devonshire tea…rimisu (DB)

February 28, 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.

(And oh! I’m back from JAPANG!)

(And oh! I’m late again… but it’s still the 27th somewhere in the world. Right?)

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s been some stuff happening around onebitemore-land.

A whirlwind holiday that snuck up on me so quickly that I found myself sitting on a very cold bench in Osaka sans-gloves in 4 degree weather for one. A new position at work for another. And oh! (there I go with my “And oh!”s again) the introduction of the Very Tall Boy.

And it was with the above three in my mind (some more forefront than others… see above note re gloves) that I set about doing this month’s daring bakers challenge.

the creamy mixture

It was a bit of a big deal. Four elements (count em!) were to be made and then thrown together to make a tiramisu to end all tiramisus. And all in the space of less than a week.

“I can’t! I can’t!” said I, to the VTB over pizza one evening.

“You can! You can!” said the VTB in reply, eyes and ears pricked up at the potential loss of tiramisu eating excuses.

“But what? And how?!” said I, thoughts of documents and teleconferences and packing and accomodation looming before me.

“You’ll think of something. You always do. We can make the biscuits first anyway.” he responded.

And so we did.

Measure, whisk, fold. Pipe, dust, dust again. Bake ever so cautiously in case nothing puffs up and then, “Oh! These are yummy!”

And we did our best not to eat the lot before the tiramisu was made.

But how? I’d given up coffee six years ago and barely touched it since. And there were experiments to do – I’ve been infusing cream with tea all over the shop recently, and wondered if infused cream would make a decent mascarpone.

And then, looking up at a concerned looking VTB (who was apparently wondering what on earth was going on inside this crazy little noggin of mine), it hit me.

Something quintisentially British as a nod to the Very Tall (mostly)-Brit that keeps me chugging along on this little blogger-ing adventure. Something comforting. And soothing. And a little bit fancy too.

Devonshire tea(rimisu).

dipping the savioradi (alien fingers mine, picture by the VTB)

I infused the cream with English Breakfast Tea and cooled it before making it into lovely, thick, gloopy mascarpone and luscious creme patissiere.

I brewed more tea until it was strong and dark and added it to my zabaglione along with some sweet port.

I ground up a strawberry tisane and made a concentrate with a splash of cream to dip the lady fingers in (because what is a Devonshire tea without scones slathered in cream and strawberry jam?) and layered them with my creamy mix and sprinkles of more tisane to balance the tea-like creaminess.

And when I presented it to the VTB, on the night before my big-trip-with-the-Bean, he sat in a pile of contented bliss. And oh, all was so right with the world.

ps) 1x very GIANT congratulations to the new Mrs Noods (aka chocolatesuze), whose wedding yesterday was all things fun & candy. Love!

pps) 1x heartfelt cuddles to those lovely people who brought me support and comfort following a case of the grumples. I’ve loved posting my completed challenges on the DB forums so far, and being an active part of that not-so-little community, and will keep doing so for the time being. xx

devonshire tea...rimisu
I made my own marscapone and savioradi biscuits as part of the challenge, but you don't need to do that as both are readily available (and deliciously procurable) from your local deli or market. You'll need to start this recipe two days before you intend to serve it.
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup strongly brewed tea
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • ¼ c sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups milk
  • strawberry tea (or milk flavouring)
  • ⅓ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 36 savoiardi/ ladyfinger biscuits (you may use less)
How to make it
  1. To make the zabaglione, first heat some water in a double boiler and then put a heat-proof bowl on top, making sure it doesn't touch the water's surface.
  2. In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine the two egg yolks, sugar, tea and vanilla extract and whip them until light and fluffy and pale in colour.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the bowl over the double boiler and stir constantly until the mixture cooks and thickens to a custardy consistency. Let it cool overnight in the fridge.
  4. To make the pastry cream, whisk the sugar, flour, vanilla extract, one egg yolk and half the milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan until it is smooth.
  5. Place the mixture over a low heat and cook, stirring continuously, to prevent lumps and curdling. Add the milk a bit at a time, stirring constantly and cook for about 10 minutes, or until it thickens.
  6. Put the mixture in a bowl and refrigerate it overnight as well.
  7. The next day, combine the cream, sugar and some vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and beat until it holds stiff peaks.
  8. Mix the milk and strawberry flavouring together, and have your assembly dish ready.
  9. In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold. Add the prepared and chilled zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.
  10. To assemble the tiramisu, dip the savioradi biscuits in the strawberry milk mixture until they are moist but not soggy. Place them immediately into your serving dish. Repeat until there is a single layer entirely covering the base.
  11. Spoon one-third of the cream mixture on top of the biscuits then spread it all the way to the edges.
  12. Repeat to create 2 more layers and then chill the whole thing over night or for at least four hours before serving