Saturday, 4 May 2013

Eggless Tiramisu - Baking Eggless challenge for the month of April

Life throws a lot of challenges at us. People in our lives throw a good share of those challenges. We sometimes deal with the people who throw challenges or deal with the challenge itself. When folks belonging to a baking group throw challenges at us, we need to deal with the challenge; there is no option to deal with the challengers ;) just kidding. A few kitchen disasters would not hurt us at all... Infact, it is a great learning experience. I am never worried about stuff that does turn out well. Of course a failed attempt in the kitchen would defeat the purpose of making a blog-post. But I can always give it a second shot and post it when the attempt is successful and document the mistakes in the first attempt and mitigation measures taken in the second attempt. Life is infact a learning process, sometimes the learning curve is a little bit longer, but it is perfectly alright for it to be so... since, the journey is more enjoyable definitely.

So I was mentally prepared to face a disaster with eggless tiramisu. Let me confess, I have not made the version with eggs. I have only tasted a slice of tiramisu long back and I assumed there were two layers of biscuit with crunchy nuts alternating with smooth, stiff cream. So I was very nervous with this challenge. I even thought of cheating, by making and eggless sponge cake and layering with mascarpone cheese. But no fun in winning a challenge having cheated, right? So I decided to make the eggless Savoiardi biscuits. If they turned out fine, I would make the mascarpone cheese. If the cheese turned out fine, I would assemble the tiramisu. As you can see, it did turn out fine :).



Without making this a philosophical post, let me get to the recipe. As always, the version with eggs first. The sources of each of these are linked in the title.


Home-made Svoiardi: Recipe source Home Cooking In Montanna

Ingredients:
3 eggs, room temp
6 tbsp - sugar
1 tsp - vanilla essence
3/4 - cup cake flour, sifted*
2 tbsp - powdered sugar a couple of drops orange oil(optional)** (Omitted this)
*You can use all purpose flour and replace 2 TBS of it with 2 TBS corn starch...then sift it together. **Especially good for fruit based desserts, otherwise omit
Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat. Sift flour...maybe a couple of times.
2. Separate eggs in 2 bowls.
3. To the egg yolks, add 2 TBS sugar and vanilla extract( or drops of orange oil or other extract, if using).
4. Whip until pale in color and thick...4-5 minutes. Set aside.
5. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually, add 4 TBS sugar. Beat until the egg whites form firm peaks that are glossy and smooth.
6. Using a rubber spatulagently fold about a third of the whipped whites into the yolks to lighten them up. 7. Add half of the remaining whites over the yolk mixture and then sift about half of the flour over the egg whites. Gently fold until the ingredients are barely combined.
8. Add the rest of the whites over the yolk mixture and then sift the rest of the flour over the whole mixture. Fold gently until combined.Try not overdo the folding, otherwise the batter will deflate and lose volume... and then the ladyfingers will be flat and not spongy.
9. Fill a pastry bag (with a plain tip about ½-inch wide...or a plastic bag with end snipped off) with the batter.
10. Pipe the batter into 3-4 inch long strips.
11. Sprinkle some confectioner’s sugar over the surface of the savoiardi biscuits... and wait for 5 minutes. The batter will absorb a bit of the sugar.
12. After 5 minutes, sprinkle yet a bit more powdered sugar. This will give the biscuits that crispy shell.
13. Bake the ladyfingers 7 to 8 minutes or until lightly golden brown and have puffed up.

Home-made Mascarpone Cheese: Recipe source Baking Obsession

Ingredients:
500 ml - thick cream
1 tbsp - lemon juice
Method:
Bring 1 inch of water to boil in a large skillet. Reduce heat to medium low, so the water is barely simmering. Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet.
Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F. It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating. Add the lemon juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles. Do not expect the same action as you see during ricotta cheese making. All that the whipping cream will do is become thicker, like a well-done crème anglaise. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly. You will see just a few clear whey streaks when you stir. 

Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time). 
Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.


