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This lemon tiramisù is a fresh and light variation of my Best Vegan Tiramisù. It’s an elegant dessert and easier to make than you might think. A great alternative to cake, especially if you are not a fan of buttercream. All parts of the recipe are made from scratch and there aren’t any complicated ingredients involved.
And now that I have got your attention, I want to thank you for being here! I am usually not that comfortable talking about myself. But today I wanted to talk about a few things that have to do with the ups and downs of this blog. This site has been here a while (originally since 2007) and the project has lots of good and bad times. I started out as a food blogger in a tiny vegan online community. Back then we all seemed to know each other. I loved it because I did not know any real life vegans. Especially not in Germany.
I did make quite a few friends from other blogs or in vegan online forums. Most of them lived abroad. That was very exiting to me. Back in school I had a lot of pen pals from all over the world. And now it was even easier to connect with like-minded people. It was also great to know there were people with the same problems and the same questions. I got advice for all things vegan and many baking and cooking tips, too.
Seitan is my Motor started to grow. I found my passion for vegan baking and for photography. Also, I was determined to turn every treat I knew into a vegan version. I loved to experiment with new baking and cooking techniques and with new ingredients. It was so much fun to come up with new recipes week after week, year after year and to share my love for vegan food with other people. (You can read more about my recipes on my about-page.
Then fellow bloggers started to turn their blog recipes into cookbooks. After that some monetized their blogs. At that point I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I wasn’t on board with making money from blogging. Especially since I was still pursuing my PhD in German Literature Studies. And because I always thought blogging wasn’t a real job. Well, it turned out that German Literature Studies wasn’t a real job, at least not for me. I finished my degree, took a year of parental leave and then started to search for a job.
While I was writing my thesis this vegan baking blog always was a great diversion for me. It was a way to be creative, to do things my way and to connect with other people. But then blogging became a job for many people, they made a living from it. I wasn’t really sure what to think of that. Back then I thought it was kind of dishonest, especially in this tiny vegan food niche. Which of course turned into a huge trend along the line.
I neglected my blog and then came back to it a couple of times. I never really made my mind up. There was lots of private stuff going on. In 2011 my daughter was born and I raised her together with my husband (I call him that although we are not married). I looked for a job, I found a job, I hated it. I found a similar job and hated it too. After two really not so nice years I ended up in a completely different sector: Organic food. I now work for a consumer cooperative. We sell organic groceries, produce, and non-food. We’re like a regular health food store (or eco- grocer) with members instead of customers. These members pay a monthly fee to get their purchases for a discount price and they can participate in decision making.
I got really caught up in work and family and just life. Also, a little more than a year ago, I messed up this blog pretty badly by installing a new plugin.
This discouraged me quite a bit. There was so much content that I had lost. And I had no energy to restore it. (I am at peace with it now.) From that moment on, I spent most of my time on Instagram, thinking I wouldn’t have to spend so much time on there. What I mean by that is that I thought I only had to take pictures for Instagram. Not write down a whole post in two languages, type a recipe into a recipe plug twice, edit the post etc.
But after trying again and again I was just spinning my wheels on IG. I wasn’t really able to connect with people. That’s not their fault though. It’s me not being cut out for the format. It’s too fast and there is just way too much content. I don’t think I ever appreciated the content I found there enough. I think Instagram is hard. It seems too superficial to me. I often feel overwhelmed. Everything gets lost in the maelstrom. And we do, too. But that’s not how it has to be, right? I just needed to dust off my blog for good again and I am back to doing what I really like.
Also, there’s another thing why I am back on this site. Even though I work full-time and my kid is in second grade, or maybe because of it, I need something else. I want something for myself again. Something where I can do whatever I want the way I want it to. And I remembered that I don’t have to get annoyed by Instagram because it just doesn’t work for me. I don’t have to play be the rules. Instead, I can make my own rules.
I am back to blogging because I think I have something great here. Some of you have been reading this little site from the start. You witnessed all the ups and downs, you endured my absenses, my false promises to come back. You didn’t even complain when I sent you those 100 emails all at once. (For those who don’t know the story, read the post I linked above.) Finally I realised that I have a great community right here in my little corner of the internet.
I want you to know that I am very grateful for everyone who comes here to read my posts, make s my recipes, follows me on Social Media, shares my recipes, or recommends my site to their friends. I want to thank those of you who did send me copies of the recipes I had lost. You told me how important these were to you, how often you had made them, how your familiy liked them and all those things. I want you to know that the emails you sent me, always made my day. They also left me stunned because I couldn’t believe that my recipes really meant something to you.
So, here I am. Adding another recipe to this blog that has been here for 13 years. It’s a very summery recipe, celebrating the light colours of summer and the flavours of freshly made lemonade that you might sip on a hot evening. It’s a bit easier to make than my classic tiramisu recipe. I got a couple of emails asking me how to replace chickpea flour in my sponge cake recipe. This sponge has no chickpea flour. It’s a bit denser than usual, but that doesn’t really matter because the sponge gets soaked in liquid.
If you make this lemon tiramisù leave a comment below. This is very helpful to other readers. And please share your photos with me on Instagram, tag @seitanismymotor and #seitanismymotor. I love seeing your pictures and comments!
Vegan Lemon Tiramisù
For the cake
- 150 g boiling water (⅔ cup)
- 150 g sugar (¾ cup)
- 4 tbsp neutral vegetable oil
- 125 g all-purpose flour (1 cup)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 50 g cornstarch (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp)
For the filling
- 200 g cashews, raw (1 ¾ cup)
- 625 g soy yoghurt (2¾ cups)
- 100 g powdered sugar (¾ cup plus 1 tbsp)
- 4 tbsp elderflower syrup, or 50 g powdered sugar (⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 110 g coconut oil, refined
- 110 ml lemon juice (⅓ cup + 2 tbsp) (juice from three medium lemons)
- 2 tbsp elderflower syrup (cordial) or 1 tbsp sugar
- 1-2 tbsp grappa, optional
- The night before, soak your cashews in fresh water and set aside.
- The next day drain the cashews and place in a blender.
- Add remaining ingredients for the filling and purée until very smooth.
- Place in the fridge.
- Line two small baking pans (13 x 12 cm) or one larger pan (28 x 18) with parchment paper or grease them very well.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C
- In a bowl, combine sugar and boiling water to dissolve.
- Add oil and whisk well.
- Stir in flour, baking powder, and starch.
- Pour batter into pans and bake for 15-20 minutes. (Or 10-15 minutes, if you chose a single large pan.)
- Please watch the batter carefully, it tends to burn easily.
- Make sure the sponge is properly baked by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the pans. (It should come out clean.)
- Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pans and let cool on a rack.
- Cut the sponge into two layers and place one layer on the bottom of each pan you just used for baking.
- Mix lemon juice, elderflower syrup, and grappa and and pour 3-4 tbsp on top of each layer. Make sure not to drown the sponge in liquid.
- Remove the filling from the fridge and pour a quarter into each pan.
- Place the remaining sponges on top, add another 3-4 tablespoons of soaking liquid and top with the remaining filling.
- Cover the pans and let the tiramisú sit in the fridge over night. That way the filling gets all firm and creamy.