Since I remember myself, I am passionate with Italy, Italian language and Italian culture. Of course tiramisu couldn’t be an exception and, indeed this is one of my favorite desserts. However tiramisu contains animal products and thus I had to come up with a recipe for vegan tiramisu that would be not only ethical but also tasty and healthy.
Tiramisu is made with ladyfinger (or Savoyard) biscuits soaked in strong coffee, cream cheese and unsweetened cocoa. In order to prepare a vegan tiramisu, I used a type of Swedish crisp breads that have the same shape, size and fluffy texture as ladyfingers and instead of mascarpone I made some vegan cashew cream cheese.
This vegan tiramisu is wonderful, creamy, fluffy and sugar-free. Cashew cream-cheese, both vanilla and chocolate-flavored are combined beautifully with the coffee, reminding us of an afternoon walk on Gianicolo hill a warm August afternoon and two cups of morning espresso in Trastevere.
The recipe contains crisp breads so it is not raw-vegan (or, one could say that, it’s semi – raw!) but if you want a 100 % raw vegan tiramisu, plus gluten-free, I’ve written my raw vegan and gluten-free recipe in the end of this article!
20 Swedish crisp breads (as those in the photo)
- 1 cup strong coffer
- 2-3 tbsp coffee or cocoa liqueur or agave nectar
For the vanilla cream
- 2 cups raw cashews soaked for 4-6 hours and drained
- ½ cup agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
- ½ cup nut milk (I used coconut milk)
- ½ tsp agar agar powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 4-5 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp natural vanilla extract
For the chocolate cream
- Half of the vanilla cream
- 3-4 tbsp cocoa powder
2-3 tbsp cocoa powder for dusting
- Put the coffee in a square bowl with the liqueur and dip half of the crisp breads (2-3 each time) for half a minute, until they absorb enough coffee.
- Arrange the crisp breads on the bottom of a medium- sized baking dish or a round baking dish of 22 cm diameter.
- Prepare the cream: Put the cashews along with agave syrup, salt, vanilla and lemon juice in a blender and blend until a smooth cream has been formed. I’ve found that to me is more convenient to start with half of the cashews and once they’ve become a smooth cream I slowly and the rest of them. Dissolve the agar agar in the nut milk and bring the mixture to boil and thicken while stirring. Add immediately into the cashew mixture and keep blending for a few minutes until smooth.
- Divide the cream into two equal parts. In the one part add the cocoa and mix well, until the cream is homogenous and there are no lumps in.
- Assembly: Spread the chocolate cream over the crisp breads. Dip the rest of the crisp breads into coffee and arrange over the chocolate cream. Cover them with the vanilla cream and leave in the fridge for at least six hours to set.
- Serve: Sprinkle with 2-3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa, cut into pieces and serve.
For the 100% raw vegan tiramisu instead of ladyfingers you can use:
- 1 cup dry coconut, grated
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup blond raisins
- 2-3 tbsp espresso coffee or water
Wash the raisins and drain well. In the bowl of the food processor, add the almonds and process until powdered. Add the remaining ingredients and process at medium speed for about 5 minutes, until all the ingredients are well mixed. The mixture should form a small ball that comes off the walls of the food processor bowl.
Divide the mixture into two equal parts.
Sprinkle a greaseproof paper with grated coconut, put over it the one part, flatten with your fingers and using a rolling pin roll out a disc of 0,5-1 cm thickness and 22 cm diameter. Repeat the process with the second part and put aside.
For the assembly follow the process as described above but instead of crisp breads use the raw cake-disks you made.
Additionally, instead of boiling agar with the nut milk you can boil it with the same amount of water.