Saturday, 27 February 2010


Tiramisu: this northern Italian dessert is quite possibly the world's most exquisite sweet treat. Being from southern Italy, our sweet foods are rarely creme based due to an historical dearth of dairy products available. However, Mum added tiramisu to her repertoire a number of years ago and it has long since become an oft-requested favourite for birthdays and other special occasions.

I've tasted amazing (in Venice) and not so good (at local cafés, mostly) tiramisu around the world over the years but never actually tried making it for myself. I suspect that some of the lesser-quality samples I have tasted were less than liberal with the marscapone, which is expensive but an essential component for this dish. I also know that it takes a swift hand to dip the ladyfingers quickly enough to not let them get soggy before adding them to the dish, and that there's a fine line between a liberal dose of alcohol and too much; we are, after all, aiming for dessert, not sloshy pudding. That's how it came to have its own entry in my 101 in 1001 project: #16 - Learn how to make tiramisu.

We are having my sweetie's family over for a barbeque tonight. The crayfish and pipis are defrosting as we speak and I am going to try and work out how to barbeque a chicken with half a can of beer up its butt (I didn't just make that up - we were given a contraption and a recipe to help us do this, and apparently it tastes great). So, armed with Mum's recipe, I had a go at making tiramisu for dessert.


  • 2 egg yolks 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 500 g marscapone cheese
  • 250 ml strong black coffee
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or kahlua
  • 24 lady sponge fingers
  • cocoa powder to sprinkle
  1. Gently mix egg yolks, sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl until a creamy consistency.
  2. Add cheese and fold to obtain a cream.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix coffee and brandy/kahlua together. Gently dip fingers into liquid one at a time.
  4. Layer biscuits, cream, biscuits, cream in a dish, ending with cream mixture on top.
  5. Sprinkle with cocoa and chill to set. Serves 6-8 people.


Kelly said...

Tiramisu is my absolute favourite dessert and I am lucky that a local cafe here in Hamilton, Momento, makes the most perfect version of it. It's absolute bliss.

Your version looks pretty damn yummy too = let us know how it tastes!

Sab said...

I've never had it, but it has often called me to try! I think I'd have to make it to have some, though, as I've never seen it served or sold in my area.

That looks delish... perhaps when I'm feeling bold I'll give it a go!

Amanda said...

Thank you so much for this recipe! I've been meaning to try making tiramisu for a long time now, and there are so many recipes out there. I trust your judgement, though! :) Can't wait to try.

Café Chick said...

Well, I can report that the tiramisu was absolutely delicious and turned out perfectly! I've learned not to get the munchies while I'm making it; I love dunking ladyfingers into my coffee (call it a throwback to my childhood) and sampled a few ... exactly the number I was short of in the end! Never mind, I can assure you that 'wonky' or lopsided tiramisu still tastes just as amazing.