• Issy

Cherry Tiramisu with Homemade Ladyfingers

Lift me up, I need tiramisu in my life! Tiramisu is not simply a dessert, it is an experience. Here is a must-try recipe for an indulging summer tiramisu with cherries and homemade ladyfingers.

This tiramisu is made with homemade ladyfingers using two different methods - with and without eggs. The ladyfingers containing eggs are fluffier and give that authentic egg flavor we so often crave. The vegan ladyfingers are just as delicious and easy to make.


The "mascarpone" cream is entirely plant-based. If you are in search of a plant-based tiramisu, this one is for you. I take a vegan approach to prepare this Italian classic and aim to recreate the flavors and textures of the original. Additionally, I add seasonal ripe cherries to take the dessert to the next level.

TIRA-MI-SÙ or Lift Me Up

This famous Italian dessert, made with coffee, mascarpone, and eggs, will definitely boost anyone's energy levels. Legend has it, tiramisu was originally offered to hungry hikers to help them regain their strength. The classical tiramisu is made without alcohol - however, nowadays different types of liqueurs take the dessert to the next level. In this tiramisu recipe, I use amaretto but you can substitute it for your favorite liqueur.


Homemade Ladyfingers

Have you tried preparing your ladyfingers at home? You will not believe how easy their preparation is and how tasty the final result is. I am sharing two ways of making homemade ladyfingers.


The first recipe is a traditional one, containing eggs. The recipe yields super fluffy and fresh ladyfingers that simply cannot wait to be soaked up in espresso. The ladyfingers themselves can be enjoyed as they are - alongside your afternoon coffee or tea. I like to use the more wholesome spelt flour and coconut sugar (for some extra flavor) instead of white flour and white sugar. However, feel free to experiment, the recipe is versatile.


The second recipe for ladyfingers contains no eggs. To prepare vegan ladyfingers, I replace the eggs with aquafaba. The ladyfingers turn just as airy and delicious. Moreover, I substitute the coconut sugar with maple syrup as I find it helps the ladyfingers to soak up more coffee. These plant-based ladyfingers are a great vegan alternative for those of you who are on a vegan diet or are egg intolerant.


The flavor of both types of ladyfingers is vanilla. Vanilla is an important ingredient for the preparation of ladyfingers. You can use vanilla extract, vanilla powder, or even vanilla bean to get a more pronounced vanilla flavor.

The Cream

Traditionally, the tiramisu cream is made with raw eggs. Egg whites are separated from egg yolks and whisked to stiff peaks. Egg yolks are then whisked with sugar until the color of the egg yolks fades. And the longer the whisking, the fluffier the cream. Finally, high-quality mascarpone cheese is added to the egg mixture and the cream is ready.


In this recipe, I explore a plant-based approach to prepare the cream. I replace the mascarpone with a combination of coconut cream and plant-based yogurt. Instead of raw eggs, I use aquafaba that is whisked to stiff peaks to create air in the cream. The final result tastes and feels similar to the original mascarpone cream. The flavor of the cream develops over time. I would recommend you wait 12 hours to a day after you assemble the dessert before indulging in it.


Ingredients:

Ladyfingers (traditional recipe):

  • 3 eggs

  • 70 g coconut sugar

  • 30 g sugar*

  • 130 g spelt flour

  • 1 tsp vanilla

Ladyfingers (vegan):

  • 180 ml aquafaba (chilled overnight)

  • 80 ml maple syrup**

  • 160 g spelt flour

  • 1 tsp vanilla

"Mascarpone" cream:

  • 250-300 ml coconut cream***

  • 150 ml vegan yogurt (preferably cashew or soya)

  • 40 ml aquafaba

  • 50 ml maple syrup

  • 1 tsp vanilla

Coffee mixture:

  • 250 ml espresso

  • [optional] 2 tsbp amaretto

  • [optional] 1 tbsp maple syrup

More:

  • 150 g cherries

  • cacao powder to dust

Preparation:

Ladyfingers (traditional recipe):

  1. Separate the egg yolks and the egg whites and let them come to room temperature.

  2. Using a mixer, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks while adding (30 g) sugar gradually.

  3. In a separate bowl, add the egg yolks, coconut sugar, and vanilla and whisk for 2-3 minutes (again using a mixer).

  4. Gently add the whisked egg whites to the egg yolk mixture.

  5. Finally, add the sifted spelt flour and mix well using a spatula.

  6. Transfer the batter to a piping bag and pipe ladyfingers of approximately the same size and shape.

  7. Bake at 180 degrees C for about 12-15 minutes or until the edges of the ladyfingers become golden brown. Leave them at room temperature to cool completely.

Ladyfingers (vegan):

  1. Combine the aquafaba and maple syrup in a bowl.

  2. Using a mixer, whisk them to stiff peaks. This process may take 5-10 minutes.

  3. Then add the sifted flour and the vanilla to the whisked aquafaba and mix gently with a spatula. It is essential to not overmix.

  4. Transfer the batter to a piping bag and pipe ladyfingers of approximately the same size and shape.

  5. Bake at 180 degrees C for about 15 minutes or until the edges of the ladyfingers become golden brown. Leave them at room temperature to cool completely.

"Mascarpone" cream:

  1. Combine the coconut cream, the vegan yogurt, and the vanilla. Using a mixer, whisk the mixture to soft peaks. Try not to over-whisk to keep the texture of the cream light and fluffy.

  2. Add 30 ml of the maple syrup and whisk again.

  3. Separately, using a mixer whip up the aquafaba with the remaining 20 ml of maple syrup until stiff peaks form.

  4. Gently fold the aquafaba into the coconut cream mixture by attempting to preserve as much of the air of the aquafaba as possible.

Assembling:

  1. Prepare the coffee mixture by adding all the ingredients to a bowl. The coffee should not be hot but rather slightly warm or even cold.

  2. Then, soak the ladyfingers in the coffee mixture for about 10 seconds on each side (or slightly longer for the vegan ladyfingers).

  3. Assemble the tiramisu by adding alternating layers of soaked ladyfingers and cream, ending up with a layer of cream. Add a layer of (pitted) cherries after each layer of ladyfingers.

  4. Coat with cacao powder and refrigerate for a day before enjoying it.

Easy dessert to make - delicious, satisfying, and indulging. Let me know if you try it out, it always means a lot to me when you share your dessert creations.


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Notes: * Could also be coconut sugar. However, my experiments have shown that white sugar stabilizes the egg whites a bit better than coconut sugar.

** You can replace maple syrup with white sugar for a more stable aquafaba. Maple syrup would however allow the ladyfingers to soak up more coffee mixture.

*** The solid part of canned coconut milk.



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