Gluten Free Tiramisu
A delicious dessert is the perfect way to finish off a dinner party or even a casual get-together with friends. The trouble is many of the desserts worth making take a great deal of time to prepare.
Gluten free tiramisu is the perfect solution.
Tiramisu is an Italian dessert that consists of layers of sponge cake soaked in coffee and brandy with whipped mascarpone and powdered cocoa.
Not only is tiramisu a classic dessert your guests are sure to love, but it’s a no-bake dessert you can easily make ahead. The good news is it actually tastes better the longer it chills! You can make it up to 2 or 3 days ahead of time and pull it out after dinner like you just whipped it up.
Classic tiramisu consists of four layers but only two components:
- Espresso-dipped ladyfingers (savoiardi in Italian)
- Sweetened mascarpone cream
As a follower of the gluten free diet, you immediately see the challenge with this recipe: the ladyfingers. Fortunately, Schär offers 7-ounce packages of Gluten Free Ladyfingers that are absolutely perfect for this recipe. Free from wheat, gluten, and artificial preservatives, they’re one of the only gluten free ladyfingers on the market and a must-have addition to your gluten free pantry.
With a package or two of Schär Gluten Free Ladyfingers, all you need now is a good recipe for tiramisu. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! First, however, let’s take a closer look at this no-bake dessert.
The History of Tiramisu
The name tiramisu comes from the Italian for “pick me up” or “cheer me up” which is probably a reference to the coffee in the recipe. This classic Italian dessert is traditionally made with savoiardi (ladyfingers) dipped in coffee and layered with a whipped mixture consisting of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese. Cocoa powder is added for flavor and decoration on top.
Though the origins of tiramisu are unclear, it appears to have been invented in the 1960s or 70s. Some suggest its origins date back to the 1960s in the Veneto region of Italy, perhaps to the restaurant Le Beccherie in Treviso. A confectioner by the name Roberto Linguanotto, owner of the restaurant, claims to be its creator.
Tiramisu gained popularity in the United States in the 1990s, particularly after a reference made by Tom Hanks’ protagonist in the 1993 comedy Sleepless in Seattle. Today, tiramisu is a popular dessert that has been adapted in a variety of ways.
Why Mascarpone Cheese?
You’ve been through the refrigerated section at your local grocery store and have probably purchased your fair share of cream cheese. Sold in 8-ounce blocks, all the brands look pretty much the same. You may have even noticed the similarity between cream cheese and other options like Neufchatel and mascarpone. Is there actually a difference?
Cream cheese, Neufchatel, and mascarpone are all roughly the same thing, it just comes down to different origins and slightly different preparations.
By law, American cream cheese must contain at least 33% milk fat and no more than 55% moisture. Neufchatel is a creamy French cheese traditionally made with raw cow’s milk (American Neufchatel is pasteurized) and typically has less milk fat and more moisture than cream cheese. Mascarpone is essentially the Italian version but has higher fat content and a richer, creamier taste.
While you might get a similar result using cream cheese or Neufchatel instead, tiramisu is supposed to be made with mascarpone. It’s an Italian dessert, after all, and mascarpone has the rich, creamy taste and texture that works so perfectly with the ladyfingers, coffee, and cream.
6 Simple Tips for Perfect Gluten Free Tiramisu
The ultimate secret to gluten free tiramisu comes down to the core ingredient: the ladyfingers. Ladyfingers are simply sweet, dry, finger-shaped sponge cookies known in Italy as savoiardi. Though they can be enjoyed alone as a snack (best with coffee), they are also perfect for taking on the liquid and flavor of espresso in the classic tiramisu. To make your tiramisu gluten free, all you need is a package or two of Schär Gluten Free Ladyfingers and a batch of fresh espresso chilled to perfection.
Here are a few simple tips to follow for perfect tiramisu:
- Dip the gluten free ladyfingers rather than soaking them in the espresso – if they’re too soggy the dessert won’t come together.
- Mix up the flavor of your gluten free tiramisu by adding a few tablespoons of liquor like rum, Irish cream, or amaretto.
- Give your tiramisu a summery feel by adding a few tablespoons of fresh fruit juice or fruit puree.
- Experiment with the ladyfingers a bit if you’re feeling creative, trying different arrangements and patterns to improve the presentation.
- Line your baking pan with plastic wrap before building the tiramisu so you can easily remove it after chilling and serve it on a tray for the full effect.
- Avoid the temptation to add more sugar – a classic Italian tiramisu is only lightly sweetened, relying more on the coffee flavor.
Now that you know a little more about what tiramisu is and how it is made, you’re ready to try it for yourself. Read on to see our simple but satisfying recipe for this classic no-bake dessert.
Recipe: Gluten Free Tiramisu
The quintessential Italian dessert, this gluten free tiramisu combines delicate Schär Gluten Free Ladyfingers with layers of mascarpone, coffee, and cocoa. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: At least 4 hours
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese (room temperature)
- 1 ½ cups chilled espresso or coffee
- 1 package Schär Gluten Free Ladyfingers
- Pour the whipping cream into a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed with a hand mixer.
- Slowly add the sugar and vanilla extract then beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Beat in the mascarpone cheese until smooth and just combined then set the bowl aside.
- Pour the chilled espresso or coffee into a shallow dish.
- Dip the Schär Gluten Free Ladyfingers into the espresso, quickly turning to dip both sides, then arrange them on the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking dish.
- Spread half the mascarpone cream mixture over the ladyfingers.
- Add a second layer of dipped ladyfingers and top with the remaining mascarpone cream.
- Dust generously with cocoa powder then chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
For the best flavor, give your tiramisu time to chill so the flavors blend thoroughly – give it at least 24 hours. Tiramisu can be made with or without alcohol. Coffee flavored liqueur like Kahlua brings out the coffee flavor – add a few tablespoons to the chilled espresso before dipping your ladyfingers.