Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
Last year I lost a lot of weight and changed my body shape quite a bit. It was just before Summer so I decided to reward myself with a new pair of bathers. Now, buying bathers is neither a fun nor flattering experience for 99% of the female population. It’s usually at the start of summer when your legs are blindingly white and often still hairy, the change rooms are small and you can see parts of your body in the reflection of the mirror that remain well hidden for the rest of the year. Then there’s the pushy, nosey sales assistant who insists on checking if your boobs fit into the bathers, despite your repeated attempts to shoo her away. After many failed attempts, and several declarations that I’d never go swimming again, I finally found a pair of bathers that didn’t make me want to go into hibernation. They were red, flattering and reminded me of the Special K bathers (you know that bathers that you can fit into if you only eat Special K and cause you to run/bounce down the beach?!).
That was 12 months ago and since it’s coming into Summer I got them out last week to wear to the pool with the kids. I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself, that was until I saw my bathers twinsie. Coming out of an old ladies water aerobics class was an elderly lady in her Special K red bathers. I was wearing old ladies swimming attire!!! (I assume that’s what the old ladies call their bathers and thus I should now too). After a brief moment when we silently acknowledged each other’s bathers choice I ran into the safety of the toddler pool where no one could see me. I then reflected on my bathers choice; were they obviously old ladyish? There was no frilly over skirt, no polka dots or large floral prints. Sure they were Nancy Ganz, but doesn’t everybody like a bit of extra support when the only thing between you and your neighbour is some thin Lycra? Or maybe it wasn’t me; maybe this was a hip elderly lady who dressed in leggings and owned a pair of platform shoes. As it turned out she was the type of elderly lady who left the pool in her dressing gown and slippers. I was old lady Lisa!
The bather’s incident has either shown that I have very little fashion sense (as is probably obvious by my many references to wearing trackie pants) or perhaps it showed that I’m ahead of my time?! Maybe next week I’ll start wearing knee high socks and sandals with my kilt and blouse (which, FYI, is just a fancy name for a shirt). I’d have to stop using Facebook though and couldn’t, gulp, aimlessly browse on Pinterest.
I recently asked on my Facebook page for recipe requests. One that took my fancy was Tiramisu. I had already worked on a recipe for ‘How to make Marscarpone’ so I was half way there. The only problem; I hate coffee and I’ve never eaten Tiramisu! So, here’s a version of Tiramisu from a virgin-tiramisuer.
Instead of lady finger biscuits I have made a soft, light sponge which is then flavoured by a coffee and Marsala mix. Marsala can be tricky to find (I found it at my local supermarket bottle shop) so Brandy, Rum, Irish Cream or Kaluha can also be used (I haven’t tried these yet). As I’m not a fan of coffee I used a very weak coffee but feel free to change the flavour according to your caffeine addiction.
The magical part of this Tiramisu is the Marscarpone cream. Actually it’s more like a custard as it uses egg but it’s amazing. Making your own dairy free Marscarpone takes 2 days but you’ll find it well worth it when it take a bite of this healthy Tiramisu. This Tiramisu can be made as a cake, as I did, or as a long bar which is more traditional of this Italian dessert. Eat it, make it… and eat some more!
- 3 eggs seperated
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 300 grams Whipped Coconut Cream see recipe below
- 250 grams Marscopone Cream see recipe below- this is 2 cans worth
- 1/2 Cup freshly brewed Coffee strength to taste depending on coffee love
- 1/3 Cup Marsala Brandy, Rum, Irish Cream or Kaluha can be used instead. For a non-alcoholic version try grape juice or orange juice
- 1 Vanilla Sheet Cake see recipe below
- Cocoa for dusting
Vanilla Sheet Cake
- 6 Eggs separated (best at room temperature)
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Milk of Choice
- 3/4 Cup Coconut Flour
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
Whipped Coconut Cream
- This recipe will make approximately 3 cups and you only need approximately 2 cups.
- 2 cans Coconut Cream/Milk 400ml can, lid removed and placed in the fridge over night
- 4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 4 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- Place the egg yolks and the maple syrup into the bowl of a kitchen stand mixer with a beater attachment and beat until pale and thick (3-5 minutes).
- Add the whipped cream and marscarpone cream and beat gently until combined.
- In a separate, clean bowl add the egg whites and whisk until soft peaks form (this can be done in a kitchen stand or with a hand whisk).
- Fold the egg whites into the cream mixture until no white streaks remain.
