For grain-free baking, I use Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour instead of a gluten-free flour blend. For me, since I don’t drink coffee or eat chocolate, I substitute strongly brewed chicory for the coffee and carob powder for the unsweetened cocoa. Add a dash of rum or cognac along with the vanilla in the espresso mixture to make this more traditional. Traditional tiramisu (on which this recipe is based) contains raw egg yolks. Look for pasteurized eggs if this worries you. This tiramisu can be made ahead and frozen in its pan—wrap in plastic before freezing, and thaw in the fridge and eat within 3 months. —Caroline Wright
4 hours 30 minutes
8 to 10
large eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups
preferred gluten-free flour blend (I use Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour)
Make ladyfingers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking pads. Place coconut sugar in blender jar; process on highest setting until very finely ground. Remove about 2 tablespoons of ground coconut sugar; set aside in a small bowl. Add egg yolks to blender with remaining sugar; process over high speed until very pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add a scoopful of egg whites to blender; blend to combine and loosen egg yolks. Working gently, scrape contents of blender into remaining egg whites; fold until halfway combine. Sift dry mixture over egg white mixture in about three additions, alternately folding ingredients together, until fully combined. Spoon batter into a large piping bag fitted with a 1-inch round tip; pipe approximate 4-inch lines about 1/2-inch apart. (You should have about 48 piped cookies.) Transfer reserved ground coconut sugar into a small sieve and lightly dust piped cookies with sugar. (The sugar can be on the surface of the baking tray between the cookies.) Bake ladyfingers until they are puffed, golden, and the cookies spring back when pressed gently, 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make cream: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine egg yolks and agave. Using a whisk attachment, beat until egg yolks are very pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in mascarpone in spoonful increments with mixer running. In a separate large bowl, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Stir in one spoonful of whipped cream to egg mixture to lighten; scrape egg mixture into whipped cream and fold to fully combine.
Assemble tiramisu: Cut a 3- to 4-inch strip of wax paper into an approximate 28-inch length. Lightly brush interior of ring of a 9-inch springform pan with oil or softened butter; press the strip along the interior of the ring to line it with the paper.
In a shallow bowl or pie plate, combine coffee, vanilla and alcohol, if using. Place cocoa in a small sifter (on a piece of paper towel or plate to avoid mess on your counter!). Lightly dust bottom of prepared cake pan with cocoa. Working one at a time, quickly dip ladyfingers in coffee mixture (it shouldn’t fully saturate the cookie, otherwise it will fall apart) and arrange along the outer edge, standing up with flat side facing the interior of the pan, in prepared cake pan until the rim is fully lined with dipped cookies. Continue to dip ladyfingers and arrange them along the bottom of the pan, breaking ladyfingers if needed to create an even layer. Top with a layer of cream (using about half of what you have), spread to the edges of the pan; dip and arrange another layer of ladyfingers on top of cream. Repeat with dipped ladyfingers and another layer of cream, then dust with remaining cocoa. (So, in the end, you have: a layer of ladyfingers, a layer of cream, a layer of ladyfingers, a layer of cream, dusting with cocoa.)
Transfer tiramisu to the refrigerator to chill at least 4 hours to marry flavors and set, or up to overnight. See headnote for freezing instructions.
Before her diagnosis, Caroline wrote a book on cakes called Cake Magic!. She started developing a birthday cake using her gluten-free mix found in that book. Check out other recipes she’s developing for her new life—and the stories behind them—on her blog, The Wright Recipes. Her next book, Catalan Food, written with chef Daniel Olivella, comes out in early September from Clarkson Potter.