A Gluten-Free Holiday Progressive Dinner: Cherry Tiramisu for Dessert–and GIVEAWAY!
Hi Everyone! Welcome to the last course of our gluten-free progressive holiday dinner party! So far, we’ve enjoyed Figgy Cocoa Wedges (an edible gift), Four-Ingredient Simple Holiday Appetizers, Garlic Roasted Mushrooms with Herbs (side dish) and a gorgeous Veggie Pot Pie (main dish)! Now, I hope you’re not too full to eat some dessert (never been a problem for me. . . ).
And don’t forget about today’s giveaway–see bottom of post for details and to enter!
I wanted to create something really spectacular that would “wow” your guests while still providing healthy, whole-foods ingredients in a gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan (of course) recipe. I’ve always been a fan of tiramisu, but on the anti-candida diet, I can’t have coffee, alcohol or sugar, all of which figure prominently in the classic recipe.
After searching high and low for frozen cherries a few months ago, I went a little wild and bought two 2-kilo (4.4 pound) bags. With lots of leftover cherries screaming out for use, I knew I wanted to somehow incorporate them in this recipe. But how? Then I remembered a frequent interaction I have with the HH. Whenever I offer him a brownie or cookies for dessert, his response is always an indignant, “That’s not a real dessert. A real dessert is light and creamy.”
Thank you, HH, for hitting on the “light and creamy” motif. To me, a classic light, creamy dessert is tiramisu.
Obviously, this dish isn’t “authentic” in that there is no such thing as fruit flavored tiramisu according to classic pastry chefs. However, just like the traditional dessert, this one features liquid-soaked, golden cake with a layer of rich, silky smooth “mascarpone” between the layers. I’ve also added soft, juicy black cherries as part of the decadence, and pomegranate arils for garnish (I’m on a pomegranate kick lately, obviously, but you can use cranberries, cherries, or more cream–whatever strikes your fancy).
This really does taste over-the-top good, the kind of dessert that anyone, gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free or not–will love. In this case, the HH happily accepted a big slice after dinner the other night. . . and then another. I guess this one passes the “real dessert” test with flying colors!
Dark Cherry Tiramisu
This is a true make-ahead dessert, leaving you lots of time to interact with guests at your party. In fact, this tiramisu must be made no sooner than the morning before you want to serve it (24 hours in advance is ideal). You can then cut it into squares and leave plated in the fridge, ready to pull out at a moment’s notice and serve your guests (or cut just before serving). The mascarpone will soften somewhat at room temperature, though, so serve the tiramisu chilled.
For the Cake:
1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut sugar
3/8 cup (90 ml) orange juice (or 2 Tbsp/30 ml fresh lemon juice plus water to equal 3/8 cup/90 ml)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp (135 ml) unsweetened plain or vanilla soy or almond milk
1-1/2 Tbsp (22.5 ml) finely ground flax seeds
1/4 cup (60 ml) water from one can of well chilled coconut milk (see Mascarpone, below)
30-40 drops Orange liquid stevia (you can use plain or vanilla as well for less orange flavor)
1/3 cup (80 ml) sunflower or other light-tasting oil, preferably organic
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
1 tsp (5 ml) pure orange or lemon extract (or use another tsp/5 ml vanilla)
1 tsp (5 ml) apple cider vinegar
1-3/4 cups (230 g) Ricki’s All Purpose Gluten-Free flour mix (or 1-3/4 cups/420 ml another AP-GF flour; use volume measure, not weight, if using another type of flour)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) sweet rice flour
1-1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) xanthan gum
1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 ml) fine sea salt
For the Cherries and Juice:
2 cups (480 ml) frozen unsweetened cherries
1/4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened pomegranate, cranberry, or cherry juice
2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut sugar
For the Mascarpone:
Cream from one can (12 oz/400 ml) full fat organic coconut milk (see instructions); reserve the liquid for the cake, above!
