Tiramisu means “pick-me-up”: both a promise and a command. And it has my heart. It is one of three Sodha family puddings of choice for all major occasions (trifle and cheesecake are the others, since you ask), so it was just a matter of time before I completed the set in this column. I’m obviously biased, but I think this recipe has benefits over the original. Without traditional dairy and eggs, it is luxurious without being too rich, and instead of the elongated savoiardi biscuits, there is a flat sponge that can be cut into any shape to fit any serving dish of your choice.
I love a sponge-to-cream ratio of 30:70 and tend to make two medium-sized tiramisus in lipped serving plates (play with the ratios to your own preference). You’ll need an electric whisk and a blender. For those budgeting, this is costed at about 75p a portion, and can be made cheaper still by using alcohol you already have in the house or by leaving it out altogether.
Prep 5 min
Cook 35 min, plus resting time
Chill 2 hr+
For the sponge
170g plain flour (gluten-free, if you like)
85g caster sugar
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
150ml whole oat milk
50ml light olive oil
¾ tsp apple cider vinegar
250ml brewed coffee – either espresso, or 2 tbsp espresso powder + 250ml just-boiled water
3 tbsp brandy or rum, optional
For the cream
290g silken tofu, drained
100g vegan soft cheese – Sainsbury’s own-label or Sheese work best here
90ml light olive oil
100g caster sugar
3 tbsp sweet marsala
250ml whippable plant cream – I find Oatly works well
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 square 70% dark chocolate, optional
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 and line a shallow, roughly 34cm x 24cm baking tray with greaseproof paper. Push the paper well into the corners, and don’t worry too much about wrinkles.
First make the sponge. Put all the dry ingredients (ie, the first four) in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and add the milk, oil and vinegar. Whisk to combine until smooth, then scrape into the lined tray and gently shimmy it back and forth so the batter levels out. Pop the tray in the oven for 15 minutes, until the sponge is golden on top.
To make the cream, put the drained tofu, soft cheese, oil, sugar and marsala in a blender and blitz smooth. In a bowl, whip the cream for about three or four minutes, until it can hold its shape. Fold the tofu mixture into the cream until combined, then pop the bowl in the fridge.
To assemble the tiramisu, stir the brandy or rum, if using, into the coffee. Cut the sponge into pieces to cover the base of your dish(es), then slowly and evenly pour the boozy coffee all over the top. Spoon on the cream mixture, so it fully covers the tiramisu(s). Using a fine-mesh sieve, shake the cocoa over the top, then grate on the chocolate, if using. Pop the tiramisu(s) in the fridge for at least a couple of hours (and for up to a couple of days), to set and for the flavours to come together.