I prepared this recipe for my husband’s birthday, as he is one of the greatest (the greatest, perhaps) fans of tiramisu. Tiramisu is a pretty classic and famous Italian dessert, which in its original version consists of coffee soaked savoiardi (super soft biscuits made with egg whites), mascarpone cream and cocoa powder. Tiramisu is usually made in a deep dish and is a creamy dessert that people eat with a spoon – it’s very soft. I wanted to retain the softness but also to go a bit beyond the traditional tiramisu and have some fun.
The most difficult thing with tiramisu is that you cannot use cashew mascarpone or vegan cream cheese, because it tastes like something strongly different. I found an amazing vegan mascarpone (Wie Mascarponewhich in German means “like mascarpone” and I found on The Vegan Kind supermarket, https://www.thevegankindsupermarket.com/p/schlagfix-vegan-mascarpone-250g) that does the trick.
The cake consists in two layers of coffee financiers, a layer of coffee and dark chocolate cremeaux, the mascarpone mousse and a dark chocolate mirror glaze, and it’s decorated with tempered chocolate squares.
90 g vegan butter
180g icing sugar
70 g flour
60 g walnuts (toasted, then chopped)
1 tsp baking powder
60 g ground almonds
50 ml coffee
190 g aquafaba
30 ml amaretto di Saronno
Roast the walnuts in the oven at 170 C for 10 minutes; when cooled, roughly chop.
I used the procedure to brown the butter, even though with vegan butter it will not be the same, I still feel that this gives it a roasted flavour. I cooked the butter in a pan until it melted and until it changed colour, becoming brown-ish. I let it cool before adding to the rest of the ingredients – it doesn’t have to be too cold or it will not combine well.
Sift icing sugar in a bowl, together with the baking powder, the salt and the flour and the almonds. Add the aquafaba, after having lightly whisked it – we don’t need peaks for this, just it to be a bit frothy. Finally, add the coffe and mix. When everything is mixed well, add the “browned butter” and the walnuts. The dough is ready and has to reast at least a couple of hours in the fridge.
When ready to bake, preheat oven at 200 and pour the financier in a baking tray deep ~1,5 cm. Bake for approximately 20 minutes but keep a close eye on it as financiers are particularly temperamental.
Once cooled, SOAK with some Amaretto di Saronno – you will taste it in the cake and it’s absolutely worth it. If you don’t drink alcohol, there is no need to use any kind of syrup or extra coffee on the financier because it’s already very moist (it’s actually both moist and somehow crunchy, which is why I didn’t feel the need to add a crunchy layer).
Chocolate coffee cremeaux
2 g agar agar + ½ tbsp to dissolve
100g 85% dark chocolate
140g heavy cream (I use the Schlägfix, the same brand of the mascarpone, it always works well)
Melt the chocolate at 45 C in the microwave, or in the oven, or with the double boiler system.
Bloom the agar in cold water and let rest. Put the coffee on the heat and melt the agar agar in it – do not bring to a boil. Pour the coffee mixture on the chocolate in 2-3 batches, mix well and then blend with an immersion blender: you want a shiny and smooth cream. Finally, add on the side of the mixing glass the cream when blending. Pour in a baking dish or a mould and freeze for a minimum of 4h.
4,2g agar agar + 20 ml water
200g almond milk
60g agave syrup
200g white chocolate
190g heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Bloom the agar in the water; then add to the warmed almond milk and the vanilla. In the meanwhile, melt the white chocolate at 45 C in the microwave, or in the oven, or with the double boiler system. Pour the warm liquid on the chocolate in 2-3 batches and combine well, then pour in the glass of an immersion blender and blend. Once the mixture is well combined, add the mascarpone; once well combined, add slowly the heavy cream on the side of the glass while blending. Pour in a baking dish and let rest overnight with cling film directly touching the surface.
Take the cremeaux out of the freezer 5-10 minutes before assembling.
I used a square metallic cake ring. First cut two squares of the financier, one as large as the basis of the cake, the other a bit smaller. Place one of them at the basis of your cake ring and then pour the mascarpone mousse. Place another square of the financier and then cover with some more mascarpone mousse. Cut a cremeaux square and place that as your next layer. Cover with all the mascarpone mousse you need to fill the whole cake ring and smooth the top with a spatula.
Freeze for at least 4-5h. When ready to glaze, prepare the mirror glaze – if you prepare it in advance, you will need to warm this up before pouring (do not pour if the temperature is over 35 C).
Vegan chocolate glaze
16 g agar agar + 120 ml hot water
Caster sugar (200g)
Liquid glucose (245g)
Cold Water (100ml)
Dark chocolate (200g) – chopped
Coconut Milk 140 ml
Whisk the agar agar in the hot water. Let sit for a few minutes. In the meantime, combine the liquid glucose with the cold water and the sugar in a saucepan. When this mixture reaches ~65 degrees, add the agar. Bring to a boil and let boil for one minute, then remove and whisk in the coconut milk.
Pour the mixture on the chopped dark chocolate and whisk. Pass through a strainer and pour on the cake once the mixture has cooled to ~34/35 degrees. Leftover glaze can be collected in a jar and stored in the fridge for 1 week, or in the freezer for ~1 month.
I found that this version of the glaze is much thicker, so I had to act super fast. However, it has a ganachey texture that for this cake is perfect so it was worth it.
I decorated with some tempered chocolate squares because I thought that the geometrical theme was well suited (my husband is a maths teacher!).
This Tiramisu was super super satisfactory and we finished it quite quickly – I think it lasted 18 hours (however, we gave a slice to a friend who lives next door and is a Tiramisu enthusiast as well, and he approved!).