although mixed with all the other components in the cream mix it was nice enough.

I made both the original coffee and a burnt fig and contreau tiramisu, as I’d never even tried a store bought one before. I love the coffe one, wonderful, and the sweet fig was good when I served the following slices with some raspberry puree. The biscuits kept their shape and firmness and it was an all round delightful desert.

The coffee was made by layering coffee and brandy dipped biscuits with the cream mix, and a sprinkling of cocoa.

Assembly line

The fig was made with a burnt caramel, honey and orange juice fig jam (with fresh home grown figs), which I dipped the biscuits in, then layered with cream mix and fresh fig slices on top.

Burnt fig honey caramel

Coffee

Hope everyone had fun!


Mezze platter for two

February 14, 2010

This months daring bakers challange had me planning many many yummy small dishes to pick  at and share on an open table. Apart from the required makes of home-made pita bread and hommus, this was only part of a mediteranian feast.

I made the pita and hommus as instructed, apart from adding a whole lot more lemon juice to the hommus, for the lovely tang, plus a handful of toasted chopped walnuts for a bit of crunch. The pita were wonderful, just like fresh ones should be. Most puffed up, but it just tasted so ‘fresh-bready’ that it was wonderful to use it to scoop up the fillings of other food on the table. I had planned to have friends over for dinner to share it all, but due to an unforseen 3 hour  blow out at the hairdressers, we delayed the feast a night, and shared it between the two of us the next. There was so much left over, but I’m adding the meatballs to some pasta, and having some lovely marinated roast capsicum to eat through the week.

The meatballs I made with lamb, some sour cream, herbs and mixed through and grilled, there was also those capsicum strips, grilled halloumi (which I’ll never get such an inedible salty brand again), hommus, pita, pickled beetroot, mint cinnamon carrot salad, and spinach and pinenut galettes.

The 2010 February Daring COOKs challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums. Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid.

Thanks for challange michele, you encouraged me to make some lovely food, and got to do a lot in one challange which felt got too.I’ve since used my left over pita’s for garlic breads, sandwiches and warmed in the morning with honey and feta or lovely peanut butter Mmmm, I will be making those again 🙂