6 Tbsp (90 ml) natural smooth macadamia butter, cashew butter, or a combination
2 tsp (10 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
1 tsp (5 ml) finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) xanthan gum
cocoa powder, for dusting
cherries, cranberries or pomegranate arils for garnish
Make the mascarpone: Chill the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours (no cheating on this one!). This will allow the natural “cream” in the milk to rise to the top and solidify at the top of the can, leaving the thin coconut “water” at the bottom.
Flip the can upside down and open it from the bottom using a can opener. Carefully pour the water into a glass measuring cup (you should have about 1/4 cup/60 ml coconut water; if not, add water or milk to make 1/4 cup) and reserve the water for your cake batter! Set aside. Using a spoon or firm spatula, scoop out the solid cream and place in a blender. Add to the blender bowl the cashew butter, lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest and stevia. Blend until perfectly smooth and creamy. Sprinkle with the xanthan and blend until combined. Set aside.
Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line a 9-inch (22.5 cm) square pan with parchment, or spray with nonstick spray. Also line an 8- or 9-inch (20.5 cm or 22.5 cm) loaf pan with plastic wrap and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the coconut sugar, orange juice and soy milk and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the flax seeds, reserved coconut water, stevia, oil, vanilla, orange extract and vinegar and stir well. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, sweet rice flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour the wet mixture over the dry and whisk to combine; do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake in preheated oven for 22-27 minutes, rotating the pan once about halfway through, until the top is deep golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely; to hasten the process, place the slightly warm cake in the refrigerator or freezer. (May be prepared ahead and frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap, until ready to use. Defrost before using in this recipe.).
Make the Cherry Topping: Place the cherries, juice and sugar in a small, heavy-bottomed pot and heat over medium-low heat until the cherries are all soft and have released their juices, 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the cherries and save the liquid (you should have about 1/2 cup or more juice). Allow the cherries to cool before assembling the tiramisu.
Assemble the tiramisu: Turn the cake out onto a large piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper; cut in half lengthwise to make two rectangles (do not cut horizontally as for a layer cake). Place one half in the loaf pan (trim the end if necessary for it to fit). Prick the top all over with a fork to create little holes in the cake.
Measure out 3 Tbsp (45 ml) of the cherry juice and drizzle it over the cake in the pan. Scatter the cherry halves evenly over the top, then spread the mascarpone evenly over the cherries and smooth the top.
Next, keeping the plastic wrap pulled up against the long sides of the second half of the cake (almost like a sling), drizzle the remaining 5 tablespoons of cherry juice over that half, allowing it soak in thoroughly before you try to move the cake. Use the plastic to carry the second half of cake to the loaf pan, then gently flip it over into the loaf pan so that the moistened side is touching the cream (the bottom, dryer side of the cake will now face up in the pan). Cover the cake with more plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 8 hours.
To serve, use a small sieve to dust the top of the tiramisu with cocoa powder. Using the plastic wrap liner in the loaf pan to pull the cake out of the pan, gently lift the tiramisu and set on a cutting board. Carefully cut into squares and place on serving plates. Garnish with cherries, cranberries, pomegranate arils or a combination. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 6-8 servings.
Suitable for: ACD Stage 2 and beyond, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, vegan, lower glycemic.
And now. . . this week’s holiday GIVEAWAY!
You can win a package of ALL THREE of my ebooks (suitable for low glycemic, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, and anti-candida diets) by entering here! For more details about the ebooks (Desserts without Compromise, pictured above, plus two others) see this page.
This contest is open worldwide. There are several ways to enter:
- Leave a comment on this post telling me which recipe you’d love to see made over as vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free.
- Subscribe to DDD via RSS or email, here.
- Follow me on twitter.
- “Like” DDD on Facebook.
- Follow me on Pinterest.
For each entry, be sure to let me know in the comments! The contest will close at 11:59 PM on Friday, December 21st.
Good Luck, Everyone–and Happy Holidays! (Oh, and be sure to come back Monday for another cool giveaway–open worldwide!).
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Last Year at this Time: Black-Bottom Almond Mousse Pie with Chocolate Ganache (gluten free; ACD Stage 3 and beyond)
Five Years Ago: Spelt Pizza with Caramelized Onion, Artichokes and Chard (not gluten free; ACD maintenance)
© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs