I have always loved tiramisu. Back in the day, I thought the stuff served at Olive Garden was awesome. To me, it got no better than that. Then I started ordering it elsewhere and realized that it could get so, so much better. I kept ordering it at different places, hoping to find what I felt was the real deal. It was hit or miss. Some were okay, some weren’t. I continued on, undeterred.
Then it happened. The angels sang. A bright light shined down from heaven. It was not a miracle, but it almost felt like one. Sovanna and I were in Italy and sampled real tiramisu. It was as God intended it. (I know. You are shocked and amazed that we found good tiramisu in Italy, right?) It was rich and creamy, almost like a pudding. It was simply and utterly delicious. I ate so much of that stuff on that trip that I was sure my sweat smelled like it for weeks. (You’re welcome, fellow runners!)
My love affair with tiramisu seemed to come to an end when I decided to become vegan. Sure I could try all sorts of substitutions, but after having the real thing, I knew that everything would fall short. I was very intrigued, though, when I read a blog post by Purely Twins. They adapted a recipe they found so that it was gluten-free and vegan. Upon reviewing their recipe, though, I was not motivated to try it. I didn’t have the flours they used, and it didn’t sound as rich as I would think tiramisu pancakes ought to be. (No disrespect to Lori and Michelle!) Instead I found this recipe for a non-vegan, gluten filled version, and decided to see what I could do with it.
The recipe was packed to the gills with lots of calories and decadence. I have no problem with that on occasion, but since I was making this one over anyway, I thought I’d pull out some of the extra calories. To get started I used my go-to pancake recipe from The Post Punk Kitchen for Puffy Pillow Pancakes and tweaked it from there. The end result was so incredibly good. My husband said he had no clue it was all vegan. My son devoured the pancakes even without the cream topping and glaze (since they contained liquor). This was a total win, in my opinion. I will not share how much I ate. It’s gross. 😉
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
2 T instant coffee
1 cup milk of choice
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In your measuring cup, mix the milk, vinegar and flax seeds vigorously for about a minute. Add to the dry ingredients. Add the water, oil and vanilla to the bowl and mix until incorporated. Don’t overmix. Let the batter sit for about 10 minutes while you heat your cast iron skillet (or well-greased frying pan).
Cook these bad boys as you would any other pancake. They’ll puff up beautifully, and make you look like a fabulous chef.
Mix up the cream topping:
4 oz tofutti (or cream cheese substitute)
2 T kahlua or other coffee liquor
2 T maple syrup
2-4 T milk of choice (just enough to thin this out to a nice cream)
Beat these ingredients until a soft cream forms.
Make the glaze:
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons softened Earth Balance (or other butter substitute)
2 tablespoons kahlua or other coffee liquor
I heated this on LOW on the stove top.
Now let’s plate this thing. First put down a pancake, then top it with some cream. Top with another pancake and then some more cream. Continue this until the stack looks like it might fall over, or according to your hunger level. Top with some glaze. Inhale deeply, and enjoy!