[Update: I feel the need to nudge you in the direction of my newer overnight version of this recipe. It’s simpler and tastier. Give it a try!]
I once told you that peach cobbler is my favorite dessert. Another time, I told you it was pumpkin pie. Well, both of those statements are only partly true. Actually, it’s a three-way tie…with tiramisu.
In fact, when my birthday rolled around, what did I chose for my “birthday cake?” Yep. Tiramisu. From Vivaldi Cafe in Greenwich Village. There was live jazz. 🙂
When I started putting this recipe together, I struggled to decide on the elements. How could I capture those flavors without dairy? Without marscapone? Without making it unhealthy? And how could I best get the oatmeal to resemble lady fingers?! And do I have to use espresso, or can I use brewed coffee instead? Or instant coffee granules? Oh, the decisions to make…
I can definitely tell you what not to do. I bombed this recipe the first time. First of all, don’t bother sweetening with banana. Yuck. Second of all, don’t use caramel-flavored cold brew coffee (what my mom makes and had in the fridge). Nasty. Don’t add brewed coffee to already-soupy yogurt. Blah. And finally, don’t be afraid to use LOTS of cocoa powder!
I decided to go to my go-to ingredient for whenever I need “creamy” fillings: nondairy yogurts. I originally used regular coconut milk yogurt, and it was kind of soupy. After that, I tried So Delicious’s Greek Style coconut milk yogurt; BINGO! Much better! The consistency was infinitely better. If you can’t get your hands on this, you could use the regular style, but I assure you the Greek version is a worthy investment. (If you’re using cow’s milk yogurt, I believe the same applies.)
Instead of using the yogurt as is, I mixed a small hint of coffee and rum extract into the yogurt. This helped make it taste a little more like the creamy layers in real tiramisu, instead of just tasting like coconut yogurt. 🙂
For the “lady fingers” layer, I used quick-cook steel-cut oatmeal cooked on the stove. If you only have rolled oats, feel free to substitute 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats for the steel-cut oats. Keep the liquid amounts the same; you want the oatmeal to be a little “drier” than usual so it holds up in the parfait layers.
I alternated layers between the oatmeal, yogurt, and cocoa powder. The result: num! Oh wow. Like I said, my first attempt was so poor (which sucked…because it was so much work!). Part of me thought, “Maybe this is as good as it’s going to get. Maybe I should post it with the disclaimer that it’s good, but in its own…bizarre way.” But I kept imagining people making it and being disappointed, and I couldn’t handle that. So I persevered, and thank goodness. This one was SO much better!!
What you'll need:
- cocoa powder for dusting
- 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (I used SoDelicious)
- 1/2 tsp rum extract
- 1/8 tsp instant coffee granules
- 3/4 cup milk of choice, or water
- 1/4 cup quick cook steel-cut oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
- 2-3 chopped dates (or 1/2 tsp maple syrup)
- 1/2 tsp rum extract
- 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
- pinch of salt
How to make it:
- Add milk of choice to a saucepan and set on medium-high heat.
- While waiting for the liquid to boil, prepare your yogurt layer. In a small bowl, stir rum extract and coffee granules into the yogurt. (TIP: Use your fingers to ground the coffee granules into a powder before you add it. That will help it combine with the yogurt.) Taste and adjust to your preferences. Set aside for later.
- When your liquid begins to boil, add oats and chopped dates and stir. Turn heat down to medium and let it simmer.
- Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add rum extract and salt. If opting for maple syrup instead of dates, add that now. Stir.
- Let the oatmeal cook until the consistency is kind of thick and dry (you don't want it to be too runny or goopy). When it's ready, take it off the heat. In a dish, spoon HALF of your oatmeal. Then, add a layer of half of the yogurt mixture. Dust with cocoa powder. (TIP: I scooped some cocoa powder on a spoon, and then tapped the spoon gently over the oatmeal. The dusting was a little even, so I picked up the entire dish and shook it gently; the excess piles of cocoa powder shifted around and covered the yogurt in a nice, even layer!) Then, repeat layers: the remaining oatmeal, the remaining yogurt, and more cocoa powder. (For a more chocolaty treat, use shaved chocolate or chocolate chips).
Just an FYI:
Variation: Add fresh berries! One of the best tiramisus I ever had was at Chanhassen Dinner Theater in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Within the marscapone layers were fresh berries, and oh my GOODNESS, it was good. %http://www.theoatmealartist.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/tiramisu-oatmeal-5--e1440443084306.jpg