Yay! I did it. After many months of wanting to join, I finally joined Daring Bakers.  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 the recipe from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.

Wow. This was really an amazing experience for me. The challenge called for participants to make from scratch, mascarpone cheese, Savoiardi or ladyfingers, vanilla pastry cream,and zabaglione. After reading through the recipes many times, I though what have I gotten myself into?  Seriously!  Yikes.  Then I made the ridiculous decision to serve it at a dinner party.  Okay, so now lets see, I’m making the most complicated dessert I’ve ever made, and I’m going to serve it to my friends without trying it first.  You betcha!  What the heck.  Whenever I serve something I’ve never tried before to my friend it drives my hubby absolutely crazy!  Probably because, being the high strung person I am, I start to worry (totally freak) about the outcome.  Well, in this case, there was absolutely no need for worry.  This ended up being the best, bar none, tiramisu I’ve ever tasted.  I’ve made many tiramisu before.  All were delicious but these one truly brought this dessert to a new level of delicious for me.  While there were many components, none were difficult to make.  Planning ahead and making each component with enough time for necessary chilling is important.  I suggest that you begin 2 full days before you wish to serve it.  Day one, make components.  Day two, assemble.  Day three, serve and swoon!

As you look over this recipe you will notice it is quite lengthy.  Remember that each component on its own is pretty easy to make.  Just make sure you make this when you can devote the necessary time.  Next time I make this, and believe me, there will be a next time, probably verysoon, I more than likely wont make the mascarpone from scratch.  It’s not that it was hard to make ( it was actually very easy ) it’s just that I didn’t think the homemade version had a better flavor.  The ladyfingers, on the other hand, were far superior to any I have been able to purchase.  They are definitely worth the time it takes to make them from scratch.  The zabaglione and the vanilla pastry cream must be made from scratch.  I promise you, even though this is a bit of a time commitment, will be very happy with the results of this incredible dessert!

Source: Carminantonio’s via The Washington Post