The other day a friend and I met up for lunch at this awesome restaurant that offers both a vegan and non vegan menu.
Everything from soup, salad to dessert had vegan options even the oil for dipping the bread they specify is vegan!
How cool right!?
The lunch was great and of course we decided to go for dessert and we split the Vegan Tiramisu.
O- M- G- AWFUL!
It was really bad.
So this prompted me to get into the test kitchen to make one of my own.
Honestly it wasn’t that hard!
So either they tried too hard or not enough because whatever that was that they called Tiramisu, was a shame and often what puts non vegans off to vegan food!
I was so sad that my friends first foray into vegan desserts was this monstrosity!
I’ll be meeting up with her again tomorrow and you can be sure I’ll have a slice of this Vegan Tiramisu in hand for her to try!
Creamy, rum scented mousse with coffee and kahlua soaked sponge layers. Topped with a dusting of cocoa for that authentic taste and look.
Perhaps I should bring a slice to that restaurant to show them how it’s done!?
At any rate, try this recipe for yourself.
It is very simple and I had it all assembled in less than 30 minutes.
Aside from the sponge layers of course, but I baked those ahead of time anyway, so today’s assembly of this Vegan Tiramisu was literally 30 minutes
As you will see in this video (as well as listed in the recipe below) I am in love with Coconut Whipping Cream by Nature’s Charm.
So much better than whipping the fat from the can of coconut milk as this product is so smooth and creamy and there is no waste of that liquid from the coconut milk cans as we are used to.
I hope this becomes widely available but for now, even for me in New Jersey I have to go to Wegmans or Whole Foods to find it.
It comes in at $3.99 a can, but honestly you will end up paying the same if not more for 2-3 cans of coconut milk and wasting half the can just to get enough whipped cream for a recipe.
So be sure to ask in your local supermarket that they start to carry this stuff, that is the only way they will know it is in demand!
Ok now let’s get back to the recipe!
For those who do not use alcohol in their cooking and baking, I will suggest to use another recipe since classic Tiramisu is made with a heavy amount of alcohol.
Usually I offer substitutions, and I suppose you can use a good Rum Extract (but that may alter the desired taste) and we have enough trouble getting people to like Vegan Desserts in the first place! We don’t need to make some weird representation of the Classic Tiramisu
The rum of choice for me has always been Meyers Dark Rum. But I have also used Bacardi Gold and Mount Gay Rum from Barbados. All worked great and tasted delicious!
So whatever brand you go for, just make sure it is a dark rum and not white and not too bottom shelf since you will notice the quality in the final result if you cheap out here.
As for the actual “cheese” part of the recipe, I was actually skeptical that I would be able to pull it off, since traditional Tiramisu is made with mascarpone cheese and has a very distinct flavor profile to it.
One thing I want to note that we have to always keep in mind when making vegan desserts is that of course we will never get an exact replica.
Sometimes we hit on better tasting creations (my peanut butter cupcakes for example!)and sometimes we get very close to the original in taste and texture.
Since we are not using exact ingredients (duh!) it will never be exact.
This vegan tiramisu I have created is luscious! It is a very close replica of the original, using vegan cream cheese in place of the mascarpone and in my opinion the coconut whipping cream leaves no taste of coconuts behind.
I will note that I am partial to using Tofutti brand cream cheese in all of my baking and I recently tried Follow Your Heart cream cheese, with not so great results in this particular recipe.
For me, it tasted too “citrus-y” which is probably because they have mastered getting cream cheese to taste the most like “real cream cheese”.
I think it would be great in my vegan cheesecakes, but I did not like it here in this Tiramisu.
However after the first day all the flavors mellowed and melded together and that prominent “citrus” taste I was getting went away.
Like any Tiramisu recipe though, it WILL get better as it sits!
So I would advise to make this one day ahead of time before serving.
It just gets better as the days pass.
Xanthan gum is a thickener, it is not imperative, but your cream may not thicken as well as mine did for slicing, however the taste will still be great , and you can spoon the dessert rather than cut slices as shown
- For the Vanilla Sponge Layers:
- Ground Flax Seeds 4 tablespoons (32g)
- Hot Water ½ cup (120ml)
- White Vinegar 1 Tablespoon (15ml)
- Soy Milk 1 cup (237ml)
- Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoon (10ml)
- Cake Flour 2½ cup (300g)
- Granulated Sugar 1½ cup (300g)
- Baking Powder 3½ teaspoons
- Salt ½ teaspoon (3g)
- Vegan Butter 12 Tablespoons (175g)
- For the Tiramisu Cream:
- Vegan Cream Cheese 2-8oz packages (454g)
- Confectioner's Sugar 1 cup (120g)
- Rum ½ cup (120ml)
- Coconut Whipping Cream 1 can (15 fl oz)
- OR 2 Cans Coconut Milk refrigerated overnight
- Xanthan gum ½ teaspoon
- For the Syrup:
- Granulated Sugar ½ cup (100g)
- Water ½ cup (120ml)
- Instant Coffee Granules 2 teaspoons
- Kahlua ¼ cup (60ml)
- Cocoa Powder for garnish
- Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans for garnish *optional
- First prepare the cake layers by greasing 2- 8" square pans and line them with parchment paper
- Combine the flax meal with the hot water and let stand for about 5 minutes to thicken
- Add the vinegar to the soy milk to sour
- Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt
- Cream the vegan butter with the sugar until light and fluffy and this may take about 3-5 minutes on medium to high speed
- Add the thickened flax paste while mixing on medium speed, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to incorporate evenly, add the vanilla extract
- Add about ⅓ of the flour to the creamed mixture then add half of the soured milk
- Add another ⅓ of the flour and then the remaining sour milk
- Add the last amount of flour and mix just to combine evenly.
- Divide the batter evenly among the 2 pans and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for approximately 25 minutes or until they are springy to the touch when you gently press the centers.
- While they are baking and cooling, prepare the simple syrup by combining the water & sugar together in a small sauce pot, bring to a boil then boil for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the coffee granules then the Kahlua.
- Prepare the tiramisu cream by first whipping the coconut cream to medium peaks.
- Next combine the sifted confectioners sugar with the vegan cream cheese in a mixing bowl and mix smooth
- Slowly add the rum while mixing to combine well
- Fold in the coconut whipped cream and xanthan gum and mix smooth
- Refrigerate while you prepare the casserole dish and cake layers
- Trim the cake layers to fit the 8" X 8" casserole dish and soak the first layer with half of the coffee syrup
- Spread half of the tiramisu cream over top, then add the next cake layer and the rest of the coffee syrup finishing with the remaining tiramisu cream
- Dust with cocoa powder and optional chocolate covered espresso beans and refrigerate until set, preferably overnight to allow all the flavors to meld together
The flavors develop over time so be sure to prepare the Tiramisu at least 1 day ahead from when you want to serve it