Tiramisu has been on my list of ‘must recreate’ dishes for a really long time. I always really liked the coffee creaminess of tiramisu and it’s a pudding that I miss, although I think it fell slightly out of fashion in general.
I’ve been mulling over how to recreate the mascarpone and cream combo for ages. Cashews seem a popular choice to create a ‘cheesy’ alternative but we’re really not great fans. Even though Little S can now eat cashew nuts, I think soaked and blended cashews seem to only make a creamy nutty paste, which just isn’t quite right in my book. So I definitely wasn’t going to go down the cashew route. In my opinion coconut is similar in that it leaves behind an overpowering coconutty flavour and I didn’t want my tiramisu to have any unexpected coconutty taste. I was aiming for as authentic as possible a recreation, and I think this version is it.
Out of everyone who tasted my tiramisu the only comments that could improve it were that it needed more intense coffee flavour and some masala heat. I actually left out the masala as I was making it for the entire family (use vanilla if you don’t wish to use alcohol) and I used decaffeinated coffee and not quite enough of it. I know where I went wrong, but the recipe below has the mistakes corrected, but you may wish to add a splash more masala or soak the sponge for longer in stronger coffee to get an extra coffee and alcohol hit. The creaminess needs those strong flavours.
Rather than recreating the ladies fingers I baked a vanilla sponge and sliced it before dunking in the coffee. The resulting effect is spot on for tiramisu. The mascarpone and cream filling is a combination of sweetened soya cream cheese and soya whipping cream. This produces a cream which is both light and airy but with an extra richness and a greater stability. Once set in the fridge this Tiramisu lasts up to 3 or 4 days which is perfect as it does make a substantial quantity.
(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan. N.B. contains soya)
for the sponge:
200g self-raising flour
100g caster sugar
pinch of salt
100ml sunflower oil
150ml dairy-free milk
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas mark 5
- Line a shallow baking tin with parchment
- Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Stir in the sugar.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the dairy-free milk, bicarb, lemon, vanilla and oil.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix, until well combines.
- Pour into the lined tin and level off and bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden and a knife comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
for the cream filling:
200ml dairy-free whipping cream
100ml dairy-free cream cheese
4 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tbsp masala wine (more if you wish)
- Whip the cream until light and fluffy, then add the cream cheese and sugar and whip until fully incorporated. Add the flavouring and whip again.
1/2 cup freshly brewed espresso or very strong instant coffee
1-2 tbsp cocoa powder
- Slice the sponge into fingers and dunk in some freshly brewed strong coffee. The longer it’s absorbing, the stronger the coffee flavour
- Layer the ingredients into decorative bowls or a large rectangular serving dish.
- Start with soaked sponge, then a layer of the creamy cheese mixture and then a layer of cocoa powder. Repeat twice and finish with a heavy dusting of cocoa powder.
- Leave to set in the fridge and when ready to serve, slice into neat squares.