Gluten-Free Tiramisu for Daring Bakers

by Lauren | Celiac Teen on February 27, 2010

This has been an insane month.  So many great things packed into this tiny 28-day period.  The ebook I created for Haiti (which is still on sale!  It costs a minimum of $10 and all proceeds go to the Red Cross for Haiti Relief) has raised almost $5000.  I received my copies of BlogAid, the cookbook created by Julie that I was lucky enough to be a part of, and we’ve been watching tons of Olympic events.  So many amazing stories there.

This was the perfect way to cap off this month.  No question.


Well, I had some questions before I started.  We were making cheese after all!  Then, many other parts and coffee.  I’m not a fan of coffee.  But I do love tea.  There has been some Chai in my house recently, so I decided to make a Gluten-Free Chai Tiramisu.  Oh yes.  It is as fantastically delicious as it sounds.

The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.

Although don’t typically post the challenge recipes, this one I have to share.  But the Ladyfingers, they deserve their own post.  Watch for that this week.  I’ve already made 2 batches.  One for the tiramisu and one just for cookie eating =D.  But don’t worry, you can still scroll down for pictures.  Lots and lots of pictures.

Gluten-Free Chai Tiramisu
Adapted from the February 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge by Lauren of Celiac Teen.
For the zabaglione:
2 large egg yolks
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup brewed Chai tea
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

For the vanilla pastry cream:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp millet flour
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup whole milk

For the whipped cream:
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract

To assemble the tiramisu:
2 cups brewed Chai tea, warmed
1/2 cup sugar (or less, the tea doesn’t need as much as the espresso)
1/3 cup/75gms mascarpone cheese
36 savoiardi/ ladyfinger biscuits (you may use less)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)

For the zabaglione: 
Heat water in a double boiler. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the egg yolks, sugar, the Chai tea, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Whisk together until the yolks are fully blended and the mixture looks smooth.

Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler. Cook the egg mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 8 minutes or until it resembles thick custard. It may bubble a bit as it reaches that consistency.  Let cool to room temperature and transfer the zabaglione to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

For the pastry cream: 
Mix together the sugar, millet flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. To this add the egg yolk and half the milk. Whisk until smooth. Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling.

Add the remaining milk a little at a time, still stirring constantly. After about 12 minutes (it really does take awhile!) the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble. (If you have a few lumps, don’t worry. You can push the cream through a fine-mesh strainer or not worry about them.) Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

For the whipped cream:
Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer or immersion blender until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside.

To assemble the tiramisu: 
Have ready a rectangular serving dish (about 8″ by 8″ should do) or round springform pan. Mix together the Chai tea and sugar in a shallow dish, whisking to mix well. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold. Add the prepared and chilled zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.

Working quickly, dip 12 of the ladyfingers in the sweetened tea, about 1 second per side (I only did one side not both). They should be moist but not soggy. Immediately transfer each ladyfinger to the platter, placing them side by side in a single row. You may break a lady finger into two, if necessary, to ensure the base of your dish is completely covered.  Spoon one-third of the cream mixture on top of the ladyfingers, then use a rubber spatula or spreading knife to cover the top evenly, all the way to the edges. Repeat to create 2 more layers, using 12 ladyfingers and the cream mixture for each layer (Mine only had enough for 2 layers, but my pan was pretty large). Clean any spilled cream mixture; cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight.  (Or freeze, thats what I did with mine!)

To serve, carefully remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the tiramisu with cocoa powder using a fine-mesh strainer or decorate as you please. Cut into individual portions and serve.

Mascarpone first.
Sure, I could be boring and show you the English side of the box of cream, but what fun would that be.  I’m also trying *cough* to use a bit more of my French.  I don’t have very much.  But I can read this!


The microwave thermometer.  I don’t even know if it works when its not in a microwave.  C’est la vie.
Did you catch that French?  Thought so ;D.  
Lemons, for lemon juice, to change the chemistry of the whipped cream, allowing the buttery goodness of mascarpone to emerge.


But not now.  Now, it must chill until morning.


Ta da!  Thick, fantastic and a wonderful addition to desserts and dinners alike.
Another very important part:  Tea, Chai Tea.  
Its sort of like Bond, James Bond.  And related to Bond, Hydrogen Bond.  Yes, we watched a cheesy movie in Chemistry.  You probably don’t want to ask.

Ladyfingers.  Soon, you will get this recipe.  Seriously.  It’s worth the wait.


Dip in Chai.
Drop in Pan.


The next day, pull it out of the freezer.  So unassuming, yet so awesome.


