I don't think I can let you go into the new year (and through the Christmas holidays) without sharing this recipe with you that you please NEED TO TRY! It's “almost vegan" (I will explain more below) and without refined sugar so perfect to bring to one of the upcoming friend's or family gatherings where your dessert will be a little surprise flavour and on the “healthier” side after a heavy meal :-)
To be honest, I wasn't really sure if I am going to like this version as I really love the classic coffee - rum tiramisu combo with a thick dusting of dark cocoa powder. When I was a chef living in New York many years ago, I came across a raw vegan version of a tiramisu and it never fully left my taste bud memory. Last time I was in New York I bought the exact same tiramisu from my favorite health food grocery store Lifethyme (where Lenny Kravitz goes shopping too :-) but unfortunately it got bad after many hours in my bag in way too warm temerpatures. I was truly bummed and knew i needed / wanted to make a similar version myself once I'm back home. Fast forward a few months later, I decided to give it a try but make it a bit more "freestyle" aka approachable for others to replicate and not necessarily raw but optionally vegan and if you wanted even glutenfree.
There are a few recipes on the internet where they use "tofu cream cheese" or "vegan mascarpone" but these ingredients are usually full of stabelizers, oils and sugars and I didnt really want to go that route. Also, I am living in a small town in the South West of France and we are lucky to have soy yoghurt over here :-)
The base is soaked cashews which gives the cream its rich, creamy and thick texture. It's important to soak the cashews and use a high speed blender (or let it run at least a minute or two). This is a great ingredient and technique for many other different sweet or savory creams, dressings, sauces and mousses.
I decided to use maple syrup as a sweetener cause that's also how I remembered it from the OG raw vegan tiramisu and I love how it gives the dessert a balanced and not overpowering sweetness.
Regarding the matcha: the reason I am so passionate about the education around matcha is, that a lot of people still use it wrong or actually not really prepare it, therefore flavor, aroma, texture and colour are just not how they are supposed to be. And as a consequence it doesnt taste "good" or not powerful enough because it hasnt been prepared properly. In this case, if you just read the ingredients you might add the matcha powder as it is into the cashew mix - but the flavour is not fully developed which will also result in a more dull green colour and it will not taste as matcha-y as it should be. Thats why: you must "bloom" the matcha with some hot water first (like you would when you make a matcha latte - the right way of course :-) Use the bamboo whisk to make sure it is dissolved properly (stir in a circular movement) and it becomes a thick lumpfree paste. Then you can add it to the cashew cream.
For the whipping cream I have a few suggestions:
If you don't mind the "vegan" part of the recipe, you can use normal full fat dairy whipping cream - but make sure its cold!
You can also use a can of full fat coconut milk and place it in the fridge overnight. The next day, carefully scrape the thick and separated part - the cream - into a bowl and make sure its 250 ml, otherwise add some coconut yoghurt or milk.
There are vegan brands making soy whipping cream which works really well but as I said, they might be sweetened already so you won't need the extra maple syrup!
And for the second layer of the tiramisu - I didn't specify it, because there are a few routes to go: you can obvisouly just buy the classic italien "Savoiardi biscuits"(not vegan), you can make them yourself (find the vegan recipe here) or you buy soft vegan bisuits in an organic supermarket. I personally don't mind the fact that the ladyfingers are the classic "non vegan" ones but i wanted to create a filling without eggs and cream that feels and tastes equally delightful (and doesnt sit too heavy in your stomach)!
This is a great recipe to make the day in advance and just dust it with matcha powder shortly before serving. And if you want the full matcha experience, serve it alongside a pure (no milk or sugar) matcha - I recommend using the Supreme SEN or the highest quality we have available - the Heritage Premium
serves 6 - 8 people, takes 30 minutes to make, 4 hours fridge time
1 cup raw cashews
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup plant milk or water
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste (optional)
pinch of salt
4 Tbsp “Morning Ritual” matcha powder
¼ cup hot water
250 ml whipping cream (dairy, coconut or soy)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
½ cup plant milk (or more)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Soak 1 cup of cashews overnight in double the amount of water and place in the fridge.
The next day, strain and rinse properly.
Bring water to a boil and mix 4 Tbsp of matcha with ¼ cup hot water (80°C) with your bamboo whisk to create a thick paste.
In a blender, add the cashews, maple syrup, milk, vanilla and salt and blend until smooth (this can take a minute). Add the matcha paste and blend again. If it seems too thick and it doesn't blend easily, add a bit more plant milk to thin it out. It should be the consistency of a pourable cream.
In a separate bowl whisk the cold (!!) whipping cream with the maple syrup until soft peaks form (use a hand mixer for this!)
Gently fold the whipped cream together with the cashew matcha cream.
In a small bowl combine the milk with the vanilla extract.
Use a square glass container (around 15 x 25cm) to layer the tiramisu.
Dip one biscuit at a time in the vanilla milk and place them tightly on the bottom of the container. Pour ½ of the matcha cream on top and spread evenly. Repeat - you should have 4 layers finishing with the the cream).
Cover with cling film and let it sit a few hours in the fridge.
Before serving, use a fine mesh sieve to dust some matcha powder over it!
As there are no raw eggs in this recipe, you can leave it up to 3 days in the fridge and also prepare it a day in advance - it just gets better with time :-)