- Cover the cream and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to thicken.
- This cake can be constructed in either a 5 or 6 inch springform cake tin. I have used a 6 inch tin. It can also be made by cutting the cake into 3 long rectangular pieces to make a bar cake/slice.
- Take the bottom of the chosen tin and cut 2 circles from the vanilla sheet cake. Make sure at least 1 of the circles is complete. The scraps will be used to complete the 2nd circle (if needed) and form the 3rd, bottom layer. If making a bar cake cut the sheet cake into 3 long pieces.
- Take a 6 or 5 inch spring form tin and line the bottom with baking paper. Line the sides of the tin, ensuring that the paper goes above the level of the tin edges (you can always add the 2 layer if needed during construction). Make sure the paper is greased.
- Using the scraps of the cake, press the pieces into the bottom of the cake tin to fill the bottom of the spring form tin. It won't look pretty but it doesn't matter as there will be 5 layers on top and it will never be seen.
- Combine the coffee and Marsala (or alternative) in a small bowl. Gently pour/spoon 1/3 of the mixture evenly over the cake.
- Spread 1/3 of the marscarpone cream mix evenly over the bottom cake layer. Top the cream layer with a layer of cake (the almost full layer of cake) and evenly pour 1/3 of the coffee/Marsala over the cake.
- Spread 1/3 of the marscarpone cream mix over the cake.
- Place the full cake layer on top and evenly pour the remaining coffee/Marsala over the cake. Spread the remaining cream on top. Ensure the top is smooth and flat.
- Place the cake in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours (up to overnight). Remove the cake from the fridge and the tin and sift Cocoa over the top before serving.
- Slice into pieces and serve.
Vanilla Sheet Cake
- Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
- Line and grease a 32cm x 27cm baking tray (a similar size will be fine. Just make sure you'll be able to cut at least 1 3/4 circles out the size of the springform tin you will be using. The rest if the circles will be made from the left over cake).
- Place the egg whites into the clean bowl of a kitchen stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
- Whisk the egg whites on medium/high until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add the maple syrup, 1 tablespoon at a time, until large peaks have formed,
- Continue whisking on medium/high and add the vanilla extract.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time. Only add the next yolk when the previous one has been fully incorporated. Whilst still whisking, pour the milk into the egg mixture.
- In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the coconut flour and baking powder together. Ensure that the coconut flour has no lumps in it.
- Turn the whisk to low and add the flour mixture. (If you keep it on high then you will most likely end up wearing the flour). Once incorporated, return the whisk speed to medium/high to fully mix all the ingredients.
- Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tray.
Whipped Coconut Cream
- Spoon the thickened cream out of the can, discarding the watery remains.
- Place the coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and whisk on high until thickened.The key is to forget about the cream and leave it to whip for at least 5 minute. Place the whipped cream back in the fridge to thicken before using.
- 1 400 ml Can Coconut Cream/Milk
- 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
- Candy Thermometer
- Cheese Cloth/Tea Towel/Paper Towel
- Place an opened can of coconut cream or milk in the fridge overnight (the milk may require up to 24 hours to thicken). The cream/milk will thicken on the top of the can.
- Scoop the thicken cream from the can, discarding the watery remains, into a heatproof glass bowl. Measure the amount of cream that is used.
- 1/2 fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to medium and allow the water to simmer.
- Place the cream bowl over the saucepan of water (a double basin) making sure the bowl isn't touching the water. Place a candy thermometer in the cream and bring it to 80-85C/176-185F. If you don't have a candy thermometer this the point when the cream is quite warm to the touch and before it starts to boil.
- Add the lemon juice. For 1 1/2 cups of cream (which is how much I get from 1 400ml can) 2 teaspoons of lemon juice are required. Alter the lemon juice depending on the amount of cream you have (eg 1 cup cream 1 1/3 teaspoon lemon juice). Stir the lemon juice through.
- Maintain the cream temperature at 80-85C/176-185F for 5 minutes. This may require the stove temperature to be altered.
- Remove the cream bowl from the saucepan and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sieve.
- Place a piece of cheesecloth, a tea towel or paper towel over a fine weaved sieve (I used a kitchen strainer) and place the sieve over a bowl.
- Pour the cooled cream into the lined sieve and place in the fridge for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours the marscarpone cream will be thickened and glossy.
- Transfer to a container and keep refrigerated. The marscarpone cream will keep for up to 3-5 days.