Sunday, January 11, 2009

Low Fat/Cal/Sugar Tiramisu

The first and only time I made tiramisu was 4 years ago for a large group of Germans who were visiting America. They were members of our sister congregation in Zarrentein. My mom cooked a delicious Italian feast, and I offered to make tiramisu to complete the Italian meal.
Well, the Germans said it was some of the best Italian food they’ve had, and the ONLY tiramisu they’ve ever had, and they loved it! I used Giada’s Chocolate Tiramisu.

Fast forward to last night… JJ and I went to dinner at an Italian restaurant and after dinner our waitress asked if we wanted dessert. I was eyeing up the tiramisu, but from having made it in the past, I knew it was diet suicide. All I could remember were egg yolks and heavy cream, sugar and lots of chocolate… I passed last night, but decided today I would dedicate my life to making a lighter version of tiramisu.

I thought about how I could recreate the layers without missing the flavor, but keeping it light. For the cream, I automatically jumped to sugar free pudding. It has a similar consistency, and it fat free and low in calories.

Now I am a chocolate girl, but JJ is a vanilla boy, so I decided to compromise our tastes and make one layer with a marsala laced vanilla pudding, and the other with Bailey’s laced chocolate pudding… which means yes, three times the liquor! Don’t worry, it’s in small quantities!

As for the lady fingers, you really can’t sub them. And they’re not terrible, however I decided since I was taking a short cut on the cream I’d make them from scratch. It’s much cheaper! Then to complete it, I admit it, I went with fat free cool whip over real whipped cream.

So the moral of the story is: I may have saved TONS of calories and grams of fat, but there is quite a bit of sugar substitute used, so if you’re opposed to splenda, use regular pudding and cool whip and you’ll still save some calories. Unfortunately there is no mascarpone flavor in this, but I think the other additions really compensate for that. The pudding did make it a bit mushy, it definitely didn’t hold it’s shape when cut like regular tiramisu.
Next time, I think I’d just leave it as is, and run an extra few miles the next day!

And as an aside, if you’re in a pinch for time and need a dessert, some chunks of pound cake topped with the marsala-vanilla pudding and some berries would be outstanding!

Low-Fat/Sugar/Calorie Tiramisu

Ladyfingers (from the Joy of Baking):
1/2 cup cake flour, sifted
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. To make the piping of the cookies easier, use a pencil and ruler to divide the parchment paper into three - 3 inch rows, with about 1 inch between rows. Have ready a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip.
In your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons white sugar on high speed for about 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and pale yellow. (When you raise the beaters the batter should fall back into the bowl in a slow ribbon.) Beat in the vanilla extract. Sift the cake flour over the batter but do not fold in.
In a clean bowl, with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the 3 tablespoons white sugar and whip until stiff peaks form and the whites are glossy. Fold the whites into the egg yolk and flour mixture in three additions, mixing only until incorporated.
Transfer the batter to the pastry bag and, holding the bag at about a 45 degree angle to the baking sheet, pipe the batter into 3 inch long ladyfingers, using the lines drawn on the parchment paper as your guide. Pipe the batter leaving about a 1 inch space between the cookies.
When you have piped all the cookies, place the powdered sugar in a wire strainer, and lightly sift the sugar over the tops of the cookies. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the ladyfingers are firm but barely browned and are still spongy when pressed with a finger.
Remove the baking sheets from the oven and slide the parchment paper from the baking sheets onto a wire rack. Let the ladyfingers cool for a few minutes and release them from the parchment paper, with a flat spatula, while they are still warm. If you left them completely cool before removing them from the parchment they stick and hard to remove without breaking. Finish cooling the ladyfingers on the wire rack before using or storing. If you are not using the ladyfingers right away, freeze them. Ladyfingers stale very quickly unless they are soaked in a liquid. To store, place in a plastic bag between layers of wax or parchment paper and freeze up to 2 weeks.

Other Ingredients:
1 c. cooled espresso
¼ c. kahluah

1 packet sugar free vanilla pudding
1 ¾ c. milk
¼ c. dry marsala

1 packed sugar free chocolate pudding
1 ¾ c. milk
¼ c. Bailey’s Irish Crème

1 8 oz. tub fat free cool whip
Mini chocolate chips, cocoa powder, or shaved chocolate for garnish

Bake ladyfingers, set aside. (This can be done a day in advance)
In a shallow dish, combine espresso and kahluah.
Whisk puddings, milk and liquers in 2 separate bowls.
Place in the fridge.
Thaw cool whip. Stir in 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract. Set aside.
Dip half of the ladyfingers in the espresso mixture, place in a dish.
Top with the vanilla pudding mixture.
Dip the remaining ladyfingers, arrange on top in a layer.
Top with the chocolate pudding mixture.
Spread the coolwhip over the pudding mixture.
Sprinkle with chocolate or dust with cocoa powder.

1 comment:

Joelen said...

Looks like a great alternative. It would neat to put a side by side comparison of the traditional recipe with your low fat/cal/sugar version.... similar to Graham Kerr's 'Galloping Gourmet'.