This amazing dessert is much greater than the sum of its parts! Making the Tiramisu in advance and then leaving it for a little while in the fridge allows the creamy flavours to infuse and creates a delicious result.

Preparation time: 20 minutesRefrigeration time: 3 to 24 hours
Difficulty: ModerateServes: 10


  • 300g/10.5oz/3 cups of savoiardi or sponge biscuits
  • 500g/17.5oz/2 cups of mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons of Marsala wine
  • 2 tsp of coffee granules
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g/3.5oz/1/2 cup of sugar
  • Cocoa powder

Special Equipment

  • Four mixing bowls
  • An electric whisk
  • A serving dish
  • A sieve


  1. Pour the coffee granules into a mixing bowl along with 300ml of boiling water and stir them together.
  2. Add the mascarpone to a separate bowl and whisk it for a few seconds, until it’s smooth and there are no lumps. Then pour in the marsala and whip it with the mascarpone for a few seconds more.
  3. Add the egg yolks and sugar to separate bowl and whip them for about 3 minutes, or until pale and thick.
  4. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the mascarpone. Fold it in with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  5. Pour the egg whites into a very clean mixing bowl. Clean the whisk thoroughly, then whisk the egg whites for a few minutes, until they form stiff peaks. 
  6. Pour the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture, and very gently fold them in with the spatula or wooden spoon.  
  7. Dip half of the savoiardi bicuits in the coffee, only for a second each, and then use them to line the base of the serving dish. Pour half of the mascarpone mix over the biscuits, and smooth it down with a spoon. Sieve a few teaspoons of cocoa powder on top. 
  8. Repeat the process- dip the rest of the biscuits in the coffee, pour over and the remainder of the mascarpone mixture, smooth it down, and sieve a final layer of cocoa powder on top.
  9. Put the Tiramisu in the fridge and leave it for a few hours until it’s time to eat.
  10. Buon Appetito!


  • Make sure the bowl you use to whip the egg whites in is made of glass, copper or porcelain- not plastic- and that the bowl has been washed very thoroughly. This will ensure that the egg whites aren’t tainted with traces of grease, which can cause them to collapse.
  • When it’s time to mix the creams and custards together, fold the egg whites into the mascarpone gently using a large spatula, so they don’t collapse.
  • Make the Tiramisu a few hours before you serve it so that the flavours have a chance to infuse. You can make it up to 24 hours in advance.
  • You only need to dip each savoiardi into the coffee for a second- they’re absorbent, and if they’re dipped for much longer they’ll become too soggy.


Pronunciation: /ˌtɪɹəmɪˈsuː/ (ti-ruh-muh-soo)

Origin: Italy (Veneto)
Relatives: Tiremesu, Zuppa Inglese (North East Italy), Trifle (England), Charlotte (France)


Tiramisu made its popular debut in the 1960s. That’s when it first appeared on the dessert menu at Le Beccherie, a restaurant in Treviso, a town near Venice in Veneto, north-east Italy. The recipe for Tiramisu is attributed to the confectioner Roberto Linguanotto, who owned Le Beccherie, and also to Carminantonio Iannaccone, a local baker who supplied the restaurant. The dish was a great success and became popular throughout Veneto as well as in the neighboring region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. It made an appearance in Giovanni Capnist’s I Dolci del Veneto in 1983, and subsequently achieved international success.

But while Tiramisu didn’t appear in restaurants, cookbooks, or on the international culinary scene before the 1960s, it predated them nonetheless. Many of Veneto’s elderly residents already had their own Tiramisu recipe, handed down from their parents or grandparents. Some suggest that Tiramisu was created in Sienna in the late 1600s, for Cosimo III de Medici, the Duke of Tuscany. Others that it inspired, or was inspired by, the ‘Tiremesu’ dessert of the neighboring Friuli Venezia Giulia region, and the Zuppa Inglese of Emilia-Romagna. Like Tiramisu, Zuppa Inglese shares some similarities with the English Trifle, which the Zuppa’s creators may have experienced when travelling to the Elizabethan court.

Trifle, Zuppa Inglese and Tiramisu all consist of layers of custard and sponge fingers, but Trifle is layered with English Custard, while Tiramisu and Zuppa Inglese are layered with custards like Zabaglione or Veneto’s Sbatudin. In Veneto, Sbatudin is jokingly referred to a an invigorating food for newlyweds. Indeed, long before Tiramisu was a respectable dessert, it was purportedly served in Treviso’s brothels because it was considered to be an aphrodisiac- hence the name ‘Tiramisu’, which means ‘pick me up’ in the Treviso dialect.

Once a local Venetian dish, possibly of somewhat ill repute, Tiramisu is now famous worldwide. It’s still very much beloved in Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, and is formally considered a traditional recipe of the region by Italy’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

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