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It’s a Tiramisu Delight!

September 7, 2014

Almost raw, very vegan Tiramisu cake

Almost raw, very vegan Tiramisu cake

Whilst not a raw foodie, the concept intrigues me. I do believe that we should have a varied diet, both raw and cooked, hot & cold, liquid & solid, fresh & fermented. But all raw? I’m not so sure..

The paradox is that when one prescribes to a particular food choice, they inevitably try to replicate the non-prescribed foods in their way of eating!

I am a perfect example.

In my paleo lifestyle, I see it as a challenge to “paleo-fy” foods that would be otherwise prohibited. Like cake, and bread, and chocolate, and ice-cream, and more cake! I do this to bring awareness to the fact that a paleo diet need not be limiting. I also do it for my own sanity as I would go mad eating eggs and only eggs for breakfast everyday! And I have sweet tooth. But I think this analogy doesn’t quite fit with raw foodism. I understand the concept of enzymes and nutrient viability and I love the fact that raw foodism is undoubtedly whole and nourishing. But a shepherds pie and pizza are COOKED dishes! They don’t translate into raw! Do you disagree? Well, that’s my opinion, I’m not closed to the idea but maybe I’m biased!

This line of thought reminds me of my travels in Vietnam where there is a large Buddhist population who are vegetarians. We were recommended a vegetarian restaurant to dine in but were utterly confused when we saw the menu:

  • Chicken in black bean sauce
  • Pork Rolls
  • Beef with water chestnuts
  • Duck curry


This restaurant prided itself on creating dishes from soy protein and konjac fibre to replicate (and very well, I might add) real meat. I thought the idea of being vegetarian was about taste and ecological and compassionate grounds rather than health. Which is a furphy anyway. It was an amusing dinner and quite awe-inspiring too, albeit not very healthy!

Anyway, I digress.


My interest in raw AND vegan remains constant but not all-encompassing. A recent visit to an AMAZING raw food cafe in Sydney inspired me to make this cake for visitors tonight. It’s not quite raw but definitely vegan and almost positively paleo!

Many raw food cake recipes rely on a gelling agent to set them. Gelatine and agar agar are out as they need to be heated. The next best thing (apparently), is Irish moss algae.  It is better known as carrageneen, which has had a bad rap lately. Read more about that here. Despite whether its good for you or not, carrageneen is bloody hard to find locally!

I prefer to use konjac or guar or xanthan gum instead as they are much easier to find. I have spoken about konjac powder previously here and buy it from here. But guar gum works just as well, or xanthan gum works a bit better. It’s not a make or break ingredient in this recipe but it will improve the mouth feel and texture. The addition of coconut oil and cacao butter along with the xanthan gel gives this cake more substance rather than a moussey texture. You will need to make the gel the day before so it is completely smooth and absorbed. And soak your cashews at least 4 hours beforehand.

1/2 teas xanthan gum or konjac flour
120g water
Whisk the gum & water together in a cup and leave to gel overnight

The sponge in my tiramisu is actually based on a pancake batter. I didn’t want to use an excess of starch in the cake so I thought that a pancake would be easier to achieve than a thin genoise. It was! This recipe might sound a bit complicated but all of the components are very easy, start by melting the coconut oils before making the pancakes:

90g coconut oil
40g cacao butter
Melt on SP 2 @ 50°C for 5 minutes, or until combined. Set aside for the cake.
75g rapadura or coconut sugar (I used Natvia)
150g gluten-free self-raising flour – I was lazy and used this soy free one instead of making my own
180g nut milk – I used homemade almond milk
40g macadamia oil
1 teas apple cider vinegar
pinch salt
1 teas baking powder
vanilla to taste
Mix all of the ingredients in the TM for 20 seconds SP 5. It should be a thick batter. Add a little water if too thick. Pour a 22cm pancake into a greased frying pan and cook on medium heat until the top is dry and bottom golden.  Do not attempt to flip – the pancake will be very fragile and will firm up on cooling. Turn out onto a baking paper lined plate and make the next one. You should get about 4 pancakes. Turn each one out onto a new piece of baking paper as they will stick together if stacked.
120g cashews, soaked in water overnight or at least 4 hours
240g homemade nut milk (I used almond)
100g coconut sugar
1 teas apple cider vinegar
1/4 teas salt
1 tab vanilla extract
50g maple syrup or brown rice syrup
40g xanthan gel – see above
90g coconut oil & 40g cacao butter melted – see above
40g cacao powder or cocoa
2 teas instant coffee
60g made up espresso coffee, cooled (I used strong dandelion tea)
1 batch of dairy-free whipped cream or coconut cream
40g dark chocolate, grated finely
Grind the soaked nuts for 10 seconds on SP 8. Add the milk, sugar, vinegar, salt, vanilla and syrup and blend on SP 9 for 2 minutes. Add 40g gel and the combined oils and mix on SP 6 for 20 seconds. It will be very smooth and glossy.
You will have about 760g of filling. 
Pour out 380g filling into a bowl and add the cacao to the remaining mix. Mix to combine well for 10 seconds on SP 7.
Grease and line a 20cm square or round cake tin. Using the tin as a template, cut the pancakes to fit. It doesn’t matter if they break. You will need 3 pancakes.
Line the bottom of the tin with a pancake and brush with the cooled espresso (or dandelion tea)
Pour in the chocolate mixture and smooth over. Top with another pancake.
Without washing the TM bowl, return the remaining mix and add the instant coffee. Mix to combine well for 10 seconds on SP 7. Pour over the second layer and top with the remaining pancake. Brush with any remaining espresso. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to firm up before spreading the top & sides with cream. Decorate with grated chocolate if desired. 
To reiterate –  prepare the day before:
Soak the cashews
Make the gel
Make your nut milk – you will need about 600g (including what you will need if making the whipped cream)
To make this legally raw – omit the pancakes and layer the filling in a loaf tin.
To make this legally paleo – make the pancakes with almond flour.
To make this legally vegan – use whipped coconut cream instead of my dairy free cream.





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