Isn’t it gorgeous cut?


How about with a sprinkling of cocoa powder?
Or some orange wedges?

I’ve been eating so many oranges lately.  Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Dessert, Now.


Is it weird to say that this photo brings me peace?  The little spot on the corner that is just starting to melt, the crystalized centre that was smoothly removed with a fork, the innocent cocoa standing by.  The clementine wedges in all of their orange, segmented glory.  It just feels right to me.
It ends with one bite.  Don’t they always?
Once more, please consider purchasing an ebook for Haiti!  
Thank you immensely to Deeba and Aparna for this challenge!  You pushed me out of my comfort zone and into the arms of this fabulously versatile dessert.  Thank you for all of your work on the challenge, it was wonderful!

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Food.Baby February 27, 2010 at 7:14 am

Absolutely gorgeous Lauren, and I love the sound of the chai!

Mary February 27, 2010 at 7:30 am

It looks beautiful Lauren! Love the photos and your ladyfingers look amazing! I am in Montreal and trying to practice my French too, but won't embarrass myself by trying it here:) I'm just hoping my tiramisu is still in the freezer where I left it 3 weeks ago! Bon appetit!

Basht February 27, 2010 at 7:32 am

i bought the ebook tonight and it's awesome. very well done my dear. and making this chai is brilliance.

Lisa February 27, 2010 at 8:45 am

You're such a creative baker Lauren! Very nice looking Tiramisu and lovely flavours.

Suzler February 27, 2010 at 9:58 am

Fabulous post! Your flavours are inspired and the photos are beautiful. :) I know what you mean about that one photo – it's lovely, especially with the detail and colour in the clementine segments.

Cathy @ ShowFoodChef February 27, 2010 at 10:21 am

Lauren, this looks scrumptious. And I made mine with Chai tea also…strong minds think alike? I def want to try your gluten-free savoiardi and I love the citrus on top. Brava!

Jenn February 27, 2010 at 10:26 am

omg (I dunno how to write omg in French haha) C'est magnifique! Je l'aime beaucoup, surtout le chai!!

Junglefrog February 27, 2010 at 11:01 am

Wow congratulations on the huge succes of the Haiti cookbook Lauren! Glad to hear that it is going so well! On the tiramisu great choice to add chai tea in there! It looks absolutely wonderful!

chef_d February 27, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Really pretty chai tiramisu there…reading your post made me laugh :)

Ellie February 27, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Lovely tiramisu. Very nicely done.

ap269 February 27, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Nice! Looking forward to reading your post about the gluten-free ladyfingers.

Gina Fit by 41 Maybe 42 February 27, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Ooooooo, Ahhhh…. What a way to begin a Saturday morning, drooling over my computer. Looks good, and your writing is fun.

Deeva February 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Wonderful tiramisu, love the photos.

Evelyne @ CheapEthnicEatz February 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Oh, with tea…how interesting. it looks beautiful and so good.

Winnie February 27, 2010 at 2:13 pm

You have really outdone yourself with this one!
I don't really love tiramisu but I think I'd love yours…I skipped the challenge so I'll have to live vicariously through the rest of the DBs- maybe I'll make your recipe, though, because it looks so good. By the way, the last pic (the forkfull) is wonderful. Nice job! And way to go with raising almost 5000 bucks for Haiti. That's terrific!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite February 27, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Wonderful job Lauren! I am so impressed with everyone's beautiful interpretations of this challenge. Mine was just the bog-standard recipe and I was so relieved it even came out halfway decently!! Yours brings it to the next level though!

Asha @ FSK February 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm

lauren it's awesome! Love the look of savioardi biscuits!!!
I love oranges too. they brighten up and lighten everything 😉

Anne February 27, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Beautiful! I love your photos – each and every one.

Elle February 27, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Stunning photos! And I have to say, the inspiration to use Chai was genius. Genius!

Iris February 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Has anyone else noticed that Lauren's posts have become increasingly funny over the last few months? Seriously, Lauren, I feel like you've really found your voice and I love reading the commentary as you go along in your baking journey each post.

maggie February 27, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Great post Lauren! Love the little French jokes. You are up for any challenge and that always amazes me! Send me a piece please!

Gala February 27, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Great seeing so many pictures and the flavors sound gooood!

Valérie February 27, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Splendid, Lauren! Using chai was a wonderful idea! And those slices are to die for!

