Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Joe's Italian birthday dinner was finished off with this fluffy, creamy tiramisu. In Italian, tiramisu literally means "pick me up" which I think is a very fitting title because it's one of those desserts that just makes life seem a little bit better :-)

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
  1. Arrange ½ sponge fingers in an even layer on the bottom of a dish and spoon ½ coffee over.
  2. 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.
  3. Beat cream cheese and lemon juice in bowl until smooth.
  4. Combine egg and cream cheese mix and stir until evenly combined.
  5. Spread ½ mix evenly over sponge fingers.
  6. Add another layer of sponge fingers and sprinkle with remaining coffee.
  7. Cover with remaining cream cheese mix and chill in the fridge for an hour.
  8. Whip the cream until stiff and spread over dessert.
  9. Sift an even layer of cocoa and a light layer of icing sugar over the top. Stand back and admire your work!
Serves 6

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