Cheat's tiramisu

Often recipes include Italian meringue, sabayon or some other way of including eggs – this is just simpler.


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300ml double cream, whipped until soft peaks.

250g mascarpone.

6 tablespoons Amaretto.

1 tablespoon icing sugar, sifted.

3 cups very strong coffee, cooled.

1 packet of Savoiardi (sponge lady finger biscuits)

1 tablespoon cocoa powder to dust.


Whip the cream.

Add 3 tablespoons of the liqueur to the mascarpone and whip until soft.

Fold the cream and mascarpone together, adding a little icing sugar to taste.

Mix the remainder of the liqueur in to the coffee.

Place some small blobs of cream on a rectangular dish or tray to keep the sponge fingers in place.

Dip each sponge finger in to the coffee mix for only a couple of seconds each side.

Lay on the tray – lined up like soldiers close together. Gently add a layer of the cream mix. Add another layer of cream and one of sponge fingers. Repeat and then add a final layer of the cream mix.

Dust with the cocoa powder.

Chill before serving (about an hour for the fingers to soften further)

My Tips:

Taste the coffee and liqueur mix on a spare biscuit – alone, it will be quite strong and sharp but it mellows with the biscuit and more with the cream. Don’t get the fingers too wet or they will dissolve in to a soggy mess.

Worth having a spare packet of the fingers in case you can make more – it all rather depends on how much of the coffee mix they absorb and how thickly or thinly you spread the cream.

You can use different liqueurs: Tia Maria or Kahlua; dark rum; even an orange liqueur and replace the cocoa powder with orange zest.

For the more authentic version, you don’t need the icing sugar but 3 tablespoons of caster sugar plus 2 eggs separated. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together for several minutes until thick. Fold in to the mascarpone, cream and liqueur mix. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and then fold in to the mascarpone and cream mix. Continue as above.

I prefer to weigh liquids so for the strong coffee, I used 12g of instant coffee dissolved in 430g boiling water (about 6 heaped teaspoonfuls in one and a half good-sized mugs)

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© 2024 - Penny Melville-Brown
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