3 July 2015

2.05 Tiramisu – Low-Fuss – Baking & Desserts

I have marked this recipe as ‘Low-Fuss’, and this may strike some of you as odd. For some reason, people tend to think of Tiramisu as something fiddly or difficult, but if you aren’t baking your own sponge fingers or using raw eggs anywhere, then it’s really not much effort at all. Especially when you cheat a bit!

It’s actually so lazy that my mother’s side of the family may disown me altogether. Or praise me for my creativity. You can never tell, Italians can be pretty unpredictable.

There is some piping involved, however, and some of you may consider that “fussy” (but it really isn’t).

Sponge finger biscuits (Savioardi)
500g mascarpone cheese
1 cup boiling water
1 cup thick vanilla custard
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup coffee liqueur
2 tbsp instant espresso coffee granules
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste/extract/essence
Chocolate shavings (to serve)

The number of sponge fingers really depends on the size of your serving platter, for this is a freestanding Tiramisu. Usually about 20 should be enough.

You can use whatever coffee liqueur you prefer. I have tried this with Kahlua, Tia Maria, Galliano Ristretto, and even Baileys and Frangelico is fine for a twist now and then.

If you don’t want the coffee flavour to be too strong, then use normal instant coffee instead of espresso. I also don’t think there’s an issue if you use decaf instant coffee.

If you already know how to get chocolate shavings, then that’s great. Otherwise, you may get some advice in the video recipe. Or, just grate some chocolate or smash up a few Flake bars. (That’s right Cadbury, I just advertised for you! Now, where’s my money?)


1. In a bowl, stir together the instant coffee, caster sugar, coffee liqueur and boiling water, then place aside to cool until ready to assemble the Tiramisu (at least 10-15 minutes).

2. In another bowl, mix together the mascarpone, custard, vanilla and icing sugar until combined, then beat with an electric mixer until thick. (Try not to overmix or the mascarpone will curdle, and that is extremely difficult to recover from.)

3. Transfer mascarpone mixture to a piping bag.

4. Pipe two parallel lines of the mascarpone mixture along the centre of your serving plate.

5. Take a sponge finger and completely submerge in the coffee mixture for 3-4 seconds, then shake off any excess. (You do not want it to get completely soggy at this point, and the more of the coffee each biscuit soaks up leaves less for the rest!)

6. Place the soaked sponge finger onto the platter so that it intersects the lines of mascarpone mixture. (And therefore, it will stay in place.)

7. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 until you have covered the lines of mascarpone.

8. Pipe some more of the mascarpone over the surface of the layer of sponge fingers in the same way as you piped it onto the platter, however this time you want to try to cover as much of the surface as possible. (5-6 lines should do it.)

9. Repeat Steps 5-8 as necessary.

10. Once you have used the last of the mascarpone, this will be the top layer. (You can try to make it look as pretty as you want, but it's not necessary.)

11. Scatter over the chocolate shavings. (This will hide anything that isn’t pretty. If you’re using Frangelico instead of coffee liqueur, some roasted crushed hazelnuts would be nice too.)

12. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the biscuits to soften further. (If you're strapped for time (or just can't control yourself), you can serve it after only 30 mins of refrigeration, but I would recommend you leave it overnight.)

I would usually do 2 layers of 10 biscuits. So, basically that’s 5-10 serves. Get it?

A video of this recipe is also available - https://youtu.be/u4JPJPTXZ5U.

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