Here’s a novel way to spoil your mum with anti-ageing skin care this Mother’s day - treat her to tiramisu! You are what you eat, and this skin-loving dessert is rich in Vitamin E and healthy oils that are sure to get her skin glowing from the inside!
A fantastic confection made with a light tiger nut and almond sponge cake layered with sweet-tasting macadamia nut cream and a rich coffee/chocolate flavoured ‘ganache’, this is tiramisu re-invented - without sugar, dairy or grains.
Boasting a wealth of antioxidants, essential vitamins, minerals and healthy fats from the ‘darlings’ of the nutritionally-aware foodie brigade - avocados, coconut oil/milk, raw cacao, tree nuts, tiger nuts and a little raw, unpasteurised organic honey (because I simply couldn’t ignore the skin-enhancing benefits of honey!) - this isn’t just tiramisu, it’s superfood! An unrecognisably healthy retro dessert so choc-a-block with nutrients you won’t believe it’s not the luscious (though sadly off the carbohydrate richter-scale!), Italian classic.
Primal Plate’s ‘light as a feather’ Tiramisu is part of my stay slim and gorgeous action plan to make low-carbohydrate/high fat eating (LCHF) a way of life even when the occasion calls for some sweet-toothed indulgence. Not only is this impressive dessert relatively low in carbs, you are nourishing your skin from the inside out by eating Vitamin E packed tiger nuts, almonds, avocado and coconut oil. Vitamin E is widely used in the cosmetics industry to help slow down the ageing of the body cells, improve the elasticity of the skin and reduce skin wrinkles.
Whilst I maintain that you should never put anything on to your skin that you’re not prepared to put in to your mouth, It’s good fun to turn this beauty maxim on its head with a deliciously decadent dessert that can help every woman channel her inner goddess. Ingenious…the perfect solution to having your cake and eating it! Happy Mother’s day girls!
Tiramisu (makes 4-6 servings)
Ingredients - for the sponge layer
45g unsalted butter
40g organic ground almonds
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
pinch of sea salt
3 large eggs
Ingredients - for the nut cream layer
125g macadamia nuts, soaked overnight in cold filtered water
250g full-fat coconut milk
4 drops organic liquid stevia
1tsp pure vanilla extract (I use sugar-free Ndali)
25g coconut oil
Ingredients - for the coffee/chocolate ganache layer
2 ripe medium avocados (approx 350g unpeeled weight)
10-12 drops organic liquid stevia
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (I use sugar-free Ndali)
80ml espresso-strength coffee
Ingredients - to assemble the tiramisu
100ml freshly brewed expresso-strength coffee
40 ml malt whisky
30g Sukrin Gold
Instructions - to make the sponge
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 350℉ / Gas mark 4
Melt the butter gently and leave to cool slightly. Use a little of it to grease a 23cm x 30cm (9” x 12”) swiss roll tin, then line the base and sides of the tin with a single sheet of baking parchment (cut down into the corners so that the paper lies flat against the sides of the tin).
Sift the tiger nut flour, salt and cacao powder in to a medium sized bowl. Stir in the ground almonds and set aside.
Put the eggs and Sukrin:1 in a large heatproof bowl that will sit snugly over the top of a saucepan. Pour boiling water into the saucepan and sit the bowl on top. The hot water must not actually touch the bowl. Set the pan over a low heat so that the water is barely simmering. The steam will help dissolve the Sukrin and the mixture to thicken slightly.
Using a hand-held electric beater set on High, whisk the eggs and Sukrin sweetener together for about 6-8 minutes, or until the mixture is very pale, thick and mousse-like and has at least tripled in volume. It should hold its shape for a few seconds when it’s flicked across the surface of the rest of the mix.
Add one-quarter of the sifted flour/ground almond mixture into the egg and Sukrin mixture and very lightly and gently fold it in with a large metal spoon. Repeat 3-4 times more with the remaining flour/ground almond mixture - folding it in gently each time. When all the flour/ground almonds have been incorporated into the mix, carefully pour in the melted butter and gently fold this in too. N.B. Don’t be in a rush to do this and try not to be too heavy-handed - the idea is to retain as much air as possible inside the mix whilst at the same time bring everything uniformly together.
Quickly pour the mixture into the tin - tilting the tin this way and that until the cake mixture has levelled itself out evenly in to all four corners of the tin - then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch.
Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then turn it out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cooled, peel off the parchment paper and slice the cake into fingers or squares for making tiramisu or trifle.
Instructions - to make the nut cream layer
Rinse the macadamia nuts in fresh water then blitz all the ingredients together to form a smooth cream. Place in the fridge to set.
Instructions - to make the coffee & chocolate ganache layer
Blitz all the ingredients together to form a rich, smooth, chocolatey cream.
Instructions - to assemble the tiramisu
Make a fresh batch of espresso strength coffee, add the whisky and liquid stevia and pour into a shallow dish.
Cut the cold sponge into suitable sized cubes or fingers (whatever best fits your serving dish).
Layer 1: very briefly (2-3 seconds!) dip the sponge pieces into the coffee mixture until you can see that the liquid has risen about half-way up the depth of the sponge and lay the pieces one at a time as you go into the base of your serving dish(es) (I used 2.5cm / 1” squares for the base layer in 4 x 225ml martini glass)
Layer 2: Spoon over the nut cream layer and spread out evenly
Layer 3: Add a second layer of coffee-soaked sponge
Layer 4: Spoon over a second layer of nut cream and spread out evenly
Layer 5: Spoon or pipe over the coffee & chocolate ganache and spread out evenly
Cover and chill for 1-2 hours in a refrigerator. Then, when you’re ready to serve the tiramisu...
Layer 6: Sift over a fine layer of raw cacao powder
Layer 7: Use a small spoon to carefully transfer a generous, even layer of Sukrin sugar-free milk chocolate (straight off the plate it was grated on to) directly on to the top of each tiramisu - don’t try to sprinkle over the grated chocolate with your fingers as it will melt instantly!
The best diet for weight loss and maintenance is one that you can easily stick to. A low-fat/low calorie diet requires Herculean willpower because food without fat doesn’t taste good and oftentimes you still feel hungry. The joy of a low-carb/high fat diet is that you don’t count calories and the food you can eat is deliciously satisfying. Nevertheless, Primal Plate desserts and other sweet treats are delights to be enjoyed occasionally, not every day. You can achieve steady, effortless weight loss by limiting carbohydrates to between 50 grams and 100 grams per day - unless you are morbidly obese, in which case you may need to kick-start your body into burning fat by eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrate per day and avoiding tiramisu for the time-being! You can keep a tally of your carb intake at MyFitnessPal. If you then cross the line from time to time (without exceeding 150 grams of carbohydrate) a long, brisk walk should sort things out!
There is enough sponge cake in this recipe to make 6 tiramisu (or to have leftovers). The rest of the ingredients will make 4 very generous servings (it’s deliberate!). If you’re cutting carbs, have a small appetite or just more mouths to feed, simply divide the recipe between 6 smaller (150ml) serving dishes.
All the individual components of this dish can be made separately in advance. The sponge-cake will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container, and both the nut cream and coffee/chocolate ganache will keep for several days in the refrigerator. You can also assemble the tiramisu up to and including layer 5, twenty-four hours before you want to eat it - finishing with the final flourish of raw cacao and grated chocolate just before serving.
Although organic liquid stevia is a zero-carb, natural alternative to sugar, it can leave a slight aftertaste. To minimise this and to not miss out on the skin-enhancing benefits of honey, I’ve used a combination of stevia and honey to sweeten both the nut and coffee/chocolate creams.
I do not like overly sweet food, so this sophisticated, not-too-sweet dessert with a touch of alcohol is definitely one for the grown-ups. However, it can easily be adapted for children (or tomorrow’s breakfast!) by substituting a small/medium sliced banana (per serving) for the coffee/whisky soaked sponge and layering it with the nut and coffee/chocolate creams in the same way as described above. You may also want to add a little extra honey to the coffee and chocolate cream to make it more child-friendly.
The cake mixture rises just enough to make it nicely spongy without being too thick. Firm yet really light in texture, it’s just made for soaking up the boozy coffee in this recipe and for making trifle generally. Once cold, it’s easily cut into neat fingers or cubes (Sarah loves to eat these plain) and is a brilliant substitute for those nasty trifle sponge fingers you can buy in the shops.
Carbohydrate 25g Protein 11g - per serving (6 people)
Carbohydrate 36g Protein 15g - per serving (4 people)