So, remember those amazing looking/tasting mascarpone brownies I posted a few weeks ago. I mentioned that I made them because I had some leftover mascarpone cheese. What I failed to mention is that I actually MADE the mascarpone for the daring bakers challenge this month. The challenge was to make Tiramisu from scratch. This include making mascarpone, zabaglione, vanilla pastry cream, lady fingers (savoiardi), and fresh whipped cream – not to mention assembly while trying to be creative and perhaps coming up with a new twist. The overall challenge took me about 3 days. This was simply due to the fact that I needed to chill many parts overnight. What I ended up making was a traditional tiramisu, and a peanut butter banana’s foster tiramisu. Once again I faced my fear of bananas! Actually Joe did the banana part, but I helped 🙂
Making mascarpone proved to be more challenging than it initially seemed. To make mascarpone you simply heat heavy cream in a water bath until it reaches 190 degrees, then add in lemon juice and stir until it thickens into a custard. The custard is then placed into a cheesecloth lined sieve and strained in the fridge overnight. Not too bad…. but then the cream WOULD NOT get to 190!!!! It was supposed to take like 20 min and seriously took me like 1 hour and 20 minutes! I started in a water bath as explained in the recipe in my pyrex bowl. That wasn’t working…. So I moved the pyrex over a double boiler – worked better… then Joe decided that we should switch to a metal bowl because it would be a better heat conductor – BINGO! It still took a while, but it did in fact get to 190, thickened, and after straining became a beautiful and sweet mascarpone!
Hovering around 155 degrees in the water bath:
Moved into the double boiler – I somehow missed the metal bowl and straining process in pic… oops!
Strained and Chilled overnight:
The mascarpone was my Friday project. On Saturday I made the lady fingers, zabaglione, and pastry cream. The lady fingers are made from whipped, sugared egg whites, yolks then folded in, flour then folded. Using a pastry bag, they are piped onto a baking sheet and sprinkled twice with powdered sugar to help them brown and glisten.
Egg whites all fluffy:
Yolks in and mixed:
Flour folding in:
Ready to pipe:
Piped on a pan before and after baking:
They came out perfect! Next came the zabaglione which is an egg custard made with lemon rind and marsala wine. I was crazy and did this followed by the pastry cream. Both need to be mixed the entire them they are heating so as not to curdle the eggs… my arm was DYING by the end, and I work out my arms 3-4 days a week!!!
Starting out on the double boiler – looks pretty “clear”:
During heating it gets pretty foamy:
Finished – custardy, creamy, yum
The vanilla custard was a pretty traditional custard – milk, egg yolks, flour, sugar, lemon, vanilla. As mentioned above, it had to be stirred the entire time. Here’s the finished product:
These all chilled in my fridge overnight, and the following day I finished up and assembled. I brewed some espresso first. For the traditional, I mixed it with white sugar and a little kahlua (1/4 cup) for the PB banana, I mixed it with brown sugar and rum (1/4 cup). I also made the fresh whipped cream!
In one bowl I mixed the mascarpone, zabaglione and pastry cream. I transferred half to a second bowl and to it I added a generous amount of peanut butter (1/2 probably). To each bowl I folded in half of the fresh whipped cream.
Traditional with whipped cream added:
PB with whipped cream added:
Here is mid-way through the traditional – one layer of soaked lady fingers, one layer of cream, second layer of soaked lady fingers on top!
Traditional finished…. not super good looking or anything, but I didn’t want to send any of my dishes to work with Joe!
Onto the Peanut Butter Banana… Here are some bananas caramelizing in a pan with brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and rum!
Here is layer one – soaked ladyfingers, PB cream, caramelized bananas. I used a mini springform for my “pretty” one!
Here is the finished product, top view and side view.
Of course I didn’t try the banana one (although the PB cream was PHENOMENAL!). However, the guys at Joe’s restaurant LOVED it! They said it was one of the best tiramisu’s they’ve ever tried. The exact comment was “The taste just lingered in my mouth and I wanted more”.
This was such a fun challenge! I definitely never thought I would make my own mascarpone cheese. After all of the issues I had I definitely want to try making it again – using the metal bowl from the start. I can’t wait to see what next month’s challenge is!
Tomorrow I will post this weekends baking (I did the tiramisu a few weeks ago, but couldn’t post until today). I made the best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies I’ve ever had, and I tried a new concoction for Buckeye Brownie Bites. I have had a few tastes due to a few that broke (you’ll see why tomorrow) and they are ridiculously good. Chocolate + Peanut Butter, what can be wrong with that?
Any other daring bakers have trouble with the mascarpone? How did your’s come out overall?