Enlightened Tiramisu

July 28, 2009

And somehow, the weights are lifting!
Externship established, check.
Move completed and boxes (mostly) unpacked, check.
Little daily rituals of laundry, walking, and straightening up our garden and our space, done.
Which means – time to play in the kitchen after school!!!
With my arsenal of cookbooks unpacked and my knowledge of the recipes within them deepened by the 8 months I spent in culinary classes while they were still wrapped tightly in their japanese newspapers in storage, I am more than armed and ready to take on experiments of tremendous proportions in our kitchen.

So, when I asked Derek what he wanted for dessert last Friday, he answered “TIRAMISU” with confidence. And I replied with a whole-hearted. “ROCK ON.”

As many of you know, I am still in training for triathlon with the focus of this 2009 season being on increasing my speed, agility, and endurance for seasons to come. Culinary school and its schedule simply doesn’t provide a super-ideal training situation.

But, I am still devoted to the sport, and to keeping my nutrition as “on” as a pastry chef possibly can. So, I modify my recipes.

I remember a long time ago, an ex-boyfriends mother scolded me for not proceeding with a trifle recipe she was wanting me to prepare for the Fourth of July because we were missing a few ingredients – gone are those days. I substitute with reckless abandon….for good cause of course.

My objective is to bring the nutrition BACK to the foods we are eating – to make dessert an actual “plus plus” instead of a training minus for the next day. In this case, with tiramisu, I have completely succeeded and I say this with a pat on the back (for me) and as a confidence boost (for you!)

This recipe lacks “refined sugar” (though we should keep in mind that even evaporated cane juice is refined). This recipe can also be made gluten-free by simply substituting the whole wheat pastry flour with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking mix in equal proportion (magic I tell you!)  Tiramisu is just not the same without marscapone and so, vegans, you are going to have to enjoy another dessert temptation…for NOW. 🙂

The evaporated cane juice is a surprising addition to this recipe – not only does it lend a more complex sweetness that is akin to gingerbread-y goodness, it also removes over processed sugar from the playing field, allowing the healthful minerals of natural sugar to shine through. Egg yolks are also absent from the filling recipe which cuts back on the fat, but not on the flavor or the light texture.

If Derek, the non-alternative dessert enthusiast can pronounce that this is one of his new favorites, I think you too will be pleasantly surprised. 🙂

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