Daring Bakers Challenge : Tiramisu


(Tiramisu : Another way to ‘pick me up’)

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.

Tiramisu is something I rather enjoy eating and have made many times before. Friends tell me of a local restaurant where if you order tiramisu, it is brought to your table in a large glass bowl and scooped right in front of you. Surely the perfect way to enjoy tiramisu!

For the challenge this month, I thought I would try to present tiramisu in a different way whilst still retaining it’s rustic charm. Instead of assembling the components, I used them individually on the plate. My first attempt at this was not too successful. I think I was trying too hard to use all the necessary components on the plate, and sometimes you really can’t force something that just doesn’t fit.

At this point, I was humming a little ditty by Cher because I had run out of a few components and wasn’t sure if I’d have time to make them again. Luckily I managed to find a spare moment and decided to risk a second attempt – this time also boosting the chocolate content two or three-fold. What you see above is the end result.

The sponge is from here. It is light, very flavoursome, and lots of fun to make (what a great dinner party piece it would be, to get your guests to ‘make’ their own chocolate cake). Also on the plate : an espresso granita, Marsala-spiked chocolate pastry cream, a lucscious chocolate mousse and a coffee flavoured mascarpone. The mascarpone incidentally, was my favourite component. It’s not something I would usually bother making at home, though I’ve made it often at work (usually with double cream and citric acid, instead of single cream and lemon juice). Items that didn’t make it to the plate : the savoiardi sponge and zabaglione (but I promise you that I did make both the first time round).

You can get the recipes for the components from the hosts’ blogs. I’m providing the recipe for the chocolate mousse below.

Thank you Aparna and Deeba for the challenge! I loved the end result so much, I might be tweaking it a little and putting it on my menu soon πŸ™‚


Chocolate Mousse :
(serves 10; based on a recipe from Wild Weed Pie by Janni Kyritsis)

300g semi-sweet (57%-cocoa) couverture chocolate, melted and kept lukewarm
2 eggs
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups 35%-fat cream, whipped to soft peaks

Whisk eggs and yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer until pale. Meanwhile, combine the 3/4 cup sugar and water in a small saucepan, heat gently until all the sugar dissolves, then boil it until it reaches a temperature of 118’C. Slowly add this sugar syrup to the whisking egg mixture, drizzling it down the side of the bowl, then continue whisking until the egg mixture is cool. Fold in melted chocolate, then the cream. Chill for at least a few hours or overnight, to set.

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  1. Caitlin said,

    March 1, 2010 @ 1:27 am

    I love that you used a microwave chocolate cake along with all those complicated components πŸ™‚ Your presentation is just so pretty – I think I’d hesitate to dig in if my tiramisu was delivered and looked that nice!

  2. Natalie said,

    March 1, 2010 @ 1:28 am

    Wow.. what a lovely take on the tiramisu and an interesting way of presenting it πŸ™‚

  3. Su-yin said,

    March 1, 2010 @ 2:30 am

    I love how you always deconstruct desserts – makes me see it in an all new (delicious) light! πŸ™‚

  4. Y said,

    March 1, 2010 @ 8:48 am

    Hi Ben! Don’t mind at all. I can’t exactly lay claim to it as my idea anyway πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  5. Betty @ The Hungry Girl said,

    March 1, 2010 @ 10:20 am

    Simply beautiful. I love the deconstruction and plating, great idea πŸ™‚

  6. Arwen from Hoglet K said,

    March 1, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

    The chocolate mousse sounds superb, and I like the idea of adding coffee to the marscarpone.

  7. cakebrain said,

    March 1, 2010 @ 4:42 pm

    What a lovely deconstruction! I like the textural contrast evident in the picture!

  8. the caked crusader said,

    March 1, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

    I love how you always put a new twist on things!

  9. Big Boys Oven said,

    March 1, 2010 @ 11:58 pm

    wow I always like the way you hacve your cakes! just so pleasure to see! make me full of lust!

  10. Shari said,

    March 2, 2010 @ 4:43 am

    This looks amazing! Great job!!

  11. Barzelay said,

    March 2, 2010 @ 9:25 am

    Looks delicious, and compellingly plated.

