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.

4 comments:

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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