Sunday 28 December 2014

Vegan Tiramisu

Tiramisu's main ingredient is mascarpone cheese, so I wouldn't have thought you could make a vegan version - but apparently you can! I wanted a vegan dessert for when I had friends over before Christmas; I made an eggnog cheesecake as well but also needed something suitable for vegans. I recently bought a recipe book called Sweet Vegan by Emily Mainquist, which I've been using quite a lot lately, and was intrigued by the recipe for tiramisu. Instead of sponge fingers you bake a dairy-free cake and instead of mascarpone cheese you use tofu!

I did adapt the recipe slightly; as with other ones I've made from this book it suggests using evaporated cane juice but I used caster sugar instead. I used white wine vinegar instead of cider vinegar as that was all I had, and I left out the marsala - I know it's a traditional part of tiramisu but I thought this dessert might be eaten by a child (but I also made some Frozen cupcakes and in the end she had those instead!). I also used self-raising flour rather than plain flour and baking powder as it was one less thing to do! Finally I found that the quantity of coffee given was far too much - perhaps I didn't soak my sponge as much as I should have, but I only used about a third of the coffee I made up, so I have adjusted the quantity in this recipe below accordingly.

You need:
For the cake:
225g vegan margarine e.g. Pure
225g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla flavouring
390g self-raising flour
6 tsp egg replacer, whisked with 8 tbsp. warm water
240ml soya milk
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
for the coffee filling:
200ml strong coffee
for the 'cream cheese' filling:
85g vegan margarine e.g Pure
225g soft tofu at room temperature
600g icing sugar
30g plain chocolate, grated (optional)

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a loaf tin.

Beat the vegan margarine for the cake with the sugar and vanilla extract. Mix the egg replacer with the warm water and combine this in a jug with the soya milk and vinegar.

Alternate adding the wet ingredients and the flour to the cake mixture. Make sure everything is well combined then scrape into the loaf tin and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Allow the cake to cool then turn out onto a wire rack and leave until fully cooled.

Make up the coffee and leave to cool.

To make the filling, beat the vegan margarine, tofu and vanilla extract until smooth. Slowly mix in the icing sugar and mix until well combined.

Slice the cake into three layers and place one layer in the bottom of the loaf tin. Pour over 1/3 of the coffee and when it has soaked in, spoon 1/3 of the tofu mixture on top.

Repeat with the next layer of cake until you have used all the cake, coffee and tofu mixture. Finish the top layer with tofu and sprinkle with a little grated plain vegan chocolate if desired.

Chill in the fridge until firm. Cut into slices to serve.

I really wasn't sure what this was going to taste like given I'd replaced mascarpone cheese with tofu but it was really good - very sweet from all the icing sugar, but actually a lovely creamy dessert that vegans and non-vegans alike enjoyed.

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