Sunday, 31 July 2011

Tiramisù vegano

This one came from the Italian Wikibooks site.

You gotta love tiramisu.
  • Caffè - 4 tazzine Four teeny weeny cups of coffee
  • Panna di soia da montare - 300 ml Soy cream (panna is in panna cotta, which is a kind of cream I think)
  • Zucchero - 100 g sugar (or courgettes, probably sugar)
  • Farina di mais - un cucchiaio I teaspoon of cornflour
  • Tofu - 500 g (lamb shanks. Not really! It's tofu)
  • Latte di soia - un cucchiaino A teaspoon of soy milk
  • Limone - una goccia A dash of lemon
  • Biscotti vegan - 400 g Vegan biscuits (I'm guessing something Italian)
  • Cacao in polvere - q.b. Cocoa powder
  • Scaglie di cioccolato nero al 100%- una manciata A handful of chocolate chips
  1. Preparate il caffè e lasciatelo raffreddare. Prepare the coffee and let it cool. Raffreddare, I guess, means cool back down or something, with the ra- being like re- in English. Freddare, I would guess means cool, as it looks like French froid
  2. Lavorate lo zucchero e il cucchiaio di farina di mais con qualche cucchiaio d’acqua. Mix the sugar and the spoonful of cornflour with a few spoonfuls of water. well, lavorate means work, related to labour, but I think mix makes sense here. You work X into Y, but you mix X with Y. That's my logic, anyway.
  3. Frullate il tofu con una goccia di limone e un cucchiaio di latte di soia fino a ottenere una crema senza grumi e unitelo alla farina di mais. Blend the tofu with a dash of lemon and a spoonful of the soy milk until you get a cream without lumps, and mix in the cornflour. Frullate just looks like it means blend. I mean, if I told you I was going to go and frullate some tofu, what would you expect me to do? Common sense is a powerful tool in learning a language - things usually don't say something completely unexpected. It wasn't going to say "take the tofu out dancing with a dash of lemon". Grumi just looks like lumpy as well. Maybe it's related to crumb and crumble.
  4. Montate la panna e unitela delicatamente al tofu. Mount Whip the cream and delicately mix in the tofu. Montate looks like it's going to be related to mount. While I'm sure I am perfectly capable of mounting the cream, I am not sure this would be conducive to the recipe. Whipping cream makes the cream into little peaks - or mountains - so I'm guessing this is the logical choice.
  5. Immergete i biscotti, che dovranno essere ben imbevuti ma non completamente zuppi, nel caffè. Immerse the biscuits, which should be well soaked but not completely falling apart, in the coffee. Che dovranno essere I would not have got without a knowledge of French, as it's similar to qui devraient être, which means which should be. Imbevuti looks like imbibed kinda, so the biscuits have "drunk in" the coffee, as in they soaked it up. Zuppi is another wonderful word. Italian is awesome.
  6. Stendete in un recipiente uno strato di biscotti, stendeteci sopra uno strato di crema e spolverate con il cacao la superficie del tiramisù. Seguite lo stesso procedimento per gli altri strati. Put in a dish a layer of biscuits, then put on a layer of cream and sprinkle the cocoa over the surface of the tiramisu. Follow the next layer with the other layer (alternate them). I like the idea of putting the strata in a recipient, but realistically we are putting layers in a dish. Spoleverate is the best work for sprinkle I have ever seen, but it contains polver, which looks like it means powder. The last sentence I just couldn't work out, but I think it basically means that. Still, one sentence being off is not bad for someone who is making up his translations as he goes. 
  7. Terminata questa operazione, aggiungete una manciata di scaglie di cioccolato. Finish the operation, adding a handful of chocolate chips. Okay, that was deliberately bad, but it amused me. 
  8. Riponete in frigo per qualche ora per far compattare il dolce. Put it in the fridge for several hour to set the cream. Compattare I guess means compact, which is near enough in meaning to set I think. 
Culinary Notes
Firstly, I admit that I varied from the recipe a little. I used soya cream instead of water or soy milk, thinking that it would taste better. I think I was right. This tastes like tiramisù! Flavour-wise, it was a success. A little sweet for me, and perhaps lacking depth, but undoubtedly tiramisù.

Texture-wise, as we can see in the picture, it was a failure. The tofu did not whip into peaks. Tofu just does not do that in my experience. Maybe tofu works differently in Italy, but in England, it just quivers weakly. It was a little lumpy, too. I think it calls for some more industrial-strength thinkener than cornflour; maybe flax seeds or Irish moss gel with a cashew cream would have gone better.

Linguistic Notes
This was a set of instructions "chop, wash…", unlike my first Italian recipe which was kind of a story "I chopped, I washed…". Almost every verb ends with -te, which I would bet my best pants on being used to form the imperative.

Nel caffè means in the coffee, and in the previous recipe we saw nella padella, meaning in the pan. Using my astounding powers of deduction, I suggest that nel is probably the masculine form, and nella is the feminine. 

The word lo caused me a little confusion. I thought that masculine the was il, but here we have lo. My theory is that sugar is a non-count noun, so this sort of means some of the or something. *checks* How wrong I was. It's just the form used before a Z or an S followed by a consonant. The plural form is gli. Before a vowel sound, it's reduced to l', like in French. So, we have masculine il, lo, l' in the singular and i, gli in the plural, and feminine la, l' for singular and le for plural. Hours of fun. 


    1. Oh my gosh make this for meeeeeee. I want vegan tiramisu soooooo badly!