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How far in advance would you be willing to make tiramisu and cheesecake?

Katie Nell Sep 18, 2006 09:19 PM

My wedding reception is fast approaching (we eloped for the main event for those who don't know), and while we decided to have barbeque catered for the main and sides, I'm making all the desserts. I don't particularly like wedding cake but I am the dessert queen, so I'm making most of our favorite desserts. I'm making pumpkin cheesecakes, tiramisu, and apple pies, all miniaturized. How far in advance would you make the cheesecakes and tiramisu without sacrificing flavor or texture? (The party is on a Sunday, and I was thinking about making one on the Wednesday before and one on the Thursday before. I'm curious what people think of this?)

  1. Candy Sep 18, 2006 10:06 PM

    You could probably get away with making the cheesecake Wed. and freezing it. Tiramisu probably would not hold as well. I just saw a recipe for a frozen tiramisu, meant to be served frozen. It was made in a loaf pan and employed coffee ice cream. Served in slices with a chocolate rum sauce I think I meant to copy the recipe before I took the book back to the library. The name of the cookbook was someting like Perfect Recipes for Having People Over.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Candy
      Katie Nell Sep 18, 2006 10:24 PM

      I've seen a frozen one too, but it would probably not do well on a buffet style table.

    2. s
      Sam Ottawa Sep 18, 2006 10:07 PM

      Is your tiramisu the authentic kind with raw eggs? If so, I definitely would not make it ahead of time.

      You could probably make your cheescake on Wednesday - might taste better if you freeze it until Saturday.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Sam Ottawa
        Katie Nell Sep 18, 2006 10:23 PM

        Yeah, I hadn't thought of the egg issue... actually, that may not be a good idea after all because there will be children and older people there... hhhmmm... what to do now?

        1. re: Katie Nell
          sugarbuzz Sep 19, 2006 12:09 AM

          What I do for that problem is I cook the sugar (kind of like when making a buttercream)& then slowly add it to yolks that have already been beaten.

      2. farmersdaughter Sep 18, 2006 10:29 PM

        How about cupcakes instead of the tiramisu. Gets rid of the egg problem and you can freeze the cupcakes ahead of time (unfrosted). They'll be popular with both kids and adults!

        1 Reply
        1. re: farmersdaughter
          Katie Nell Sep 19, 2006 01:18 PM

          Yeah, tiramisu is just my favorite dessert, so I really wanted to make it... I think my dad is going to do chocolate sour cream cupcakes as well.

        2. b
          btnfood Sep 19, 2006 02:06 AM

          When I had a restaurant, I learned that tiramisu freezes perfectly.

          I whisk the egg yolks with rum or marsala and some sugar over boiling water,as for a sabayon. This thoroughly cooks the eggs and also gives great body to the finished dessert.

          1 Reply
          1. re: btnfood
            Katie Nell Sep 19, 2006 01:17 PM

            Actually, my recipe calls for this method, so then maybe I would be okay.

          2. b
            btnfood Sep 19, 2006 02:07 AM

            And, yes, cheesecakes generally freeze perfectly as well.

            1. m
              mellycooks Sep 19, 2006 05:56 PM

              I did the same thing for my reception with the cheesecakes. Made them a couple months in advance and froze them. But I did the decorating/glazing the day before.

              1. s
                scott123 Sep 19, 2006 07:30 PM

                First of all, you never want to serve a freshly chilled cheesecake as it needs to ripen overnight for the flavors to fully develop, so at a minimum, you'd want to make the cheesecake at least a day in advance.

                Second, assuming your cheesecake has a normal amount of sugar in it, there's more than enough sugar to preserve it for a week in the fridge without an impairment in taste.

                Third, I've frozen my own cheesecakes and I've purchased frozen cheesecakes before, and I can tell you, without a doubt, freezing impairs the texture (gets grainier). I don't know what the previous posters are talking about in regards to recommending freezing. If you can freeze the cheesecake quickly enough sometimes the impairment isn't terribly noticeable, so that may be what they're referring to. If this is for a wedding, though, you don't want an almost perfect cheesecake you want a perfect one. PLEASE don't freeze it, especially if you're only making it 4 days in advance. 4 days is meaningless for something with as much sugar in it as cheesecake.

                Heavy cream separates when frozen. Whipping it is supposed to incorporate enough air so that the milkfat globules don't burst, but I'm still skeptical. Should you decide to freeze the tiramisu, definitely do a trial run well in advance. My guess is that, just like cheesecake, freezing will impair it. Dairy and freezing is just not a good mix.

                If you're concerned about raw eggs, most supermarkets sell pasteurized eggs. With pasteurized eggs and the amount of sugar in the recipe, 4 days in the fridge is a no brainer.

                3 Replies
                1. re: scott123
                  Katie Nell Sep 19, 2006 07:36 PM

                  I wasn't planning on freezing it, but thank you for the info. It's certainly not a typical wedding... it's just a casual reception, we already did the wedding part. Sorry, I take it for granted that everyone reads all my posts and I've talked about it before! ;-) Good idea about the pasteurized eggs, I've never used them before.

                  1. re: scott123
                    curiousbaker Sep 19, 2006 09:08 PM

                    That's pretty funny, because I've always PREFERRED previously-frozen cheesecake, because I like the texture better. But I will certainly admit to not being a cheesecake expert - it's one of my least favorite desserts. About two bites a year is my limit.

                    I do like tiramisu, and I wouldn't recommend freezing in that case. And I'm pretty willing to freeze stuff.

                    1. re: scott123
                      Lydia3 Dec 20, 2007 10:03 AM

                      Thank you! I totally agree with serving the cheesecake at room temp to get the full flavor!

                    2. junglekitte Sep 19, 2006 09:20 PM

                      i disagree completely with the poster who says you cannot freeze cheesecake. i don't know if i would freeze it for MONTHS but certainly a week or two will do no damage.

                      dairy and freezing don't mix? what do you think ice cream, semifreddo, and glaces are?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: junglekitte
                        scott123 Sep 21, 2006 06:30 AM

                        What do you think an ice cream machine is? When you freeze dairy without the constant movement of an ice cream machine (along with special ingredients that help ice cream freeze smoothly) you get large ice crystals. Large ice crystals trash the texture of cream/cheese. Once you freeze it- it can be for weeks or for months, there's no difference, the texture is changed.

                        The science is solid. A frozen cheesecake WILL NOT be as smooth as an unfrozen one.

                        1. re: scott123
                          jbasile59 Jun 12, 2010 04:38 PM

                          Note of Interest: The Cheesecake Factory has been freezing their myriad flavors of cheesecake and cakes for years...

                          I personally don't care for previously frozen but it's done with great success by many!
                          I am puzzled by tiramisu though..overnight or same day - I am making one for a dinner tomorrow.

                          1. re: jbasile59
                            scott123 Jun 12, 2010 06:32 PM

                            The Cheesecake Factory utilizes flash freezing technology (and additives that help mitigate freezing's damaging effects). The faster you can freeze liquid, the smaller the ice crystals, the less damage to the structure of the milk proteins.

                      2. b
                        btnfood Sep 19, 2006 10:01 PM

                        Sorry if you don't agree with my humble opinions, but they are based on literally thousands of pounds of cream cheese and mascarpone, and as many gallons of heavy cream. Not to mention consulting with a friend who ships her tiramisu frozen all over the world.

                        I would never suggest a compromise for an occasion as special as a wedding. I would NOT keep the tiramisu refrigerated for four days, as it will begin to deteriorate.

                        1. junglekitte Sep 19, 2006 10:11 PM

                          i didn't give an opinion on tiramisu. i've never frozen it so i cannot give an opinion on that.

                          but i'm a professional chef (i hate to mention it to validate my opinion) and have worked at fine dining restaurants and resorts in which we have frozen cheesecakes. places where we would not have served something that was less than perfect. to each their own.......

                          i'm just giving a suggestion to make her life easier for the preparation. if you CAN make the cheesecake one day ahead without killing yourself over prep, by all means, do that instead. but freezing it for a few days will not compromise the flavor if you really don't have time to make it the day before.

                          1. b
                            btnfood Sep 20, 2006 02:08 AM

                            Sorry Junglekitte!

                            I was referring to the post against freezing above yours. I'm with you on freezing. I'm also a professional chef and have never let down my standards, but I have done this for so long and always been happy with the results, as you have.

                            1. s
                              scott123 Sep 21, 2006 06:35 AM

                              I'm a professional chef, with a degree in food science, and I'm telling you both- freezing impairs the texture of cheesecake. A frozen cheesecake WILL NOT be as smooth as an unfrozen one.

                              1. Katie Nell Sep 22, 2006 04:02 PM

                                Okay, I was able to get Friday off of work, so...
                                I'm not really wanting to freeze anything, just because I know my mom will not have room in her tiny freezer for 40 mini cheesecakes, 40 mini tiramisus, etc. and that's where we're baking at. How does everyone feel about the cheesecakes being made on Friday and the tiramisu (with pasteurized eggs) being made on Saturday?

                                1. b
                                  btnfood Sep 22, 2006 04:44 PM

                                  That's perfect and should relieve you of any stress. Enjoy the whole process and lots of good luck!!!!!!!!!!

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