It’s a big day in the Lazy Cat Kitchen household as finally, after about a year of tinkering, we are launching a new version of this website. If everything goes to plan, you should be looking at it by the time this recipe is live. I am a bit nervous, I won’t lie.
It was a big job and we somehow didn’t divorce over it, although it got tense a couple of times 😉 . There are so many things to do and think of when doing a job like that. I am lucky as I am married to a web developer extraordinaire with an admirable amount of tenacity but despite having such a first class level of IT expertise in the house, the job was still stressful as we were both tackling it alongside our day jobs. It put a lot of pressure on us and made other chores (DIY mostly) suffer. We are glad to be finally crossing the finish line.
We have listened to your feedback and introduced some improvements to the layout, legibility and added nutritional information to all our recipes – something that Duncan beavered away at for hours while I plied him with hot beverages and snacks 🙂 (we played to our strengths, what can I say?). We hope you like this new version of our site and find it a pleasure to use.
Meanwhile, after last week’s recipe for vegan lady fingers, I promised you a dessert featuring these and I’m pretty sure most of you guessed what I was talking about…Being a massive coffee aficionado, I’ve had to correct an oversight of there being no tiramisu recipe (apart from these tiramisu jars) on the blog thus far.
This tiramisu uses my vegan lady fingers as a base, but you could also make a drier sponge and use that instead. For the cream, I used a combination of silky tofu and cashews, which while lush and creamy once blended, do ideally need to be stiffened a little. You have two options here, either deodorised (which means no coconut aroma or flavour is present) coconut oil or agar agar powder. Both of them work well with the first one being more indulgent than the latter. It’s not that fussy to make and the result is well worth it, it makes for a perfect dinner party dessert.
- 24 vegan lady fingers (recipe here)*
- 240 ml / 1 cup strong coffee*
- 30-45 ml / 2-3 tbsp sweet Marsala wine*
- 350 g / 12 oz silken tofu
- 400 g / 3 cups raw cashews, soaked*
- 140 g / 1 cup icing sugar*
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract or paste
- a dash of lemon juice (optional)
- 125 g / ½ cup + 2 tbsp refined coconut oil or vegan butter, melted or 10 g / 5 tsp agar agar powder*
- cocoa powder, to dust
- Mix cold coffee with alcohol and pour into a shallow dish. You could sweeten this soaking liquid if you wish, but I don’t as the other two components of the dessert provide enough sweetness.
- Place drained tofu at the bottom of the blender followed by half of the cashews and the rest of the ingredients (apart from cocoa powder). Once blended, add the remaining cashews and blend until smooth – use a tamper or a silicone spatula to help the blender churn from time to time. You may want to add some lemon juice (if liked), I personally did not feel that it was needed.
- Stiffen the cream by blending in melted coconut oil/vegan butter OR agar agar powder activated in 150 ml (½ cup + 2 tbsp) water (see NOTES on activating instructions). Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- Dip each lady finger in the coffee mixture briefly. Arrange a layer of coffee dipped lady fingers at the bottom of the dish. Drizzle a small amount of coffee on top, but not too much as you don’t want the lady fingers to disintegrate completely after resting.
- Spread half of the cream on top, followed by another layer of coffee dipped lady fingers. Again, drizzle a small amount of coffee on top.
- Spread the rest of the cream on top and allow the dessert to set overnight at least (two nights is best).
- Dust with cacao powder, cut and serve (chilled).
*COFFEE: I brewed 30 g of dark roast coffee in 240 ml / 1 cup of water. You could also use 2-3 espresso shots or approx. 2-3 tbsp instant coffee instead.
*MARSALA WINE: You could use rum, brandy, whiskey, any coffee-flavoured liqueur or Amaretto instead. If you don’t want to use alcohol, you could skip it or replace it with a few drops of almond extract, for example.
*CASHEWS: Should be soaked overnight or for at least 30 minutes in boiling water.
*ICING SUGAR: You could use softened dates instead. If you were to use a liquid sweetener (like maple syrup), it would make the cream too loose.
*AGAR AGAR POWDER: To activate agar agar powder, place it in a small pot with 150 ml (½ cup + 2 tbsp) water and set aside for 10 minutes to rehydrate. Next, bring the two to a simmer (stirring the whole time) and allow it to simmer for 60 seconds to activate. Once activated, immediately add to the cream. Agar agar powder can theoretically be replaced by agar agar flakes but you’ll need to triple the volume as they are 3 times less potent and I generally do not like using them as they never fully dissolve, in my experience.
*The Pyrex dish I used had the following dimensions: 30 cm x 22 cm (12″ x 8.5½), but you could also use a square 25 cm (10″) dish for a slightly taller tiramisu.
which version do you prefer and would go with ? fatty oily one or agar agar ?
many thanks for help !
