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21 September 2009

Literally translated, this is a 'pick me up', as the sugar and espresso lift the spirits. This is Giancarlo's recipe and, instead of the more usual Marsala or brandy, he uses Vin Santo, the Tuscan fortified wine, writes Katie Caldesi

Italian dessert Tiramisu
Giancarlo's recipe for tiramisu

Chilling time

24 hours




  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 200ml double cream
  • 200ml espresso coffee, hot
  • 200ml Vin Santoor Marsala
  • 24 savoiardi (lady finger) biscuits
  • 50g good-quality plain chocolate (minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids), grated


Tiramisu freezes well, so it is worth making two at a time and freezing one. Remove from the freezer and leave it overnight in the fridge to thaw out before serving. I think tiramisu looks better in individual glasses than spooned out from a larger dish, but I leave that up to you. Since this uses raw eggs, buy the best quality and do not serve to the pregnant or elderly.

Serves 8–12 people

Enough for a 25 x 25cm serving dish or 8–12 individual glasses

  • Beat the egg yolks, sugar and mascarpone together until light and fluffy.
  • Whip the cream to soft peaks in one bowl and whisk the egg whites to soft peaks in another. Gently fold the cream, egg yolk mixture and egg whites together, incorporating as much air as possible.
  • Pour the espresso and Vin Santo into a large bowl, ready for dipping the biscuits.
  • Cover the base of a large dish or individual glasses with a 2cm layer of the cream, then a layer of biscuits that have been dipped quickly into the espresso and wine mixture. You must dip and layer the biscuits individually as you go, otherwise they become too soggy.
  • Continue to build up the layers of cream and biscuits, ending with a layer of cream. Chill in the fridge for 24 hours. Dust with grated chocolate to serve.

Taken from The Italian Cookery Course by Katie Caldesi, published by Kyle Cathie at £30.00.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.