Behold, the queen of plant-based tiramisù. Traditionally made with coffee-soaked savoiardi (ladyfingers), layered in between a creamy mixture of whipped eggs, sugar, mascarpone cheese and a thin layer of cocoa powder, this is another dish that we fondly remember from our childhood in Italy. Every nonna has a different recipe for it, a secret method to the layering, and a favourite type of coffee to use for the savoiardi - it's serious business! Especially in the region Alberto and I are from, Veneto - which incidentally is where tiramisù was born in the first place. This recipe has a lot to live up to, but let me promise you - you will be amazed. It's always had us coming back for seconds, thirds.. whole dishes! And the best part is how easy it is to make!
Give it a go.. you know you want to!
INGREDIENTS (makes 4-6 servings)
200g Digestive Biscuits OR Rich Tea Biscuits
1-2 Cups Freshly Brewed Coffee;
About 1Tbsp of sugar (optional);
2 Vanilla Soy Desserts (like Alpro shelf stable vanilla desserts);
300ml Refrigerated Soy Whipping Cream (Elmlea double or single cream or you could buy spray cream and cheat on this one!);
Unsweetened Cacao/Cocoa Powder (any will do - just watch out for added dairy!).
A generous bowl for whipping/mixing;
A hand mixer or a whisk if you've got the stamina;
A glass oven/serving dish, about 5cm deep, 20cm long and 12cm wide, but you can always make a couple of smaller ones, or several single-servings! Jam jars work wonderfully - and they look lovely too.
A sieve, or a meshed tea strainer if making mini pots.
WHAT TO DO
1. Brew your coffee, set aside and let cool. Sweeten while warm, if you wish. I quite like it unsweetened, a good full bodied coffee flavour compliments the sweetness of the cream mixture really well.
2. While you wait, empty the whipping cream into the bowl and whip until smooth and stiff. If you're cheating, just fill your bowl with spray-cream until you have about 300g.
3. Fold in the vanilla desserts one at a time using a spatula or a wooden spoon. Add sugar, tasting as you go, until you're happy with the sweetness! I always add about 1tbsp, but you may need less or more depending on how sweet your whipping cream is. Once you've obtained a nice smooth creamy mixture, you're ready to assemble!
4. To make your tiramisù, dip the biscuits into the cold coffee until they've absorbed a fair amount of liquid, but aren't soggy, and arrange a layer of them on the bottom of the glass dish - don't worry about them overlapping, just make sure they cover the entire surface. Add a layer of cream and spread it out using the back of a spoon or a spatula - don't overdo it, you need a lot less than you may think! Now gently sprinkle with a generous layer of cocoa/cacao powder with the sieve, or the tea strainer, if you're making little jar-sized portions. That's it, repeat as many times as your ingredients allow - just remember to end with a layer of cacao/cocoa-covered cream. You could also add dark chocolate shavings on the top for an extra fancy look.
5. Refrigerate for at least an hour or two, then try your best to resist it until your guests come over!