Trish February 27, 2010 at 7:53 pm

The photos are lovely and I can tell it tasted terrific too. You are a great cook/baker. I always have chai at home so I could try this too. Love the French addition here and there as well.

kate the bake February 27, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I love the idea of a chai tea version – this is definitely a reason to have another go. I'm looking forward to seeing your ladyfinger recipe too!

Swathi February 27, 2010 at 8:11 pm


chai tiramisu looks absolutely beautiful. yummy too.

Jeanne February 27, 2010 at 8:18 pm

The chai flavor sounds fantastic! And your photos look so real, I want to take a bite! Beautiful job on the challenge.

Jenni February 27, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Fantastic! Your Chai Tiramisu looks soo good, I wish I could try some!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella February 27, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Fantastic job Lauren! And great minds think alike, I did a tea tiramisu too! 😀

outoftheoven February 27, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Your tiramisu looks absolutely delicious! I love the addition of orange wedges. Beautiful job!

Fabi February 27, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Hello dear,
you had a tough month indeed. I'm so glad I colud help purchasing a copy of the Haiti e-book. It was a beautiful initiative.
Your Tiramisù looks perfectly delicious, I don't think there is any difference between your gluten-free version and the regular one.
Big hug from Spain!

Jennifer February 27, 2010 at 11:18 pm

You are amazing!!! I am SO thrilled to hear about the amounts being raised!!!!

The tiramisu with your own touch looks perfect! Im loving the winter tea mug too :)

Cheryl Harris February 28, 2010 at 12:12 am

that looks lovely–and cherish whatever brings you peace! (especially when edible)

soimarriedachef February 28, 2010 at 12:26 am

Love that you did Chai!!! Such an awesome flavor combo :) I bet that chai spices with coffee would taste good too, if only you liked coffee! I hope you enjoyed this challenge as much as I did.

Natalie, aka "Sheltie Girl" February 28, 2010 at 12:49 am

Fabulous job Lauren! Great idea to use the chai rather than coffee. My husband and I happen to love espresso, so we enjoyed the rest of the post when I made the tiramisu.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

Barbara Bakes February 28, 2010 at 3:05 am

Another great job on this challenge! You always amaze me with your creativity and ability to adapt recipes!

lennekej February 28, 2010 at 3:11 am

Chai, yum!! That sounds like a fabulous idea. One I may have to steal should the need for more tiramisu arrive.

Trissa February 28, 2010 at 3:14 am

You never fail to amaze me! What a great outcome for the ebook – you can really be proud of yourself… and also, be proud of such a beautiful tiramisu!

Y February 28, 2010 at 3:41 am

Love the photos! I've never had a chai tiramisu, and feel like I'm missing out now!

Congrats on the ebook too!

~3 Sides of Crazy~ February 28, 2010 at 4:48 am

Wow – awesome – I'm passing your version on to my cousin who has to cook gluten free for her hubby!

Elra February 28, 2010 at 5:50 am

Well done Lauren, your tiramisu look perfect!

Deeba PAB February 28, 2010 at 6:16 am

Chai tiramisu is calling my name Lauren. Love how you built the post and did the challenge. It's beautiful… evry frame and each written word. Well done indeed! Thanbk you for enjoying it!!

Monika February 28, 2010 at 8:29 am

Wow, what a great idea! Tiramisu with tea…wonderful! :) And I love how you paired it with oranges. It looks so elegant! You did a great job, as usual :) Hugs!

Aparna February 28, 2010 at 8:38 am

I'm a tea drinker though I do like coffee in my Tiramisu. So I'm sure this one was goooood! Thanks for baking with us, Lauren.

Jamie February 28, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Too intriguing the Chai Tiramisu. Excellent Tiramisu! And I adored the ladyfingers and also made two batches, one after the other.

Jenny February 28, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Chai tiramisu, that sounds absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful pictures and also, what a great outcome for the e-book, much congratulations!

Natalie... February 28, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Looks absoloutely delicious, I love the decoration of the oranges/satsumas on top aswell, I bet it was so tasty.

Olga @ MangoTomato February 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm

the dusted photo looks SO pretty! And I like the addition of the mandarin. You did a great job, and I'm amazed you took photos of the process: my kitchen was too much of a mess for that 😉

Tasty Eats At Home February 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Oh I LOVE your version – chai tea would be excellent here. Yum. And your ladyfingers? I can't wait. They are awesome!

Paloma February 28, 2010 at 10:19 pm

It looks REALLY GOOD!!! I just shared your blog with a group of friends I have that I am sure will love it!

Thanks for sharing all this with us! (I do not follow a gluten-free diet but I will be stopping by your blog often!)


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