Tiramisu, Lightened Up
In honor of Italian week, we’re lightening up an all-time favorite dessert: tiramisu! Find out how you can enjoy this delectable classic with fewer calories and less fat.
One slice of this Italian classic can rack up over 600 calories and 46 grams fat -- one and a half times the recommended daily amount of fat. The high-fat culprits in this dish? Lots of whipping cream, boatloads of mascarpone cheese and the cake-like ladyfingers cookies.
Some recipes call for several cups of whipping cream, but just one cup contains a whopping 414 calories and 44 grams of fat (28 of them saturated.) The mascarpone cheese is not much lighter in calories and fat; 1 ounce contains 124 calories and 13 grams of fat (7 of them saturated.) Some recipes call for an entire 16-ounce containerm adding close to 2000 calories and over 200 grams of fat! As for the ladyfingers, a serving typically contains around 4, adding 160 calories and 4 grams of fat. And the final calorie culprit: Booze! Traditional versions include soaking the ladyfingers in rum or liqueur, which adds another few hundred calories to the recipe.
Cut down on the high-fat ingredients without sacrificing taste. A simple fix: make thinner layers of the creamy ingredients by using one-third less filling than the recipe calls for. To lighten it up even further, use light cream cheese or low-fat ricotta cheese in place of half of the mascarpone cheese.
You can cut calories a little further by swapping out out the alcohol-bathed ladyfingers for ones dipped in nearly calorie-free plain brewed coffee. Many recipes also call for tons of chocolate shavings; cut the amount by sprinkling about 1 to 2 teaspoons of shavings per serving or use a sprinkle of unsweetened cocoa powder.
So you don’t want to give up any of the classic ingredients in this to-die-for dessert? Slim down the portion. To bulk up the dessert without adding fat, serve with fresh fruit or a delicious skim-milk cappuccino.
Another way to downsize: Create single-serving mini tiramisu bites with a touch of filling and two ladyfingers. This lightens up the dessert and makes it perfect for circulating on a cocktail-party platter.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio >>