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Making tiramisu from scratch is not something to be taken lightly.

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.

When I say from scratch, I mean from scratch. Every single component was created in my kitchen, from the ladyfinger cookies to the mascarpone. The entire process was done over a span of four days, far too long for a dessert, in my opinion.

I had issues with all the cream components, including only having 3/4 cup heavy cream left to do the whipping cream, but the mascarpone and the ladyfingers turned out really well. Due to my issues the cream layers between ladyfingers aren’t as thick as they are supposed to be, but overall the dish was yummy.


Classic tiramisu uses Marsala wine and espresso. I opted for creme de cassis and brewed Choffy (ground cacao). I think the blackberry liqueur went well with the lemony flavor of the pastry cream. I should have dipped my ladyfingers in the Choffy longer but I was concerned about them falling apart as they are rather delicate cookies.


It was a frustrating challenge but as always I’m happy I completed it. And next month’s challenge can’t possibly be more complicated … right? Better go find some wood to knock on…

P.S. There is still time to enter my Local Eating giveaway. Don’t miss out on your chance to score some amazing Austin treats!


  1. I had my issues with this challenge, too. The one actual baking element (lady fingers) was probably my favorite part of the whole process. And while it all came together quite easily for me, I just couldn’t wrap my head around the final set of directions after working on it for four days. So, I’m also with you on the length of the project! 😀 In the end, it looks like you made a fantastic tiramisu, your photos are gorgeous, and you will just have to restock that heavy cream! Can’t wait to see what next month brings.


  2. I, too, had problems with this challenge. My mascarpone had the texture of butter and the assembled tiramisu wouldn’t really firm up in the fridge, so I stuck it into the freezer. It was fine then, but the recipe I usually use for tiramisu is better…

  3. It looks lovely, and the flavour combination sounds really nice! I only had 4 days to make this before leaving town, so I was a bit stressed, but I found it all came together much more quickly than I expected. Hope you didn’t jinx us for next month! I can’t wait to see what it is either.

  4. These look great! The length of this challenge was a big turn off for me too, especially since I don’t love tiramisu. But, in the end, I’ve decided to push through (using my one week grace period) just to learn how to make these things. I’m really excited to make the mascarpone.

    And I agree, next month’s can’t be harder.

  5. Tiramisu is my FAVORITE dessert, but I’ve always been way too scared to try and make it by scratch. I have seen some recipes that kind of “cheat” to make it easier that I thought I might try sometime. Mostly I just like to treat myself and pick up an order to go at The Olive Garden, haha. I’m sure homemade is the best!

  6. Despite everyone’s grumbling about how long, hard, annoying this challenge was, everyone’s turned out beautifully – yours included! I love that you dipped the biscuits in Choffy! Well done!

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