Without wishing to blow my own trumpet, I think I may have nailed the perfect plant-based Tiramisu.
Living in Bedford with the very best Italian restaurants in the country, I have been missing the creamy comfort of Tiramisu, served unassumingly in a vast slab. Thankfully, we have so many options for plant-based creams that whip up and stay whipped that it's an easy enough bake.
You will need a swiss roll tin, lined with baking parchment
and an 8" square dish
160°C Oven pre-heated
Gas Mark 3
For the sponge:
250ml soy milk
1tsp cider vinegar
180g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
225g caster sugar
80ml sunflower/vegetable oil
2tsp vanilla extract
For soaking the sponge:
150ml cold espresso coffee
(I used 1tbsp instant espresso powder in boiling water, allowed to cool)
60ml marsala wine
For the cream:
250ml plant-based cream
2tbsp icing sugar
1tsp vanilla bean paste
3tbsp marsala wine
cocoa for dusting
- To make the sponge, begin by whisking cider vinegar into soy milk to thicken it. Leave it to stand while you weigh out your other ingredients.
- Weigh the flours, raising agents, and sugar into a bowl. Make a small well in the centre and set aside.
- Whisk oil and vanilla into the thickened soy milk. I always use LittlePod real vanilla extract in my bakes as the flavour is insanely good and the company are doing brilliant things for the planet.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to make a batter. Pour this gently into a lined swiss roll tin and bake for 15-20 minutes until risen and golden. Allow this to cool completely (you can even make the sponge a day or two in advance if you like)
- Cut the cooled sponge into fingers. You should be able to divide the rectangle into 6x4, giving yourself 24 sponge fingers to use in the dessert. If you need to cut away any crispy ends do this before cutting out your fingers. You will have plenty of sponge.
- When you are ready to assemble your Tiramisu, begin by whipping your plant-based cream (I used Elmlea Plant Cream, which was excellent) with icing sugar, real vanilla bean paste, and marsala wine. With the balloon whisk attachment on my KitchenAid, this took 2-3 minutes on a spring afternoon. Cream will always whip faster on a hot day so watch that you do not overwhip - you are aiming for soft peaks.
- To assemble, dip each sponge finger in a mixture of espresso coffee and marsala wine before laying it in your serving dish. I was able to lay 8 sponge fingers on the bottom of an 8" square dish. Depending on your preferred cake/cream ratio, either spoon half of the cream on top of this first layer or one third of the cream. You have enough sponge to make 3 layers but 2 layers means more cream.
- The finished dish will be alternate layers of soaked sponge cake and cream. Smooth the final cream layer, dust generously with cocoa, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving. I cannot tell you how long this keeps for as it never lasts more than 2 nights in my house!