Recipes: Protein-Rich Gingerbread Tiramisu + Chocolate Ganache...

Hello, guilt-free recipe! ALOHA (my favorite purveyor of all-things-healthy) has a fairly impressive collection of yummy recipes. This one keeps grabbing my attention, as I am a huge Tiramisu fan. Longtime readers will note that I don't tend to be drawn to sugary foods in general. However, when it comes to this specific Italian espresso-laced dessert I do have a difficult time saying no on one stipulation: it must be made with top quality ingredients. 

ALOHA's version passes my sweet snobbery test and kicks it up a notch by ramping up the protein content and turning this traditional treat into a festive affair by way of zesty gingerbread. Win-win-yummified win!

Ready for the low down on making this fanciful (and fabulous looking, if those Pinterest-worthy pix are to be believed) recipe? Here goes... 



2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 egg

1/2 cup molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup white whole-wheat flour

1 packet ALOHA Premium Protein Vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup eggnog or canned coconut milk

Ginger Coffee Syrup

2 cups black coffee

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons Kahlua
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated


16 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons ALOHA Premium Protein Vanilla

2 tablespoons Kahlua

1 cup heavy cream, divided

4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate

1/2 cup canned coconut milk or heavy cream

1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch square or round cake pan with coconut oil or cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper and coat once more in cooking spray.

Add coconut oil and brown sugar to a bowl. Beat on high with a hand or stand mixer until smooth. Mix in the egg, molasses and vanilla; continue to mix on high until light and fluffy.

Add in whole-wheat flour, vanilla protein powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.

Pour in the eggnog or coconut milk. Mix until ingredients are fully incorporated and mixture is smooth.

Pour cake batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is slightly crackled.  

While the cake is baking, make the syrup. Combine the coffee, brown sugar and ginger. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and then simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the syrup is reduced by half. Remove from the heat and stir in the Kahlua.

Once the cake is cooled slightly, poke holes all over using a fork. Drizzle the coffee syrup over the cake. I only used about 2/3 of the coffee syrup. Use a little or as much as you’d like. Allow the cake to sit at least 20 minutes or cover and refrigerate overnight.

To assemble the tiramisu, combine the mascarpone, powdered sugar, vanilla protein powder, kahlua and vanilla in a large bowl, beat with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, about one minute.

Add the heavy cream to a separate bowl and beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture, set aside.

To make the ganache, in a microwave safe bowl add the chocolate and coconut milk (or heavy cream). Microwave on high for 30 second intervals, stirring between each until melted. Once melted stir in the vanilla extract.

To assemble add a layer of crumbled gingerbread to the bottom of your serving glasses. Spread a layer of the mascarpone mixture over the gingerbread and then a layer of the ganache. Sprinkle on some chopped chocolate if desired. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients have been used (I got three layers for an 8 ounce glass). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Garnish each individual tiramisu with a dollop of coconut whipped cream and a gingerbread cookie if desired. Serve!

{Recipe credit goes to Half-Baked Harvest. For this and other amazing healthy lifestyle ideas, visit ALOHA.}