In Italian, Tiramisu literally means, “pick me up” because Italian women used to dip leftover biscuits in espresso during the middle of the day for a zing of energy.
Note: Tiramisu will be best if chilled in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Make -Ahead Tip: The cans of coconut milk need to be refrigerated for several hours or overnight before proceeding with the recipe. Then the Tiramisu can be assembled and refrigerated the day before serving.
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour*
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup water
½ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pure almond extract
¾ cup water
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons dark rum
Double recipe of Coconut Whipped Cream
1 heaping cup semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free), ground in a food processor or finely chopped
To make the Vanilla Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease one 9-inch round cake pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk water, oil, vinegar, and almond extract. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.
Fill the prepared cake pan with batter. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out dry with a few crumbs clinging to it. Rotate the cake halfway through baking time. Let the cake cool completely before assembly.
To make the Espresso Soak: In a small bowl, whisk water, rum, and espresso powder until espresso powder dissolves.
To assemble: Cut the cake into 1-inch cubes by scoring with a knife while still in pan. In a large bowl or trifle bowl, add half of the cake cubes. Evenly drizzle half of the soaking liquid over the cake cubes. Top with dollops of half of the whipped cream and sprinkle with ground chocolate. Repeat layers and chill for overnight before serving.
Chloe’s Tip: Ground chocolate
In traditional Tiramisu, unsweetened cocoa powder is used for the chocolate layer, but I much prefer to use ground chocolate. Ground semisweet chocolate adds a delicious crunch and a much more intense chocolate component to the entire dessert.
*For a gluten-free alternative, substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour plus ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum.
COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM
Makes about 3 cups
Note: For best results, coconut whipped cream should chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before serving.
2 (13.5-ounce) cans of coconut milk (not light), preferably Thai Kitchen brand or Whole Foods 365 brand, chilled in the refrigerator overnight (be sure not to shake or stir)
1 cup powdered sugar
Chill the bowl and whisk of a stand mixer in the freezer for about 10 minutes. If they are not very cold, the cream will not whip properly. Skim the solidified coconut cream from the chilled cans of coconut milk and transfer the solids to the bowl of the stand mixer. Do not include any of the coconut water, even if you have to leave behind a little margin of coconut cream (a little bit of coconut water can harm your results).
Add powdered sugar and whip for a few minutes until the mixture begins to stiffen and turn into whipped cream. Chill the whipped cream in a covered container in the refrigerator. It should firm up even more as it sits in the refrigerator for the next few hours or overnight.