Assembling the Tiramisu: Recipe source Taste

Ingredients:
2 cups strong black coffee
1/2 cup marsala, see note
3 eggs, separated
1/3 cup caster sugar
250g mascarpone cheese
300 ml thickened cream, lightly whipped
1 large packet of sponge fingers (Savoiardi biscuits)
Cocoa, chocolate shavings for dusting

Method:
1. Pour coffee and marsala into a shallow dish. Set aside.
2. Beat egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl with electric beaters until pale and thick. Add the mascarpone and whipped cream, mixing gently until just combined.
3. Beat egg whites in a medium bowl with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold eggwhites into the mascarpone mixture.
4. Dip enough biscuits into the coffee mixture to cover the base of a 19cm square ceramic dish. Cover the biscuits with one-third of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat layers 2 times, ending with the cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Dust generously with cocoa and serve.

Note:  Variation: Marsala can be replaced with orange juice if preferred.

Eggless version

I made the savoiardi biscuits a week before making the mascarpone. Someone at home downed half the savoiardi biscuits over the week and I did not have enough biscuits for the proportions of cream given above.
So I had to scale down the cream mixture to assemble in 2/3 rd of a loaf tin. Please see the assembling section for the proportions.

Savoiardi Biscuits (Eggless)

Ingredients:

6 tbsp - sugar 1 tsp - vanilla essence 3/4 - cup cake flour, sifted* 2 tbsp - powdered sugar a couple of drops orange oil(optional)** (Omitted this)
Replace the 3 eggs with the following:
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup almonds, coarsely powdered

*You can use all purpose flour and replace 2 TBS of it with 2 TBS corn starch...then sift it together. **Especially good for fruit based desserts, otherwise omit

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat. Sift flour...maybe a couple of times.< 2. Whip the butter and 6 tbsp of sugar until pale, fluffy and light.
3. Add the coarsely powdered almonds to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
4. Add the vanilla essence and orange oil.
5. Slowly fold the cake flour into the almond-butter mix.
6. Do not overdo the folding, else the biscuits will be chewy and not crisp
7. If the mix is too hard, add a tablespoon of milk at a time.
8. The consistency of the dough should be such that you can pipe out fingers and it will retain shape.
9. Fill a pastry bag (with a plain tip about ½-inch wide...or a plastic bag with end snipped off) with the batter. 10. Pipe the batter into 3-4 inch long strips. 11. Sprinkle some confectioner’s sugar over the surface of the savoiardi biscuits. This will not be absorbed as the batter is not the spongy one with eggs. 12. Bake the ladyfingers 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown and have puffed up. These need to be baked longer than the one with eggs since the almond butter mix takes longer to bake.

Mascarpone cheese


Followed the same recipe as above.


Assembling the Tiramisu

Ingredients:
3/4 cup strong black coffee
1/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
Half the mascarpone cheese made with the above recipe
1/3 cup caster sugar
200 ml thickened cream, lightly whipped
1/2 packet of sponge fingers (Savoiardi biscuits)
Cocoa, chocolate shavings for dusting

Method:
1. Line a loaf tin with cling wrap. Use a 10 inch square aluminium foil and fold it four ways. Place the stiff aluminium foil diving the loaf tin into 1/3 and 2/3 portions.
2. Place the savoiardi biscuits in the tin and then determine where you need to place the divider.
3. Pour coffee and orange juice into a shallow dish. Set aside.
4. Whip the cream until soft peaks form.
5. Add the mascarpone cheese and sugar and mix until just combined with the cream.
6. Dip enough biscuits into the coffee mixture to cover the base of a loaf pan. Cover the biscuits with one-third of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat layers 2 times, ending with the cream.


5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Dust generously with cocoa and chocolate shavings and serve.











Verdict: It does get disappointing when some  attempts fail, but do not give up. There is always a learning or two one can carry and it is very rewarding and fulfilling when you are successful. So being afraid of trying is not the right approach. I am sure all you home bakers out there agree with me on this one. The tiramisu tasted close to the one I had so many years back. It brought back fond memories of college days when one would eat without a care for the calorific value of foods.
priya's signature image at photobucket





5 comments:

Nupur said...

Very well done PRiya ! Nicely assembled and presented.

Shey divine said...

Yummmm tiramisu

Rafeeda AR said...

such a detailed post... really well done...

Gayathri Kumar said...

Tiramisu looks perfect Priya. Loved the write up very much...

Minu said...

Such a wonderful recipe - quite a feat indeed!!!