- 315 g (2+ ¾ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 250 ml (1 cup) water
- 150 ml (½ cup + 2 Tbsp) neutral oil (I use sunflower)
- 180 g (¾ cup + 2 Tbsp) caster or granulated sugar
- 5 tsp cider or white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract (optional)
- 275 g (9 ¾ oz/1 + ¾ cups) raw cashews
- 250 g (9oz/1 cup) firm silken tofu* excess liquid drained off
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 120 ml (½ cup) melted refined coconut oil**
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) unsweetened non-dairy milk
- ¼ tsp salt
- 100 g (½ cup) caster or granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 300 ml (1 + ¼ cups) very strong cooled coffee/espresso (if using coffee granules use 2-3 Tbsp plus 300ml boiling water)
- 100 ml (6 Tbsp + 2 tsp) Tia Maria/rum/whisky*** (I like to use rum)
- sifted cocoa powder for dusting
You need to make the tiramisu the day before you want to serve it. Start by making the cake. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°fan/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease a 23 x 33cm / 9 x 13 in rectangular cake tin and line it with baking parchment.
In a large bowl sift together the plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
In a jug whisk together the caster sugar, oil, vinegar, water, vanilla extract and almond extract (if using).
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until they are just combined. Don’t over-beat the batter as that can make the cake tough.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and spread it level. Bake for about 20 minutes until it is golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Let it cool in the tin for 20 minutes then lift it out onto a wire rack and let it cool completely.
Once the cake is cool, preheat the oven to 140°C/120°fan/275°F/gas mark 1. Level the top of the cake if needed then use a sharp serrated knife to cut it into fingers. I sliced it in half lengthways then cut it into strips about 2 cm / ¾ in wide.
Place the cake fingers slightly spaced apart on a couple of baking sheets and bake for 30-40 minutes until they feel dry to the touch. They don’t need to be completely dried out but the outsides should feel dry. Let them cool on a wire rack then store in an airtight container.
To make the cream, soak the cashews in boiling water for at least half an hour to soften them.
Drain them well and place in a blender or food processor with the silken tofu, lemon juice, melted refined coconut oil, non-dairy milk, caster sugar, vanilla extract and salt.
Blend until the mixture is extremely smooth. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times. Pour the cream into a bowl, cover and place in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up a bit. It should still be soft and spreadable but not runny.
To assemble the tiramisu, mix together the cooled very strong black coffee or espresso, and your choice of alcohol. Pour it into a shallow bowl that is wide enough to dunk the cake fingers into.
Dunk the cake fingers into the coffee mixture very briefly, no more than a second or they will become too soggy. Arrange them in an approx 25 x 18 x 7cm / 10 x 7 x 2 ¾ in dish as you go, placing them close together to make one complete layer. You can cut some into smaller pieces as needed to fill in any gaps.
Spread half of the cream over the top of the cake layer and sprinkle over some cocoa powder if you like.
Dip the remaining cake fingers into the coffee mixture one-by-one, arranging them on top of the cream layer as you go. Spread the rest of the cream over the top. Dust the top with cocoa powder, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Just before serving, dust the top of the tiramisu generously with more cocoa powder.
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