Tiramisu, to me, is one of those desserts that you can have anytime, throughout the whole year. It’s a bit of a contradiction in itself- the alcohol in it is warming during the colder months and the chilled mascarpone is refreshing during the warmer months. I, for one, am in love with the combination of chocolate, coffee and light and airy mascarpone. Before I started baking, I always felt that tiramisu would be really hard to make, and admired anyone who could make one. Little did I know how easy it actually is!

I tried many different recipes before deciding that this one was my favourite, but I can’t remember its origin! One thing I learnt (from Soy) is that the alcohol you use for your tiramisu is really quite important in building its flavour. I’m actually quite liberal in the amount of alcohol I use, but trust me, it goes a long way. Once it infuses for a few days, the tiramisu is just divine! Here are the usual suspects: Kahlua, Cointreau and a tiramisu liquer from Flaschengeist we got as a gift. I only started using the tiramisu liquer last year, but it basically tastes like the Kahlua-Cointreau combination, just a little sweeter.

Assembling the tiramisu is always fun. And it took me a couple of tries before knowing how long to soak the savioardi fingers in the coffee and liquer mixture for. It really is a matter of seconds. Too long and I got crumbled fingers, too quick and my sponge fingers tended to be a bit too dry in the completed tiramisu. I also add grated dark chocolate between the layers for more chocolatey flavour.

Tiramisu is actually great for beginning bakers cos there is no actual baking to be done, and there is little room for error. And assembling the layers is quite a fun job! I love this recipe for its light and airy yet creamy mascarpone layers and the coffee and liquer spiked sponge. The flavour really does develop and get better over time, so you will have to exercise all self-restraint and leave your tiramisu to chill in the fridge overnight before eating.


makes 2 medium glass rectangle dishes’ worth

2 cups strong black coffee, at room temperature

1/2 cup Kahlua

1/4 cup Cointreau (or any other liquer you would like, to taste)

3 eggs, separated

1/3 cup caster sugar

250g mascarpone

300ml cream, lightly whipped

1 large packet savioardi biscuits

cocoa for dusting

chocolate for grating

Pour coffee and liquers into a shallow dish and set aside.

Beat egg yolks and sugar until very pale and thick (about 10 min). Add mascarpone and whipped cream, mixing gently until just combined.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into mascarpone mixture.

Dip biscuits into coffee and liquer and line the bottom of a glass dish (or you can make individual serves). Cover the biscuits with 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture. Grate chocolate over the top of the mascarpone. Continue with layers of coffee-dipped biscuits, mascarpone and grated chocolate, ending with a layer of mascarpone. Cover and keep overnight (or at least 2 hrs) in the fridge for the flavours to develop.

Serve thick slices grated with chocolate and dusted with cocoa powder.

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  • Lollcakes

    Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts Honey! Have you tried Frangelico as the alcohol? It gives a wonderful nutty flavour to the dessert. Hope your new job is going well! :) x

  • Niklas

    Absolutely lovely recipe and photos! I wonder if you would know if one can buy essence and make an alcohol free version of this divine creation?

  • http://www.michelle-chin.com Michelle Chin

    My sister makes really good tiramisu. She does not use cream though… This recipe is slightly different.

  • http://www.figjamandlimecordial.com celia

    Oooh, that looks delicious! You’re right about the sponge fingers – I always end up with dissolved goo…

  • http://twitter.com/wayfaringchoc Hannah Terry-Whyte

    I love the idea of tiramisu, but I’ve almost never eaten it (dairy and gluten allergies in the family, and I myself am not hugely into alcoholic desserts). I love the gorgeousness of the individual servings :)

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never used cointreau in tirramisu before, just kalua and marsarla. My hubby loves cointreau though, so I’ll have to give it a go.

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    You know, I think any combination of alcohol will work for tiramisu. The Cointreau gives it a hint of citrusy flavour, tat actually goes really well with the Kahlua!

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Not into alcoholic desserts?!!! ;) I have a friend with a gluten allergy and I actually packed her a little container of the mascarpone mixture and grated chocolate over it. She loved it!!!

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Yes, there are SOOO many recipes out there, but I found this to be my favourite for some reason. I’m usually not a huge fan of cream, but I found that the cream just lifts the texture and makes the mascarpone a bit lighter.

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Thank you Niklas! I don’t know if you remember, but I made this last year and from memory, you really like it (and had a 2nd serve) Not sure about alcohol substitutes, I think even if you leave the alcohol out it should work. I just read that orange liquer can be substituted with frozen orange concentrate (for the Cointreau)

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Hi Loll!! Hmm haven’t tried Frangelico yet, but we do have a bottle, so I must try it next time!! Thank you! And 3rd week into my job, I’m loving it! Thank you for asking… I think I’m really lucky to be doing something I love :)

  • honey

    Hahahahaha dissolved goo?!!! Haha!

  • Anonymous

    Tiramisu is one of those awesome desserts: chocolate, cream, alcohol, coffee and biscuits in any combination works deliciously well! Your photos are so tempting by the way! Mmm, creamy…

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    It’s such a crowd pleaser isn’t it! Cointreau is a new one for me in tiramisu why not? :D

  • http://anediblemosaic.com Faith

    I’ve never made my own tiramisu but I would love to! Your version sounds amazing, love the Cointreau in there!

  • http://grabyourfork.blogspot.com Helen (grabyourfork)

    Would you believe I was just thinking about tiramisu this morning. And craving it! I love the bottle that holds the tiramisu liquer – so pretty!

  • http://almostbourdain.blogspot.com Ellie

    Totally agreed with you that liquid is crucial making a good tiramisu! Love the glass :)

  • http://www.jenius.com.au jenius

    I can’t believe I’ve never made tiramisu before! You make it sound so easy, I might just give it a go at the kitchen tea I am hosting next weekend ;)

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Thanks Emma! Yes it is a really good combination of simple but yummy ingredients and so easy to make!

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Hmm it does seem to be a new one for many people… I’m thinking and Soy definitely was the one who told me to put it in the first time ;) She’s pretty clever!

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    It’s really easy, Faith! Hope you do try it and tell us all about it ;)

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    It is SO easy, Jen! Oh do try it and let me know what you think!

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Hahaha oh dear this probably pushed your craving over the edge? Did you go out and buy ingredients to make it?

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Thanks Ellie! I normally make a huge one in a Pyrex dish but I thought it wouldn’t look very attractive plated up, being a big glop. But it’s the best way to eat it- a huge mouthful of all the gooey creamy boozy layers ;)

  • http://www.moodfoodblog.com Joudie’s Mood Food

    Your tiramisu looks soo good. For me this is one of the best desserts and i love the portion control by putting them in cups. i would still have about 3 of them….. Lovely!

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Hahahaha! I didn’t do them intentionally as portion control, but you’re right, I don’t think it would work very well ;)

  • Amy

    hmm will this cake have a coffee flavor? I’m scare that my siblings wouldn’t like coffee flavor… therefore, i want to know if the coffee would make the lady finger bitter? And would adding caramel to this cake be a good idea?

  • Amy

    where can i buy the lady fingers and mascarpone cheese? If i cant find it, what should i substitute lady finger with?