Saturday, May 28, 2005

Dolce! - Tiramisu -


Tiramisu -- this was a killer

I did it. I made tiramisu for the first time in my life.

From what I have read in keiko’s post in March, I assumed that tiramisu is relatively easy to make. So even when I couldn’t find lady fingers anywhere around and baking genoise myself seemed inevitable, I didn’t chicken out.

After googling with the keywords “tiramisu,” “marsala” and “genoise,” and finding
this recipe on top of the list, I just went for it with no second thought.

Yes, nothing was terribly difficult about making tiramisu. It was fun baking the genoise, making the coffee syrup, making layers of genoise and mascarpone cheese cream and sifting cocoa on top to garnish. (I skipped the whipped cream and the chocolate gratings.) When I tasted it, however, I found so many points that I need to improve or do differently next time. It was just TOO SWEET!!

No, it’s not necessarily the recipe’s fault or the cultural difference in the preference of sweetness. It’s the sugar I used, I suppose. I used the cheapest brand of granulated sugar, and even for the part that recipe said “superfine,” I used the same cheap thing and did not bother to mill it in blender. (Or I might have made a mistake in conversion.) Also, the marsala I used was “dolce” so that probably contributed a lot to the extra sweetness.

What was more, I made 2 layers of genoise in this small ramekin, which made the taste of coffee syrup in genoise dominant instead of the taste of mascarpone cream. A big mistake, especially when I used the cheap mascarpone that didn’t have as much cheese flavor as imported ones.

I managed to eat this much, and thought that was all I could eat at one time.

The rest is for tomorrow.

So, next time I will: 1) use less amount of better sugar, 2) make sure to first add less amount of sugar than what the recipe calls for and gradually add more, tasting frequently, to reach the sweetness I want, 3) make sure to put more mascarpone cream than genoise when making layers, 4) make weaker coffee for the syrup (It was almost giving me mild caffeine-overdose symptoms…I mean, I should have known better even though the recipe said “the strongest you can make.”) , and 5) use a glass container so that the layers will show.

Well, better luck next time! ;)

----
Oh, BTW, this has nothing to do with the tiramisu, but I found a helpful info. on the net about whipping cream. Some of you readers might remember that I once complained about my whipped cream always turning out rather runny no matter how long I whip. The reason was that some whipping cream do not contain as much fat as others, and I always used the one with a low fat content. In a Japanese cooking forum site, someone commented that adding a little pectin powder (or a little jam that contains pectin) helps whipping cream thicken and improves whippability and stiffness. A great tip for getting rid of my "I-can't-whip-cream-like-everybody-else inferiority" ;)

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oooooh, that looks sooo heavenly! I bet it tasted as good as it looks!  

Posted by Jme

Anonymous said...

obachan;
WOW....looks good. I've never tasted tiramisu, but I think I am going to try it soon...
mmmmmmmmm.... 

Posted by carlyn

Anonymous said...

Yummy.! you gotta share your recipe..!  

Posted by MrsT

Anonymous said...

That looks so delicious! Are you going to share your recipe?! ^^ 

Posted by Tea

Anonymous said...

completely off the topic of tiramisu i thought you might be able to help me figure out how to make my own japanese curry roux, not the packaged stuff. any thoughts?
thanks,
rae 

Posted by rae

Anonymous said...

hi hi obachan
wahhh your tiramisu looks yummy!!!! *yummmmm* 

Posted by pinkcocoa

Anonymous said...

> Jme --- Thanks for your comment, but actually...not really. I'll try again and make a real heavenly one. I promise.

> carlyn --- It's worth trying. Hope you'll like it.

> MrsT --- Well, I linked to the recipe site. Would you like to try making one yourself?

> Tea --- Yep, click the link in the post to see the recipe. I don't know...looks like I need to make some changes to this recipe, but you might get a different result if you try it with the sugar and cheese you have over there.

> rae --- Mmmmm... difficult question. Let me see what I can do...

> pinkcocoa --- Thanks but it didn't taste the way I wanted. Well, I guess I can have a better luck next time. ;)  

Posted by obachan

Anonymous said...

Whipping cream is a funny subject in our family. One Thanksgiving (a big American food holiday in November, for any who may not know), my sister-in-law was asked to whip some cream to go with dessert. She mistakenly tried to whip what we call half-and-half - a much lower-fat liquid, which doesn't whip well at all unless you work it ice cold and with a special whip. This was years ago and we still tease her about it. I will have to bring up the pectin idea next time. :) 

Posted by Annie

Anonymous said...

obachan,
no need to ponder my question, i threw something unholy together the other night in the spirit of exploration and it turned out passable. some very strong veggie stock cubes, lots of that cheap, mild curry powder that's kinda yellow, marmite (to give it a "beefy" flavor) and tonkatsu sauce (shudder, but it needed that sweet fruity-ness), all thickened with a kind of roux. it's was fine actually.
thx,
rae 

Posted by rae

Anonymous said...

> Annie --- Oh, I feel so close to your sis-in-law :D Well, who knows, pectin might work even with half-and-half. Let me know the result if anyone gave it a try.

> rae --- It sounded difficult to me because I didn’t know if you had curry powder. I never really knew what’s included in curry powder mix and what the proportion of each spice was. But if you do have curry powder, this is a real basic way of making Japanese-style curry without using a package curry roux.
In a saucepan or frying pan, sauté finely minced onion until brown, add flour and curry powder and sauté until fragrant. Set aside (this is the roux). In a pot sautee meat and diced vegetables and season with salt+pepper. Add soup stock and bay leaf ( apple puree, if desired) and cook until potatoes are tender. Dissolve the roux into the soup, add grated garlic, and cook until thicken. You can add a little bit of secret ingredients there if you want. Here’s the list of our common “secret ingredients” in making Japanese style curry (using package roux stuff or not) :Worcestershire or Tonkatsu Sauce (like you did), ketchup, yogurt, vinegar, chocolate, instant coffee. Don’t add all of these, though. I haven’t tried any of these secret ingredients yet, so I have no idea how it’d work :P Some people mix in raw egg right before eating (not into the pot but on their individual plates only). I haven't tried it, either, but imagine that it may make the taste milder.
 

Posted by obachan

Anonymous said...

Minced onion, flour and curry powder - that's it?? Wow - that's almost as easy as using the packaged roux! I add garlic to almost everything but wouldn't have guessed to add apple puree. Would applesauce be good enough? Thanks for the tips. 

Posted by Annie

Anonymous said...

Hi Annie,
Yeah I think this is a real simple, basic method.
Mmmm...applesauce? I guess it's safer to use unsweetened one in that case. 

Posted by obachan

Lisa said...

Another thing that makes whipping cream get really fluffy is using VERY cold ingredients, cold bowl and cold beaters. Beating too long will give you butter, BTW.
I just stumbled upon your blog today (after googling something food-related I do not even recall!) and have been sitting her for an hour!
Off to my (Hawaii) garden now, to weed, seed, feed, prune and deadhead...
I have not had time to work on my own page but sooner or later will get some posts and photos together!
Aloha and thanks for the peek at your page!
P.S. Eigo jyoozu nee. Doko ni benkyoo dekimashita.

obachan said...

Lisa,
Thank you for your nice comment and advice. Yeah, I often forget about cooling the bowl and beaters. Good point.
Your Japanese is much better than my English :) I stayed in the States for several years but it was a LONG time ago.
BTW, let me know when you start your own blog. (I'm sure you'll be addicted to blogging, ha-ha-ha.)