  12. Mowie said,

    March 2, 2010 @ 9:26 am

    Gorgeous deconstruction! So stunning in its simplicity – love it!

  13. Sophie said,

    March 2, 2010 @ 10:45 am

    Who says third time’s a charm? Second time around beauty right here; you did an awesome job with this. Such a unique, artsy presentation. I’d choose this tasty treat on the dessert menu :).

  14. Lisa said,

    March 2, 2010 @ 6:19 pm

    A deconstructed tiramisu is such a brilliant ida..and it looks so amazing and delicious. I would love to order one for dessert right now. That chocolate mousse is beckoning me! I’m simply awed..seriously.

  15. shirley@kΓΈkken69 said,

    March 3, 2010 @ 1:49 am

    I think it is really clever to serve this deconstructed. Very often, Tiramisu just becomes one soggy mess – this is a refreshing change.

  16. felicia said,

    March 3, 2010 @ 2:48 am

    ah this is a really special version i’ve seen so far!
    perfect presentation πŸ™‚

  17. Jenny said,

    March 3, 2010 @ 7:29 am

    Way to knock it out of the park! I like that you’ve taken the spirit of tiramisu and kept it fun and accessible in a totally new format.

  18. Juliana said,

    March 3, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

    Love the way you presented the tiramisu…very creative as always πŸ™‚

  19. Anh said,

    March 3, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

    So beautiful, Y! I just need a fork and get everything in my mouth! Delis!

    I was thinking of the deconstructed version of a opera cake I tried @ Bistro Vue when I first saw your photo πŸ˜‰

  20. Manggy said,

    March 3, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

    Oh, that is just beyond gorgeous. Well done. I miss the zabaglione component, though. Do you think it can make its return as a zabaglione gelato? πŸ˜‰

  21. sippitysup said,

    March 4, 2010 @ 4:12 am

    I love the artistic deconstructed elements of your concept. So original! GREG

  22. Anita said,

    March 4, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    Gorgeous! I love the presentation

  23. Belle@OohLook said,

    March 4, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

    I love the thought process, from DBC to menu. Fantastic!

  24. Marysol said,

    March 5, 2010 @ 6:58 am

    Uniquely Beautiful, as always!

  25. PastryPrincess said,

    March 6, 2010 @ 11:43 pm

    what a cool take on tiramisu, very creative and contemporary! tiramisu has got a little old over the years but im sure this would be a hit at any restaurant – impressive! i do wish i were part of the daring bakers, too but ill just be too busy… what with the training at le cordon bleu london im about to begin. πŸ˜‰ not that im complaining, haha. at least there will be plenty to blog about, too. hopefully ill be able to come up with great ideas as this once im done!

  26. Thip said,

    March 9, 2010 @ 8:47 am

    I like the way you present your tiramisu, Y. πŸ™‚

  27. Simon said,

    March 9, 2010 @ 11:33 am

    What an interesting interpretation of the tiramisu! Would never have thought to interpret a deconstruction in the fashion that you have. Nice work πŸ™‚

  28. Julia @ MΓ©langer said,

    March 14, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

    I missed this challenge, as life has been pulling me in other directions over the last 6-8 weeks. πŸ™ As I come to your blog, the time away from baking, blogging, and reading my favourite blogs becomes even more obvious. Y, what a superb dish, yet again. I love how you took a classic and Y’ed it up. Or should that be, Y-a-fied it? LOL. Anyway, forgive me for my silliness, as I’ve said, it’s been a while. Need to get out more. πŸ™‚

  29. Amy @ cookbookmaniac said,

    March 17, 2010 @ 1:05 am

    I love it! This is the perfect demonstration that there is perfection in imperfection. Thanks for sharing!

  30. Jen said,

    March 26, 2010 @ 1:31 pm

    That dessert really does look so wonderful! And I love it when lavender buds are used in a recipe! It has such a wonderful flavor!

  31. barry said,

    March 28, 2010 @ 11:20 pm

    ound your page when looking at orange tian.. most of them were laughable.. then i came across your page..he stopped.. he looked.. he looked further.. he liked the deconstructed dessert here especially.. start tweaking mate.. cant wait

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