Easy, Gluten-Free Tiramisu Trifle
My favorite Italian layer cake. It’s spongey, yet creamy, decadent and romantic.
Why It’s On My List of “Favorite Cakes Ever”
I’m not sure when it entered my unofficial, mental list of “Favorite Cakes Ever”. It might have been after the time I made it as a surprise anniversary gift for my parents one year. I don’t quite remember what number anniversary it was, but I think I was in 8th grade. Anyways, they loved it! Everyone loved it! I mean there was NO leftover tiramisu. They were just so happy that my pre-teen mind had made space to both remember and do something thoughtful for them on such a special occasion. Score!
Ever since then it’s held such a special place in my mind which is why I decided to tackle coming up with my own, unique, REAL FOOD, “taste good do good”, Code to Wellness – supporting recipe for my birthday (last week).
And now, it’s finally here. I’m so excited to share it with you!
For those of you that are in the dark about Tiramisu, there really are only a few key things to know.
- it’s got a coffee-drenched cookie layer (the ladyfingers)
- followed by a creamy, custardy layer (sabayon or zabaione)
- sometimes the creamy layer is topped with cacao or nuts
- it’s no bake, instead, refrigerate (I’m a poet and I don’t even know it! Lol. Sorry, you know I love corny jokes)!
Sweet, Celebratory & Nourishing!
I’m human just like the rest of you and on occasion like, for instance, my birthday last week, I want to enjoy something sweet and celebratory. But the thing is, I always want to have my metaphorical cake (maybe not so much in this case!) and be able to eat it too! Sweet and celebratory are fine and well, but sweet, celebratory, nourishing, low-inflammatory and gut health promoting?! Now that really get’s me going.
So, I’ve made this version gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free and Paleo.
As I said above, in not so many words, my main goal was to make something delicious yet low in foods that are often inflammatory to the gut and digestive system as a whole for, in my opinion, truly sweet and celebratory experience.
Having Your Cake + Eating It Too
1. First we make the ladyfingers by rolling the coconut flour, grass-fed butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract together into these dough balls. I used a slightly modified version of these Coconut Flour Shortbread Cookies from our friends over at PaleoHacks. They already perfected them and, in this case, I say, why mess with perfection?
2. Take a piece of parchment paper and spread it on top of a flat pan. I used a pizza stone because that was the flattest bake-able thing I had lying around. Take a dough ball, lay it out on the parchment and press down on it with a fork so that you make an oval shape (because ladyfingers are long and sort of oval shaped). Into the oven they go!
3. Onto the creamy, custardy layer. Open your cans of solidified coconut milk. I like Native Forest a lot. Scoop out the white solidified parts at the top of the can (we don’t want any of the liquid coconut water at the bottom) and into a large mixing bowl. Add in the vanilla and coconut palm sugar. Then, using a handheld or electric beater (I definitely recommend electric), whisk until you get thick soft peaks, like in the pic below. Cover and set in the fridge.
4. Now, before we dip the cookies into the coffee, we have to turn the coconut cream into a custard. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture a good picture of this, so I’ll do my best to explain it in writing here. Beat egg yolks, marsala or white wine, coconut sugar and maple syrup in a glass bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water, like this. Whip the ingredients using a whisk or handheld electric mixer for 5 minutes. You’ll notice the ingredients will have fluffed up and tripled in volume. Remove the bowl from the heat. Take the coconut cream out of the fridge and fold the egg-wine-coconut sugar mixture into it. Voila, custard!
5. Once the ladyfingers have cooled, dip them into the maple syrup-kissed coffee. Make sure both sides get evenly soaked. Transfer them to a wine glass or small bowl so we can finally begin layering.
6. Place a layer of coconut custard atop the first layer of ladyfingers. Top that with a thin layer of shaved almonds and cacao and just keep going until you’ve filled up your wine glass or bowl to your heart’s delight.
The Biggest & Best Kept Tiramisu Secret
For me, the biggest and best-kept secret about a good tiramisu is letting the ingredients marry together.
There’s a reason the traditional recipe calls for 6-8 hours of refrigeration! It’s because that’s the very last step to making it completely and utterly irresistible. Trust me, you can eat this once you finish the layering and it will be delicious. OR, you can put it in the fridge overnight at it will be divine 😉
- LADY FINGERS -
- 2/3 C Coconut Flour
- 8 Tbsp Grass-Fed Butter
- 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1/4 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
- COCONUT CREAM CUSTARD -
- 2 - 13.5 oz cans of Coconut Milk (refrigerated for at least 6 hours)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 C Maple Syrup
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 1/3 cup dry Marsala or White Wine
- 1/2 C Coconut Sugar
- TOPPINGS -
- 1 C Shaved Almonds
- 1/4 C Raw Cacao Powder
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add the coconut flour and butter to a large mixing bowl and use a fork (or clean hands) to mash them together. Add in the vanilla extract and maple syrup. Cream it all together until. Divide the dough into 16 even pieces and roll them into dough balls. Take a piece of parchment paper and spread it on top of a flat pan. I used a pizza stone because that was the flattest bake-able thing I had lying around. Take a dough ball, lay it out on the parchment and press down on it with a fork so that you make an oval shape (because ladyfingers are long and sort of oval shaped). Into the oven they go for 8 minutes!
- Once they’re done remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes so they can harden up a bit.
- COCONUT CREAM CUSTARD
- Open your cans of refrigerated coconut milk. Scoop out the white solidified parts at the top of the can (we don't want any of the liquid coconut water at the bottom) and into a large mixing bowl. Add in the vanilla and coconut palm sugar. Then, using a handheld or electric beater (I definitely recommend electric), whisk until you get thick soft peaks. Cover and set in the fridge.
- Bring a pot of water to a a very low simmer. Place a place bowl (I used a large pyrex bowl) on top of the pot. When the pot of water is barely simmering add the the egg yolks, marsala or white wine, coconut sugar and maple syrup into the glass bowl set and beat the ingredients using a whisk or handheld electric mixer for 5 minutes. You'll notice the ingredients will have fluffed up and tripled in volume. Remove the bowl from heat. Take the coconut cream out of the fridge and fold the egg-wine-coconut sugar mixture into it. Voila, custard!
- PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
- Brew a small pot of coffee and mix in 1-2 tbsp maple syrup. Dip 2-3 ladyfingers into the coffee so they can absorb the flavor (about 3 seconds) then move them into the bottom of a wine glass or small ball. Top the cookies with a layer of custard. Sprinkle on your almonds and cacao (optional). Keep layering until you fill up your glass! Finish off your final layer of custard with a some more almond and cacao (I also like to add some cinnamon) and stick your little tiramisu parfaits in the fridge over night (or for at least 6 hours) so the ingredients can marry together.