Translated from Italian as “pick me up”, tiramisu is an incredibly simple and delicious dessert that never fails to impress.

When I say simple, I mean it – this is probably one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever done on Project Pastry because essentially there is no baking involved!

Yes, I could have baked the sponge fingers and plan to one day. But I wanted to show just how a bit of mixing and assembly can produce a tasty and striking dish.

But before feeling like a total cheat, it’s worth mentioning that the recipe does involve making a sabayon which is a classic dessert in its own right – egg yolks, alcohol and sugar whisked over a saucepan of simmering water until thickened.

This in itself can be served in a champagne glass with some fresh fruit.

Back to tiramisu, there are two main things debated in a recipe:

  • Egg whites vs cream – some people are uncomfortable with including raw egg whites in desserts, but I really think it provides some much needed lightness and airiness to the mix. However, I also like the richness of the cream, so have opted for the best of both worlds!!
  • Liqueur – Marsala is traditional, but not something that everyone has in their booze cupboard. I used Havana Club rum but halved the quantity because it’s a fair bit stronger. You can basically substitute for anything you like that goes well with coffee.

Either way, this is a throw together dish so just play around and find your preferred combination.


1 cup strong brewed coffee, sweetened with 2 tbsp sugar
½ cup dry Marsala wine (or ¼ cup rum)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp caster sugar
250g mascarpone cheese
2 tbsps dollop cream (optional)
20 Savoiardi Italian ladyfinger biscuits
1 tbsp grated chocolate (for garnish)

Mix together the coffee, half the marsala and vanilla extract in a shallow bowl.

Separately, combine the other half of the marsala with the egg yolks and caster sugar. Whisk over a saucepan of simmering water for 5 minutes or until tripled in size.

Leave the egg yolks to cool to room temperature, then stir in the mascarpone and dollop cream.

Whisk the egg whites until you have stiff peaks, then fold into the mascarpone mix.

Dunk the biscuits in the coffee mix, then lay out across the bottom of a 6 x 9 inch dish. Spread half the mascarpone mix over the top, then layer another set of coffee-dunked biscuits.

Finally, spread across the final half of mascarpone and grate dark chocolate to garnish.

Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.


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