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A Gluten-Free Holiday Progressive Dinner: Cherry Tiramisu for Dessert–and GIVEAWAY!

Cherry Tiramisu from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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),Β  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. . . ). πŸ˜€

And don’t forget about today’s giveaway–see bottom of post for details and to enter!

GFDinnerBadge1

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.Β  But how? Then I remembered a frequent interaction I have with the HH.Β  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.”

Bingo!!

Thank you, HH, for hitting on the “light and creamy” motif.Β  To me, a classic light, creamy dessert is tiramisu.

Cherry Tiramisu from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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.Β  I guess this one passes the “real dessert” test with flying colors!

Cherry Tiramisu from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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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.Β 

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

1/4 tsp (1 ml) pure stevia powder or 30-40 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste

1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) xanthan gum

Finishing Touches:

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!).Β  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.Β  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.Β  Add to the blender bowl the cashew butter, lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest and stevia. Blend until perfectly smooth and creamy.Β  Sprinkle with the xanthan and blend until combined.Β  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-Β  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.Β  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.Β  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.Β  Allow to cool completely; to hasten the process, place the slightly warm cake in the refrigerator or freezer.Β  (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).Β  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).Β  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.Β  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.Β  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).Β  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.

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And now. . . this week’s holiday GIVEAWAY!Β 

book-dessertswithout

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.Β  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!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Never miss a recipe–or a comment from The Girls! Click here to subscribe to Diet, Dessert and Dogs via email. (β€œWe love subscribers, Mum. . . almost as much as we love treats!”)

Last Year at this Time: Black-Bottom Almond Mousse Pie with Chocolate Ganache (gluten free; ACD Stage 3 and beyond)

Two Years Ago: Rich and Creamy Chai Carob Latte (gluten free; ACD all stages)

Three Years Ago: Brazil Nut-Cilantro Pesto (gluten free; ACD all stages)

Four Years Ago:Β  “My Life in Balance” Buttery Spread (gluten free; ACD maintenance)

Five Years Ago: Spelt Pizza with Caramelized Onion, Artichokes and Chard (not gluten free; ACD maintenance)

Β© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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61 comments to A Gluten-Free Holiday Progressive Dinner: Cherry Tiramisu for Dessert–and GIVEAWAY!

  • EMC

    My mom makes these amazing strudel cookies… A cream cheese laced pastry that’s rolled up with a sweet walnut mixture, partially sliced through, and baked…. Then you pull them apart to serve. They are divine! If you could make those over… Yum!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    WOW, those sound totally incredible!! Do you by chance know the name so I can look up the original recipe–a starting point? πŸ™‚

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  • You are amazing Ricki! This dessert looks incredible – I knew you’d wow us. I think I might just make the mascarpone for the sake of eating just that! Yum!

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    Ricki Reply:

    Maggie, it’s to die for. You might want to be sure there are other people with you, though–very easy to eat it all! πŸ˜‰

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  • What a stunner, Ricki!! I’m with the HH. Light and creamy does it for me every time. πŸ™‚

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    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Hallie. I guess I like light and creamy well enough–but also chocolate, and caramel, and fudgy, and. . .!!! πŸ˜‰

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  • zosia

    This recipe looks amazing πŸ™‚

    Cannot wait to make it.

    The recipe that I’d like to see remade is SZARLOTKA. It is a Polish apple cake…and it is BEYOND amazing.

    <3 Merry Christmas!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Haven’t heard of that one. . . will have to look it up! Thanks! πŸ™‚

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  • Ana

    I am from Brazil, and Christmas there is during the summertime, so my favorite holiday dessert has always been fruits, and ice cream! I know, sounds completely odd, but when I think about Christmas desserts that’s what comes to mind: the beautiful tray filled with a variety of fruits (mangoes, kiwi, plums, etc) that my grandma (and now my mom!) always had on the table for the Christmas Eve Dinner. Then there would always be ice cream for those who wanted something more decadent.
    Now that I live in the US we always have something with chocolate, which is both my son’s and mine favorite dessert of all!
    Ana

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  • Jennifer

    I’m with Ricki on this one…I love ALL kinds of desserts (light and fluffy, gooey, fudgy, cake, cookies). Wow its only 10am and now I need to bake something! lol This recipe looks amazing! I will just have to make 2. One as is, and one with some cocoa powder in the cake part. Yum! Choc and Cherries…Now I DO have to go bake! Thanks for the awesome recipe.

