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Tiramisu is a cool, refreshing classic Italian dessert literally meaning 'pick me up'. It is a very light, mocha flavored, whipped cream concoction with sheets of sponge cake soaked in strong coffee having a tantalizing hint of liquer.

Vegetarian Italian Cooking

Change Number of Servings To:

Serves: 4 
Cooking time (approx.):  minutes
Style: Italian Vegetarian

2  50 grams / 2 oz plain dark chocolate
½  300 grams / 12 oz mascarpone cheese
4  300 ml / 1/2 pint double cream whipped till soft
1  150 ml / 1/4 pint black cofee chilled
2  40 grams / 1/2 oz sugar
4  tablespoon(s) kahlua liquer or rum
24  sponge finger biscuits
4  tablespoon(s) chocolate curls or grated chocolate
cocoa powder for dusting
assorted berries to serve

  1. Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl holding it over a pan of simmering water stirring occasionally. Let it cool a bit. In a bowl, mix the mascarpone cheese, double cream and the melted and slightly cooled dark chocolate.
  2. Mix the coffee and sugar well. Mix in the kahlua or rum. Dip the sponge finger biscuits into the coffee-kahlua mixture very briefly till they just about absorb the liquid but do not get soggy.
  3. Place 3 sponge finger biscuits on an individual serving plate. Spoon a layer of the chocolate-mascarpone mixture over them. Place 3 more sponge finger biscuits over the mixture and spoon another layer of the chocolate-mascarpone mixture over them. Prepare the tiramisu likewise in the rest of the individual plates using up all the sponge finger biscuits and the chocolate mascarpone mixture. Drizzle the remaining coffee mixture if any over the tiramisu. Cover with cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. Sprinkle the chocolate curls on top. Dust with cocoa powder and serve.


  • An alternative way to prepare the tiramisu is to set all of it in a loaf tin (arranging alternate layers of chocolate-mascarpone mixture and sponge finger biscuits. Start with a layer of chocolate-mascarpone mixture at the base and finish with a layer of sponge finger biscuits) instead of in individual plates and let it chill. At serving time, Carefully turn the chilled tiramisu out onto a serving plate and sprinkle the chocolate curls over it. Dust with cocoa powder and serve sliced.
  • Rum or brandy can be used if preferred in place of kahlua.
  • For frozen tiramisu, freeze it for 2-3 hours.
  • Frozen tiramisu should be served immediately since it tends to defrost and melt.

Serve chilled with: assorted berries

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