This recipe goes way back to when my sister, Bel, was in high school and she wanted to cook something Italian for a Home Economics project. She stumbled upon this gem (no idea where!) and it has become well-loved by my family ever since. It's not a typical tiramisu - it has no fancy liqueur or marscapone. Instead it has a rich lemon cream cheese filling which marries surprisingly well with the coffee and cocoa flavours.
25 sponge fingers (aka lady fingers or savioardi biscuits)
8 tbsn cold black sweet coffee
4 egg yolks
½ cup castor sugar
3 drops vanilla essence
½ grated lemon rind
350g cream cheese
2 tspn lemon juice
250ml single cream
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp icing sugar
- Arrange ½ sponge fingers in an even layer on the bottom of a dish and spoon ½ coffee over.
- Put egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and lemon rind in a heat proof bowl. Stand the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (or use a double boiler) and whisk until very thick and creamy. This is a good arm workout as it takes about 10-12 minutes.
- Beat cream cheese and lemon juice in bowl until smooth.
- Combine egg and cream cheese mix and stir until evenly combined.
- Spread ½ mix evenly over sponge fingers.
- Add another layer of sponge fingers and sprinkle with remaining coffee.
- Cover with remaining cream cheese mix and chill in the fridge for an hour.
- Whip the cream until stiff and spread over dessert.
- Sift an even layer of cocoa and a light layer of icing sugar over the top. Stand back and admire your work!