Tiramisu (translated as 'lift me up' in Italian) is one of my all-time favourite desserts, and this is a pretty traditional version with layers of creamy mascarpone alternating with coffee and liqueur-soaked Savoiradi biscuits (otherwise known as Lady's fingers) topped with whipped cream, and in this case a dusting of cocoa powder and a sprinkling of hazelnut praline. I made a massive bowl of this for a recent dinner party, thinking I had probably over-catered....umm, we practically licked the bowl clean.

4 eggs separated
200g caster sugar
250g mascarpone
100g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups very strong coffee

150ml Frangelico (or other liqueur)
350g Savoiardi biscuts

2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp water
1 cup hazelnuts

300ml whipped cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 2 tbsp Frangelico (or other liqueur) 

2 tbsp dark cocoa powder

Have plenty of bowls at the ready (3!) Beat egg yolks with 150g of the sugar until really pale and frothy - it will take about 5 minutes. Whisk in mascarpone and cream cheese (if your cream cheese is firm, microwave it for 15 seconds to soften before adding - you don't want hard cheesey lumps) until its is a soft, thick, custardy texture. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites with the remaining sugar, until they form soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture, until you have a thick smooth 'custard'. In another bowl mix the strong coffee with the Frangelico. You can use either one large serving bowl, or 8 individual bowls. 

Start by dunking your Savoiardi biscuits in the coffee mixture and laying in the base of your dish, completely covering the bottom - ideally using about a third of your biscuits. Make the dunk long enough to completely soak the biscuit, but not so long that it is soakey and crumbly before it gets to the dish. Spoon over one third of the mascarpone 'custard', spread evenly, and repeat the layering process twice finishing with a mascarpone layer. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 6 hours but hopefully over night. Half an hour before serving top with cream softly whipped with icing sugar and vanilla or Frangelico, dust with cocoa and sprinkle over praline. Serves 8.

Hazelnut Praline:
Preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F) and put hazelnuts on a baking tray. Put a square of baking paper on a baking dish ready for praline. Bake hazelnuts for 10 minutes until fragrant and colored. Remove from the oven and rub the hazelnuts between a folded tea-towel to remove the bitter skins (as much as possible). Heat the sugar and water together in a medium size, heavy based saucepan. Cook over medium heat without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and caramelised, turning a rich golden colour. The amount of time varies but can be more than 5 minutes. Keep an eagle eye on the caramel so that you don't miss the magical point between golden and rich, and black and bitter. As soon as you have a golden amber liquid tip in the hazelnuts and coat in caramel. Quickly pour onto the baking paper and leave to set. Caution: do not put your fingers any where near the caramel, it is viciously hot! Once praline is cold you can whizz it in a blender or smash it into chunks with the end of a rolling pin - up to you whether you like your praline chunky or fine!


  1. Seems soooo yummy! Very nice pictures, love that!

  2. Hi la fille eclectique - thanks so much for your lovely message - merci! :)

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  5. Quick question, do you add the whisked whites with sugar to the mascarpone mixture?!
    Surely you do, right?! :)

    1. D'oh - thank you for spotting my error Leonor! Yes you absolutely do, and I have just amended the recipe. Thanks again, and do give it a try, it is delicious! :)

  6. is there any ways you can make Savoiardi biscuts by yourself? or use sponge cake to replace it? =))

    1. Hi Angela - I'm sure you could use home made Savoiardi biscuits but I'm afraid I don't have a recipe for them - but sponge would also be perfect :)

  7. Hi! Just wondering if the 1.5 cups of strong coffee is just boiling water and instant coffee (how much?) or 1.5 cups of espresso?

    1. Hi Pauline I used strong espresso, but water and instant would be fine - I haven't tied it but would guess about 2 tablespoons of instant coffee with 1 1/2 cups boiling water :)