The month of October I was inspired by VeganMoFo to create vegan recipes that were easy, healthy and delicious! If you’ve followed me, then you may have made this, that and the other not even thinking that there was a vegan trend happening there. There was one more recipe that I made in October that didn’t get up on the blog before the end of the month but I have it here for you now. It’s gluten-free, vegan, caffeine free and tastes really, really good!!!
My husband and I used to go around to different restaurants in the city when we were dating and rate their tiramisu dishes. It is my most favourite dessert and I totally overloaded on it several years back. However, I decided to get back to it and I was excited (and afraid) to transform this dessert now that we have so many food restrictions. How was I going to make a recipe that was completely vegan based upon a recipe that is full of cheese and eggs???? AND by the way, we try our best to avoid soy, so the normal vegan substitutes of using soft tofu or soy cheese were not going to work. I will have to say though this does not taste exactly like the tiramisu I know and love, but it is a brilliant alternative to it. That’s right, brilliant.
OK – first thing to note is that I delved straight into making gluten-free lady fingers from scratch. If you want to save time on this one, you can buy a variety of gluten-free lady fingers at the organic super market. I had all these ingredients on had and knew that making these would save me money and would have less sugar in them then the store-bought. This recipe would be great for making a layering cake or cupcakes – it is moist and not full of processed flours or sugar.
Also, for the ‘cream’ filling, I used two types of nuts whipped into cream. The main one is a cashew cream that I let sit overnight (in the fridge) in my attempts to make it taste cheesy – which worked. The topping cream is a macadamia nut cream recipe I got from Cara over at Fork & Beans and it is very light and airy. If you have a hard time finding macadamia nuts (like I did – found them at Whole Foods eventually) then feel free to use the cashew cream for the entire tiramisu.
And last thing I switched up completely was to use an all natural, caffeine free coffee alternative called Dandy Blend which is a dandelion tea that tastes like coffee. There are many good things about eating bitter leaves as it can aid with detoxification of your liver and gallbladder and help with digestion. Often pure dandelion tea be very bitter tasting and not really appealing to the average person. This is a blend of dandelion, chicory and beet root that tastes like a cup-of-joe but does not have all the addictive side effects of coffee. If you are looking to cut down your coffee intake without loosing taste, this is a really good alternative. I used this to dip the lady fingers in, instead of espresso. In Canada, you can buy the Dandy Blend online with Upaya Naturals.
Feel free to switch up any part of this recipe for what works for you and what you have in your pantry. Nut cream or mascarpone, make your own GF lady fingers or buy GF lady fingers, Dandy Blend or espresso…what ever changes you make (or don’t), let me know how it turns out and how you would rate my new version of tiramisu! Happy guilt-free eating
For the Macadamia Nut Whip Cream recipe, please visit Cara over at Fork and Beans here.
Cashew Cream Filling
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water
- 3/4 cup apple juice concentrate
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
1. Soak raw cashews over night in water. Drain water and place soaked cashews in high power blender.
2. Add apple juice concentrate, cold water, coconut oil, coconut sugar & pure vanilla. Blend on high until smooth & creamy. Put in a container to sit overnight in fridge. Use when ready to assemble the tiramisu. Should be nice and thick for setting overnight.
Gluten-Free Lady Fingers
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 1/2 cup water to thicken
- 1 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 2 tsp baking soda
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 cup water (optional)
1. Pre-heat oven at 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly grease with olive oil.
2. Mix first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients except water and fold with a spatula until mixed. If mixture seems dry or too thick, add the 1/2 cup of water. Once at a good consistency, spread mixture on baking sheet to make one long cake about 1″ thick.
4. Bake in oven for 25-30 mins. Set aside to cool before cutting into ‘finger’ sized pieces.
Caffeine Free Soak for Lady Fingers
Use 2 tsp of the Dandy Blend mixed with 8 oz. of hot water. Set aside to cool. When ready to dip ladyfingers for assembly of tiramisu, you can add 1 shot of Kahlua (optional) for a more grown up version of the dessert.
ASSEMBLY OF TIRAMISU
1. In small dessert dishes, take one lady finger and dip in the caffeine free soak (about 2 seconds on each side). Place at the bottom of the dish you have chosen.
2. Place a tablespoon of the cashew cream on top of the lady finger.
3. Repeat step 1 & 2 and then step 1 one more time. Top the dish with the macadamia nut whip cream. Garnish with unsweetened chocolate shavings.
4. Enjoy with a cup of Dandy Blend or coffee. Can be stored covered in the fridge for 1 week. Makes about 8 single serving dessert cups.