The one with vegan butter/refined coconut oil is definitely more indulgent (so non vegans are likely to enjoy it more) and easier to make too! Hope this helps and thank you and your non-vegan friends will enjoy it. x Ania
I was hoping to make this for Christmas Day but have just discovered that one of the guests is allergic to cashews. Do you think I could use almonds? Or should I just use coconut cream as you suggested to the person who is allergic to soy? If so, would it need stiffening? Would love your advice!
If your guests are allergic to cashews, you have two adjacent options - one is hulled sunflower seeds and the other (depending where you live - here in the UK they are very expensive, but in Australia they are not) being macademia nuts. Almonds are delicious but they do not quite have the same level of fat so they may not blend as smoothly. I make creamy ricotta out of them, but it's too much faffy & process for an already complex dish. As for coconut cream option, if you use really thick coconut cream it should need no special thickening other than a bit of cornstarch - whip it like you would whipped cream and add a little cornstarch at the end. I get it from a tin of full fat tin of coconut milk with no stabilisers as they will prevent separation - chilled in the fridge for a week or so. Then open it gently (without tipping the tin) and the solid cream should have risen to the top and the water should stay at the bottom - scoop out the cream and discard the water. You'll need at least three tins I imagine. Alternatively, you could use a vegan whipped cream - I've had good results with Oatly whipped cream (white carton) and Elmlea if these are available to you. Hope I helped a little. Ania
Your tiramisu is amazing! Couldn’t stop myself from eating the tofu mixture and my family said that it’s the only vegan dessert they had that tastes better than the original one! Dziekuje Ania!
Aw, thanks so much! In that case, I am delighted that you bought the wrong type of tofu and that you put it to such a good use ;) . In all seriousness, I'm so happy that you and your family enjoyed this tiramisu so much - it's always super awesome when non-vegans are able to forget that they are eating a vegan dish! And thanks so much for taking the time to write this lovely review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
Made it for Christmas. I used chai latte instead of coffee (really can’t stand the taste of coffee). That was a really good recommendation of you, Ania!
And the lady fingers.. oh my.. so good. The exact same as the ones from the store.
I made half the cream mixture recipe and full ladyfinger recipe (but only used half of the actual ladyfingers) to make 5 mini tiramisu pots! What a (another!!) winner of a recipe Ania!
Yes i agree that the ladyfingers could be soaked more than briefly, so I just soaked them a bit longer but took them out before they could crumble or disintergrate!
I used the softened dates instead of icing sugar, and although it changes the colour of the "cream", it is still absolutely delicious!
I also used coconut sugar in the ladyfingers instead of caster sugar, and they turned out great -I ground the sugar first to make it finer...
Thank you once again for an epic recipe!
First, the ladyfingers! I don't know if I added too much flour (I measured by volume and not weight, rookie mistake), but the dough came out very dry--I added a little bit of almond milk, but it was still more like a sugar cookie dough than anything you could pipe, and I was wary of overmixing by adding more and more liquid. So I ended up shaping the dough with my fingers into cylinders and pressing them down, which surprisingly seemed to work fine, and they came out pretty much perfect.
The mascarpone was really tasty, and the filtered coconut oil worked great (I used Thrive Market's)--no coconut taste whatsoever. I wonder if, because the original is technically a cheese, it could use something to create a slight tang, like lemon juice. Overall though I'm pretty happy with it!
According to my Italian mother, the ladyfingers are supposed to get rather soggy in the coffee mixture. I think the taste of coffee in the final product could have been stronger, myself. The cookies were certainly crisp enough to withstand longer soaking, but I wanted to follow instructions and only briefly submerged them. Do with this information what you will!
Very excited to have had success with this recipe. Thank you!!
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this and I am so glad you did make this dessert in the end and, most importantly, that you enjoyed it!
As for ladyfingers, it does sound like your ratio of wet to dry ingredients was off a little as the batter should not be that stiff, it needs to be thick or else they turn into puddles as soon as they get piped but you should certainly be able to pipe them through a large nozzle. And yes as you already mentioned yourself, measuring flour by volume is inherently imprecise so I would say that you probably ended up with too much flour in the mix. Glad you managed to make them work and that they came out well in the end.
You could totally add a dash of lemon if you wish. I typically do (in fact I love things to be quite tangy so usually add more lemon juice to things than most people ;) ), but in this case, because coffee offers such a strong contrast with the cream, I did not feel the need to do that. I will keep an open mind next time I make it though and adjust the recipe if I change my mind...
Yes, you could totally soak the biscuits more, I agree. It was a difficult thing to quantify in the instructions as when you keep the biscuit submerged for too long, it will start to crumble into the coffee, which I obviously didn't want. I think I should have mentioned to drizzle some more coffee on top once the biscuits are in the dish - good idea, I will add a note to make sure people add enough coffee.
Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughful comment and I am so happy that it's a thumbs up from you, overall.
I am not sure, but it may be something to do with tapioca's absorbency (thickening effect) being higher than cornstarch in this context...while they can be used to similar effect, they are not exactly the same ingredient. I am assuming you replaced 5 ml of liquid lost due to not using lemon juce, they are very small differences but often add up especially when working on small batches. Next time you make them, simply use a little more aquafaba to achieve thick yet pipeable batter. x Ania
Also! Most tiramisu recipes I find usually call for a layer of whipped cream as the final layer (as opposed to just layering with mascarpone). I'm curious, is there a reason you decided not to do this in your recipe? Do you think adding it could be a good idea?
Thank you in advance for your help!
I would go with similar weight to tofu if you wanted to try it, however, depending on the composition of the cream cheese (they tend to contain some sort of fat usually) you may feel the need to reduce the amount of coconut oil used as the mixture may end up a bit too rich - your best bet is to try with less coconut oil (if that's what you are using) and add more if you decide it is needed after some chilling time (but before you layer the tiramisu). As for your question, I didn't feel the need to add any vegan whipped cream alternative as I wanted to keep the recipe as simple as I could (and it is already quite involved due to the fact that it is impossible to buy vegan sponge fingers) and I find it already quite rich and indulgent. x Ania
I'm delighted to hear that your friends loved this dessert and that it came out well, that's the most important bit. Here are my replies to the points / suggestions you've made - I hope they are helpful and it goes a lot smoother next time:
1) silken tofu weight is what it says on the packaging. Silken tofu is custard-like and very fragile in texture and it NEVER requires pressing so I am wondering if you perhaps used a different kind of tofu?
2) the sweetness is down to the individual preference and it can be easily adjusted to suit your own taste. Neither I nor any of my family and friends who tried this dish found it insufficiently sweet. It also depends on the sweetness of the biscuit base you used? I used my homemade vegan landyfingers, as per the recipe.
3) because I cannot be sure which agar agar brand someone uses, I decided it was probably the safest to refer them to the packet instructions, but I take your point, I will amend the instruction to add more detail.
4) for me, in the UK, that link takes you to the exact brand I use (which is unrefined Biona), unfortunately I have no control over what this link is for other locales. If you are based outside of the UK and the product I indicated to link to isn't available anymore, Amazon will automatically default to its closest cousin. I have no control over this and I don't even know when this happens so I am sorry you found this misleading, but that's how it works .
Thanks for your partner's help and for not giving up and I am glad that the result was enjoyed by everyone. I spend an awful lot of time and care testing and writing these recipes so I am always genuinely worried if people are having issues executing them.
My answers as follows
1) I definitely used silken tofu. I went to an Asian supermarket to be sure I had the widest variety available to choose from. It was very fragile but definitely very watery.
2) I used your lady fingers recipe :) they were great.
3) I used the Golden Trophy brand agar agar, made in Thailand, as that seemed to be the best rated brand.
You are welcome. That's very strange, I have never come across silken tofu that requires pressing. The ones I've tried (Clearspring, Yutaka, Morinaga and Satono Yuki Shiki) come in a Tetra Pak and are perfectly smooth, no pores whatsover. It goes to show that there are some differences between products available in different countries and they are not always possible to predict. Glad you enjoyed my ladyfingers recipe (I would love it if you could review them too if you have a minute) - in this case you probably have more of a sweet tooth than I have, which is very easily rectified luckily. As for the agar agar, I don't know this particular brand but I've added more detailed activation instructions to the recipe as per your suggestion. x Ania
Thanks for including the tip on the mixing bowl being spotlessly clean - I think last time I tried whipping aquafaba that got me - worked perfectly this time though!
Sure, you can totally make the cream ahead of time. In fact, I would recommend assembling the entire dessert 2 days ahead of time and it allows it to set and for the flavours to mature and mingle with each other. x Ania
Is 5 teaspoons agar agar powder correct? I was wondering if it should be 5 grams?
Yes, 5 teaspoons is correct! Cheers, Ania
Sure thing. The best replacement would be coconut cream (whipped would be ideal), which is best obtained from 2 cans of full fat coconut milk chilled in the fridge for a few days. Sometimes the fat (the cream) separates after 48 hours, but not always so just to be sure I would keep it in there for as many days as you can. You can also use a vegan cream cheese if you have found a brand you like the taste of. x Ania
Sure you can but the cream may have a slight coconut flavour. Hope this helps! Ania
I'm allergic to soy. Is there a way to replace it?
My alterative would be coconut cream (ideally obtained from 1-2 cans of chilled full fat coconut milk) and either used straight or even better whipped up first. Hope this helps! Anna