Every once in a while I get a request for something I wouldn’t usually make. And, generally, if I haven’t made it before, it’s because I don’t have much of an appetite for whatever it is that I’ve been asked to make.
I like sweet things well enough, but some of them just don’t do it for me — some of my friends think I’m nuts for not being too keen on rice pudding, cheesecake, or tiramisu.
I think it’s because I prefer my sweets to be light and airy, like cake, and not heavy and creamy.
Either way, when I got a request for a sugar free, caffeine free tiramisu, I was up for the challenge. It wasn’t that hard, actually, but I did have to visit my mom’s place to use her stand mixer.
I adore her accent!
Anyways, since this dessert was made to consider someone with very specific dietary needs (no processed sugars, no caffeine, no sweetened alcohol) because he had recently lost his entire stomach to cancer, I also had to make the lady finger cookies from scratch; I couldn’t use “creamy” marsala wine, which has eggs and sugar added, I couldn’t use any Kahlua, I couldn’t use caffeinated coffee, and I couldn’t use any store-bought lady fingers, either.
I found a simple-looking, sugar-free, almond lady finger recipe online that called for Splenda instead of real sugar.
The lady fingers didn’t turn out quite as expected, nor were there enough of them to do a whole tiramisu (should have tripled the recipe!), so I ended up having to do one half of the tiramisu with homemade, sugar free lady fingers, and the other half with giant store-bought lady fingers.
The marscapone+whip cream+egg custard+marsala cream was made with “dry” marsala wine and more Splenda in place of sugar.
I ended up ruining the egg and marsala custard once before getting it kinda right the second time. Some of the egg ended up overcooked, but it wasn’t anything that running the custard through a strainer couldn’t fix.
So I made it as per instructions found online: two layers of lady finger cookies, and two layers of tiramisu cream, and one generous dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder. Overall, I’m satisfied with the way it turned out, considering that I’d never made tiramisu before — hell, I’ve only eaten it once before in my life.
Despite a couple potholes I hit while putting this tiramisu together, it was certainly an interesting culinary experience!
The tiramisu was a hit!
The guy who couldn’t have any sugar/caffeine/sweetened alcohol loved it and it didn’t give him any digestion issues, so he took the remaining dessert home for later. It made me really happy to hear that the tiramisu was well received, especially since that’s the one thing I love to be able to do with my baking and cooking: add a little brightness to someone’s day.
That might sound really cheesy, but it’s true.
If there’s anything I like more than eating food, it’s making other people eat the things I make!