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Too Good Tiramisu

Desserts are a rarity in my house — I usually only make them when we’re having company, or if I need to test a recipe. This can be a problem when your husband happens to have a sizeable sweet tooth. So, for Christmas this year, I told Jon I’d make him any dessert he wanted. He chose tiramisu.

I have long been tinkering with making a vegan tiramisu that captures the decadent richness of the non-vegan version and I think the one in 1,000 Vegan Recipes does the trick. The secret is in the filling: I combine tofu with vegan cream cheese and vegan vanilla ice cream to get just the right balance: firm yet light, sweet yet not-too-sweet. For the cake, I use the pound cake recipe also found in 1,000 Vegan Recipes. It works beautifully, but you can use another white or yellow vegan cake, if you prefer.

Here’s the tiramisu recipe, and I hope you enjoy it as much as Jon did. By the way, the recipe is easily doubled, if you need a dessert to serve a crowd on New Year’s Eve.

I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. See you in 2010!

Vegan Tiramisu

Serves 6

For extra decadence, add a layer of vegan whipped cream and chocolate curls. This recipe is from my latest book, 1,000 Vegan Recipes (where you will also find the recipe for vegan pound cake).

1 cup firm tofu, drained and pressed dry
1 (8-ounce) container vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup vegan vanilla ice cream, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
1/2 cup brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
3 tablespoons Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
1 vegan pound cake (or other white or yellow cake), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1. In a food processor, combine the tofu, cream cheese, ice cream, vanilla and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Process until smooth and well blended.
2. In a small bowl, combine the coffee, the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, and the coffee liqueur.
3. Arrange a single layer of cake slices in an 8-inch square baking pan and brush with half of the coffee mixture. Sprinkle with half of the cocoa. Spread half the tofu mixture over the cake. Arrange another layer of cake slices on top of the tofu mixture. Brush with the remaining coffee mixture, and spread evenly with the remaining tofu mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cocoa. Chill 1 hour before serving.