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This Tiramisu Trifle Is A Vegan Take On A Traditional Italian Dessert

Jamie Schneider
mbg Beauty & Wellness Editor
By Jamie Schneider
mbg Beauty & Wellness Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and wellness. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
Image by Anthea Cheng / Contributor
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October 14, 2019

Whether you're vegan, dairy-sensitive, or just looking for a way to impress your friends, this Tiramisu Trifle With Caramelized Popcorn from Anthea Cheng's Incredible Plant-Based Desserts will be your new favorite go-to. It looks luxurious and decadent, as most traditional Italian desserts do, but this dessert is easy to make and even simpler to assemble (those trifle glasses are a great way to make a crumbled dish look perfect!). Plus, it's made with plant-based, whole ingredients, so you can indulge without straying from your healthy diet.

Plus, the popcorn topping transforms this traditional tiramisu into a crunchy, sweet-and-savory treat. The next time you have leftover biscuits or cake lying around, try throwing this recipe together instead—call it dessert recycling, if you will.

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Showstopper Tiramisu Trifle With Caramelized Popcorn

Yields 2 very large trifles or 4 servings

Tiramisu trifle ingredients:

  • 14 ounces (400 g) medium-firm tofu
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) plant-based milk, such as almond, soy, or coconut
  • 2 tablespoons (16 g) cornstarch
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons (40 to 80 g) rice malt or maple syrup, or any other plant-based liquid sweetener to taste
  • 2 tablespoons (28 ml) vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder
  • 14 ounces (400 g) leftover plain cake or biscuits
  • ½ cup (120 ml) strong black coffee
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Topping ingredients (optional):

  • 1 tablespoon (9 g) coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) plant-based liquid sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon vegan butter
  • 1 cup (8 g) popcorn
  • Cocoa or raw cacao powder, to serve

To make the tofu cream:

  1. Add the tofu, milk, cornstarch, sweetener, and vanilla to a high-powered blender.
  2. Blend until very smooth, and then pour the mixture into a medium-size saucepan. Alternatively, add the ingredients directly to the saucepan and use a stick blender to blend.
  3. Heat the mixture on medium heat while whisking for 5 to 10 minutes or until it thickens.
  4. Remove from the heat, let cool, and set it aside in the fridge to chill.
  5. If the tofu cream forms a skin while chilling in the fridge, blend it to make it smooth again.
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To make the topping (if using):

  1. Preheat the oven to 210°F (100°C).
  2. Add the sugar, liquid sweetener, and vegan butter to a small saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Boil for 1 minute or until it forms a smooth caramel.
  4. Spread the popcorn on a lined baking tray, drizzle the caramel on it, and toss the popcorn to roughly coat it.
  5. Bake the popcorn in the oven for around 10 minutes and then let the popcorn cool on the baking tray.

To assemble:

  1. Arrange about ¼ of the leftover cake or biscuits to form a layer on the bottom of each trifle glass and drizzle the black coffee over it.
  2. Layer ¼ of the tofu cream in each glass. Repeat to create another 2 layers in each glass. Keep the trifles in the fridge until ready to serve.
  3. Just before serving, dust the trifles with cocoa powder and arrange popcorn on top. The trifles can be kept in the fridge without decorations for up to 5 days.
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Recipe excerpted from Incredible Plant-Based Desserts by Anthea Cheng © 2019 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.Text © 2019 Anthea Cheng.

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Jamie Schneider
Jamie Schneider
mbg Beauty & Wellness Editor

Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.