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FOOD & DRINK / A-Z of Treats: Tiramisu

T is for Tiramisu in our alphabet of sweet treats, an Italian dessert which was the rage on 1980s restaurant sweet trolleys. This quick and easy version is from Nigel Slater's Real Fast Puddings (Michael Joseph pounds 9.99).


For 4 (or 2 greedy people)

20 sponge fingers from a packet

175ml /6fl oz espresso (or very strong) coffee

7 tablespoons Marsala wine

4 eggs

4 tablespoons sugar

450g /1lb Mascarpone cheese

30g /1 oz bitter chocolate grated or 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Break up the sponge fingers into short lengths and drop them into a shallow serving dish, then mix the coffee and the Marsala and pour it over the biscuits. Press them down into the liquid; they must soak it all up.

Separate the egg yolks in one large bowl, whites in another. Beat the egg yolks and the sugar with an electric whisk, then mix in the Mascarpone. Rinse the beaters, then whisk the egg whites till stiff. Scoop them into the Mascarpone and mix thoroughly with a metal spoon. Spoon the Mascarpone mixture over the softened sponge cakes. Spread reasonably flat, then grate over the chocolate or dust with cocoa powder.

Leave for as long as you can before serving. Even 10 minutes in the fridge will help.