I’m a bit of a coffee snob who insists on freshly ground coffee brewed in a cafetiere for exactly four minutes. If steeped for any less than that, coffee resembles dishwater, while any longer, it becomes overly caffeinated and viscous – the kind of coffee that some might say puts hairs on your chest. To prevent risking an over-thick cup of joe, dispense all the coffee at the four-minute mark; then, if it isn’t all consumed immediately, keep it warm in a flask or let it go cold to turn into iced coffee or dishes such as my vegan tiramisu using tofu, coconut butter and aquafaba instead of the traditional mascarpone and eggs. Aquafaba removes any health-and-safety concerns about consuming raw egg, too, while still creating a light and delicious, textured tiramisu.
This plant-based version of the classic Italian pudding is made with leftover coffee saved from the cafetiere and aquafaba (AKA chickpea water). It’s light, creamy and rich and, with the addition of some booze, complex and a little decadent. The cream of tartar is optional, but it will help speed up and stabilise the whisked aquafaba. For environmental reasons, I prefer to use organic tofu and soya yoghurt, but that said, many plant-based brands such as Alpro now farm soya in Europe, which mitigates some deforestation concerns; check company websites for full details.
290g drained silken tofu
100ml soya yoghurt
90g coconut butter, melted
90g unrefined sugar
2 tsp spent coffee grounds
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml aquafaba (the liquid from 1 x 400g tin chickpeas)
¼ tsp cream of tartar (optional)
200ml strong coffee25ml brandy, rum or other spirit (optional)
20 savoiardi or boudoir sponge fingers
Cocoa powder, for dusting
Blend the silken tofu with the soya yoghurt, coconut butter, sugar, coffee grounds and vanilla extract. In a clean, grease-free metal, ceramic or glass bowl, use an electric mixer to whisk the aquafaba and cream of tartar, if using, to stiff peaks (unlike eggs, you can’t over-whisk aquafaba, so there’s no fear of it splitting), then gently fold into the blended tofu mix.
Pour the coffee and brandy, if using, into a wide bowl. Dip 10 sponge fingers into the coffee mix one at a time, until soaked and pale brown, then use to line the base of a shallow, 20cm x 20cm serving dish. Carefully spread half the tofu “cream” over the fingers, then arrange 10 more coffee-dipped fingers on top. Spread the rest of the tofu mix over these, then chill for at least eight hours. Top with a thick dusting of cocoa powder and serve.