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  • Thyroid Journey

    I am recently new towards food choices. I try to heal my thyroid. Learned a lot the last months. One thing I really miss at the moment are quiches, would love to learn how to make them without gluten, dairy and egg products.

    Greetings!

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  • Alfajores! Oh how I miss things with dulce de leche, and soft cornflour cookies covered in chocolate.
    Though all of your recipes are great and there are soooo many, you probably have something similar I just have to make time to make them πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    The cornflour cookies sound intriguing! Must look into them both. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  • This looks divine! My favorite holiday dessert would have to be…either anything loaded with chocolate, or Russian Teacakes!

    [Reply]

  • Carissa

    Something I would looove to see made over would be classic chocolate chip cookies! It is so hard to find a sugar free, gluten free, vegan chocolate chip cookie that tastes like an authentic chocolate chip cookie!!

    [Reply]

  • how amazingly delicious!! i am going to have to try this, love cherries and anything made with coconut cream πŸ™‚

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  • Well then I guess the HH wouldn’t take a slice of decadent cheesecake or flourless chocolate cake? Not light and creamy but still dessert to me! I don’t discriminate though. I’d love a slice of this too πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    He considers cheesecake in the “creamy” category. But chocolate cake, not so much. πŸ˜‰

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  • This looks absolutely divine and delicious!! Amazing presentation!
    I just pinned it to my Allergy Friendly Christmas board. I too have been missing tiramisu with the allergy restrictions. Yours looks so good, I wish I could have a piece of it right now!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much, Devin! Hope you do get to try it. πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  • Yikes! Wow, this is amazing and impressive Ricki! Can you believe I’ve never had tiramisu?

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Well, now you CAN. πŸ˜‰

    [Reply]

  • Looks lovely! I think it would be great to remake shortbread… sounds almost impossible!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Janet, I’ve got a couple of shortbreads on the blog and one in my cookbook as well. Not hard at all. πŸ˜‰

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  • Carolyn

    Anything pumpkin is always a treat. Thanks for the great giveaway.

    [Reply]

  • Courtney

    Wow–above and beyond, Ricki. That is amazing!

    Courtney

    [Reply]

  • April

    I love chocolate checkerboard cookies! Thanks for the giveaway! πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  • I really miss chocolate chip cookies and frosted sugar cookies. It’s a difficult time of year eating-wise. Thank you for the give away and all your great recipes!

    [Reply]

  • I must admit that, even before I found out I was lactose intolerant, I was never a fan of creamy desserts, but this does look so pretty! And very, very festive for me, coming from the hemisphere where cherries are in season at Christmas time, and ‘most every Christmas table will have a bowl of cherries out with the pudding πŸ™‚

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  • Hi Ricki!Gorgeous dessert!!! I already subscribe and like and follow you on FB, Twitter, Pinterest! The recipe I would like to see is for chocolate profiteroles, it was always a great favourite of mine which, even before we went GF was a great treat, to be able to make these GF, vegan and sugar free would be wonderful!

    Thank you for the opportunity to win, hope you have a lovely weekend πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  • Billie Jean

    Cherry Pie:)

    [Reply]

  • Amanda

    I am always looking for recipes for simple sauces and dressings, both sweet and savory. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  • Jessica

    This recipe rocks!! One dessert I woud love to see made ACD friendly is our good old fashioned New Zealand Pavlova. Considering it’s mostly sugar, I’ve been stuck on that one. πŸ˜€

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Jessica, I think the egg white (meringue) aspect would be harder to reproduce than replacing the sugar! πŸ˜‰ But I will look into it–loved pavlova, too. πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  • This tiramisu recipe looks wonderful! I don’t like regular versions but add in cherries and I am sold.

    One of the things I occasionally miss with vegan eating are ‘fluffy’ desserts – lemon meringue pie, fluffy mousse, those sorts of things. So a fluffy dessert would be one recipe I’d love to see made over πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Kari! And here’s a fluffy mousse for you. πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  • I’ve “Liked” you on Facebook! I would love to win these books, all your recipes are brilliant.

