There comes a time when reinterpreting a classic recipe like Tiramisu in a light, creamy, vegan and gluten-free version, actually feels good.
Ok, I was the one who said don't mess with classic recipes like Tiramisu. And what am I doing now? Presenting you an adultered version of the most traditional Italian dessert: a Vegan Tiramisu... Am I crazy or what??
I can blame spring, and the desire for novelty, the excitement for the arrival of April -the month- which will bring me back to my husband, but still, I shouldn't have done that. One should practice what one preaches. But lately, other than being inspired by making easy, light and tasty dolci al cucchiaio (spoon desserts, see my pannacotta), I've been fascinated by vegan baking (and also non-baking) ever more often. Moreover, I was curious to see how a Tiramisu actually tasted in a vegan and gluten-free version. Thought that maybe there would be more people that can enjoy this amazing dessert if I made a Vegan Tiramisu (not that I have any vegan friends or family, BTW).
Now Putting This Vegan Tiramisu Together:
I started by making a vegan cream: tofu and vegetable cream, with hints of vanilla, drops of lemon juice and almond milk. I used tofu al naturale (natural tofu, don't ask me what that means), which is the only tofu I was able to find in Rome (after a little running around in grocery and specialty stores, it seems we don't have the different varieties), but I'm sure if you use the soft tofu it will taste even better. My tofu had a firmer texture, plus I used the only sugar that was in my pantry: whole, raw cane sugar (I guess it's the equivalent of muscovado or turbinado), which is darker in color, with bigger grains and a strong molasses flavor. That made for a darker color of the cream, a slightly gritty texture and a pretty strong molasses flavor.
As for the cookies, I used vegan/gluten-free biscuits made with corn and rice flour. The shape of the cookies was perfect for the image I had of individual Tiramisu glasses. Two biscuits fit perfectly into the glass. I did three layers, assembled like the classic Tiramisu: first the cookies dipped in the coffee, then the tofu cream, a dusting of cocoa and so on, rotating the side of the biscuits for a better hold, and finishing with some dark chocolate shaved on top. The corn flour in the biscuits reinforced the grainy texture, but the overall experience of this Vegan Tiramisu was very positive. I had some of my Italian entourage taste their first Vegan Tiramisu. As well as their first taste of tofu. Yes, your eyes are not mistaken, there are actually people that have never had tofu before (in specific: my brother, two of my cousins and my coworker. I did not dare ask my parents to taste it since they cannot be defined as adventurous eaters 🙂 ).
So I guess it counts double if I tell you that they polished the glass, licked the spoon clean, and said it had a distinct flavor, but it was actually really good. There you go, coming from an Italian it counts tenfold.
Next time I make it, and I'm going to make it again for sure, I will be in Canada, I'll buy the soft tofu and I'll use a much lighter brown sugar. I'm sure that if I used Savoiardi nobody would even taste the difference with the classic Tiramisu. I truly enjoyed it, anyway. And the day after it was even better because the flavors had had the time to meld and blend together in a mouthwatering creamy, coffee flavored, chocolate-y dessert.
To all of you intrepid and venturous people, enjoy!
Song of the day: "Put Your Records On", by Corinne Bailey Rae.Print
- 1 cup espresso coffee (+ 2 Tbsp water)
- 250 g soft tofu
- 150 g light brown sugar (I used raw cane sugar)
- 150 ml vegetable cream (like coconut cream)
- 30 g unsweetened cocoa
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp almond, soy or rice milk
- 150-200 g vegan cookies (I used gluten-free rice and corn biscuits)
- dark chocolate shavings, optional
- Start by making the espresso coffee, then put it in a low, wide bowl and add some water.
- Prepare the tofu cream: cut the soft tofu into cubes and put it in a blender with the sugar, vanilla and lemon juice.
- Blend for a few minutes, intermittently, adding the milk to soften it, until it becomes a smooth and homogeneous mixture.
- In a medium bowl whip the cold vegetable cream (coconut cream) with a hand blender and then add it to the tofu mixture. Your cream is ready.
- Now proceed to the composition of the layers: dip the biscuits in the coffee and lay them flat on a baking dish or individual glasses; add the tofu cream, a sprinkle of cocoa and continue layering the soaked biscuits, tofu cream and cocoa (I did 3 layers).
- Finish with a sprinkle of dark chocolate shavings.
- Let cool in the refrigerator a few hours before serving.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: No-bake
- Cuisine: Italian
Ricetta in Italiano:Print
- Caffè x 6 (allungato con un po' d'acqua)
- 150 g zucchero di canna
- 150 ml panna vegetale
- 30 g cacao amaro
- 1 cucchiaio latte di mandorla, soya o riso
- 1 cucchiaino vaniglia
- 1 cucchiaio succo di limone
- Biscotti secchi (vegani, io ho usato biscottini riso e mais)
- scaglie di cioccolato fondente, opzionale
- Preparate il caffè, mettetelo in un piatto basso e largo, allungatelo con un po' d'acqua.
- Ora preparate la crema di tofu tagliandolo a cubetti e mettendolo nel frullatore insieme allo zucchero, la vaniglia e il succo di limone.
- Frullate per alcuni minuti, a intermittenza, aggiungendo il latte per ammorbidire,finché diventa una crema vellutata ed omogenea.
- Montate la panna vegetale ben fredda e unitela al composto di tofu. La vostra crema è pronta.
- Ora procedete alla composizione degli strati, bagnando i biscotti nel caffè e foderandovi una teglia o bicchieri individuali; proseguite con la crema di tofu, una spolverata di cacao e quindi ancora biscotti inzuppati, crema e cacao. Finite con una spolverata di cioccolato a scaglie.
- Lasciate raffreddare in frigorifero un paio d'ore prima di servire.
- Serving Size: 6/8 persone
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