Friday, March 6, 2009

It Ain't Tiramisu, But It's Good

One particular discussion that I've had recently with several people is: why bother with sugar-free desserts? Even with diabetes or other dietary restrictions, many people would rather do without completely than to waste precious calories on alternate sweets. And I grant that there is merit to the argument--but for people like me, people with a sweet tooth that just won't be shoved into a closet, the choice isn't that simple. And I've tried--believe me, I've tried. Denying myself only results in one outcome: the binge.

You know what I mean. The snacks snuck in your purse. The candy bar tossed in with your groceries during checkout. It happens without even thinking--and before you know it, you've eaten a whole box of oreos. Oh, yeah. I've done it all.

The beast must be appeased. And carefully-crafted, planned sugar-free sweets is the way I deal with it. It's okay if that means a little less of something else during the day. I can accept that.

Which brings me to tiramisu, dessert of all desserts. I adore this stuff. Dream of it. Crave it. Chock full of yummy fat and calories, however, it's something I just can't have in my life with any kind of regularity. But I can make a dessert that has many of the same flavors, reduced fat and even sugar-free, with an indulgent feel and within my food lifestyle.

Made in the style of the classic dessert, my version uses low-fat, sugar-free mocha ricotta cream layered with espresso-dipped sugar-free cookies. And yes, I skip the mascarpone entirely. Blasphemy, I know--it ain't tiramisu, but it's good! I promise!

Not Tiramisu
serves 2

1 cup low- or non-fat ricotta cheese

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon instant espresso powder

crisp, sugar-free cookies (I used almond cookies; if you want a full-sugar version, use ladyfingers or another crisp cookie of your choice)
demitasse cup of strong coffee or espresso (I made espresso with 1 rounded teaspoon instant espresso powder, 1 tsp sugar or a packet of sweetener; I also threw in a dribble of vanilla extract.)

optional: chocolate syrup (I used sugar-free) or chocolate shavings for garnish

Combine ricotta, cocoa, sugar sub, vanilla and 1/8t instant espresso powder in a bowl; blend well using an electric or stand mixer until well combined.

Select two small dessert dishes (demitasse cups would be perfect) for your dessert. One at a time, dip cookies in prepared espresso and line the bottom of your dessert dish. Top with a layer of mocha ricotta mixture. Repeat with another layer of espresso-dipped cookies. Repeat, ending with the ricotta cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve garnished with chocolate syrup or chocolate shavings.


Lulu said...

You are so very creative! That looks delish...

Lulu said...

And it sounds pretty easy to make!

Amanda said...

Thanks, Lulu! It was pretty easy; the payoff in taste is worth far more than the little effort it took to put together!

Deeds said...

That sounds and looks amazing! I'm a tiramisu addict and a diabetic so this is a great alternative. My only question is what would you guesstimate the carbs for this to be?

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