    [Reply]

  • Tracy

    I would love to see a remake of Baklava to a gf option. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    GREAT idea! I need to get on that one–my hubby love baklava, too. πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  • Wow, these Cherry Tiramisu bars look almost too nice to eat! They really are picturesque. ~Aubree Davis

    [Reply]

  • Holly

    My grandmother used to make Date Nut Pinwheel Cookies that were SO good but filled with sugar. I would love to be able to eat these again!

    [Reply]

  • Oh wow, what a stunning dessert! This would be awe-inspiring at any event. Plus, the make-ahead aspect makes it absolutely perfect for holiday dinners.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Hannah! I always prefer to be able to spend more time with the guests AT the dinner! πŸ˜‰

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  • Heather R.

    This looks amazing! I would love too see you make over a chocolate cream pie.

    [Reply]

  • Ooh, Mr. Rafflecopter, pick me! That is a fancy-pants Tiramisu! I am a cherry hater, unfortunately, but I’m sure strawberries would be a very suitable stand-in. Cherries always look so beautiful. Why can’t my taste buds like them? πŸ™

    My favorite Holiday dessert? Oh my. How do I choose one? I do make a batch of Fastelavnsboller (almond paste filled yeast buns) the first snowy day of the season every year. Does that count if it’s my own pretend holiday that I call “Flakemas”? πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Of course it counts!! And I love the name “Flakemas” (though it is a bit too close to “SNOWflake,” perhaps. . . . ) πŸ˜‰

    [Reply]

  • Well, this looks like the perfect “impress everyone” dessert to me, partly because it WILL impress everyone, and partly because it can be made way ahead of time. It’s very stressful trying to make a dinner and great dessert all at once.

    [Reply]

  • This tiramisu looks fantastic!

    I have a great vegan pizzelle recipe, but it is by no means sugar-free or gluten-free. The pizzelle maker always comes out at Christmastime in my family, and I’d love to have a recipe that conforms to my dietary needs/choices!

    [Reply]

  • Janet

    Mini Cheesecakes with cherries on top πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  • I’m not quite sure what I’d like to convert, yet.
    I’ve volunteered to help a family in the church to find recipes that their son can eat that are gluten free.

    He was recently diagnosed with autism, and they were told that it would be good to convert to GF. However, they’re getting no support from local nutritionists.

    Additionally, he’s a “texture” problem. There are some things that he won’t deal with, just because of the texture, and you never know until you try, often.

    [Reply]

  • My favorite dessert is Blueberry Pie. πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  • Stefania

    would love a vegan coconut lemon cake with a very light coconut lemon icing.

    [Reply]

  • I don’t like tiramisu but if you had invented it then I would love it – what a great remake of a traditional recipe – cherries are in season here and I’d love to make something with them but they always disappear so quickly

    [Reply]

  • My favorite holiday dessert is spiced apple cake! Yum!

    [Reply]

  • Ellie

    I love cinnamon rolls! But I love many other desserts too…

    [Reply]

  • Oh my gosh this dessert looks sooo good! Thank you Ricki for sharing the recipe. I would love to give it a try. I’ve got most of the ingredients… just need to get some stevia (which our supermarkets here in the UK have just started to stock πŸ™‚ )
    I would love to win some of your wonderful ebooks πŸ™‚ One of the desserts that I’ve love to have veganised and made sugar free is fruit pavlova. This used to be one of my favourite desserts as a child. I’m not sure how we would go about making vegan meringue. Have you tried this before?

    [Reply]

  • Chely

    My favourite dessert is cake, either Pound Cake (Lemon) or Angel Food Cake. But for Christmas we make Tembleque (Coconut Pudding, cornstarch based), Arroz con Leche (or Arroz Con Dulce, a coconut milk rice pudding) but my favourite is Majarete (coconut pudding, but this time made with rice flour).

    [Reply]

  • Cristina

    Would I be able to just grind up rice grains to make flour?
    Also, would agar powder work in place of the xanthan gum?

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Cristina, I know it’s possible to make rice flour at home, but from what I understand, you’d need a grain mill because it’s so hard it would probably break your blender or coffee grinder. I don’t know about the agar because I’ve never used it for this purpose–if you know you can usually replace xanthan with agar, then it’s worth a try. Let me know how it turns out if you give it a try!

    [Reply]

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