Richard Holden's Classic Tiramisu

Richard Holden's Classic Tiramisu

Coffee, cream and booze makes a good tiramisu the triple threat of desserts. Italian food is the most romantic cuisine, and this dessert is ideal for coffee-loving couples on Valentine’s Day.

When heating eggs to make creams, meringues and custard, it’s important to use temperature as a guide to get the perfect texture. Richard uses several temperatures in this recipe to ensure the cream is beautifully smooth and light.


Serves 4
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 50ml marsala wine, could substitute with rum or coffee liqueur
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 250ml double cream
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 370ml cold strong coffee
  • 175g ladyfinger sponges
  • Dark chocolate and cocoa powder, to dust
  • Put the egg yolks and sugar in a glass bowl and create a bain-marie by setting over a pan of gently simmering water.
  • Whisk on low using an electric whisk until the mixture reaches 60°C.
  • Add the marsala wine, vanilla and 4 tbsp of the cold coffee and continue whisking on low until the mixture reaches 75°C. This will ensure the egg is cooked and safe.
  • Remove the bowl from the pan and continue to whisk until the mixture cools to 35°C, then leave to one side.
  • Place the mascarpone in a bowl and using a spatula, warm and soften it by mixing the mascarpone in the bowl for a minute. This will make it easier to incorporate the cream.
  • Whisk the double cream until the consistency thickens slightly but it still pours off the whisk. It will have the consistency of soft, runny ice cream.
  • Add the cooled marsala mixture to the mascarpone and begin to fold through. Add a quarter of the lightly whisked double cream and fold in.
  • Add a second quarter of the double cream before pouring this mixture back into the bowl you whisked the double cream in.
  • Fold through just enough for everything to be combined, then stop!
  • Prepare the serving glasses and pour the remaining cold coffee into a shallow dish.
  • Quickly dip the lady fingers in the cold coffee, being careful not to let them turn soggy.
  • Presentation is personal — you can do layers of coffee soaked fingers and cream with chocolate and cocoa, or simply soaked fingers in the bottom and a large spoonful of the boozy cream on top!
  • Grate over a heavy shower of chocolate followed by lots of cocoa powder.
  • Chill for 20 minutes or up to a day before.
  • Grab a little spoon and dig in!
Products to help you achieve perfection
"I'm all about cooking from scratch using the best quality ingredients. When you know exactly what's gone into your food you want to make sure it's cooked perfectly. With the speed and accuracy of a Thermapen you know this is spot on every time."
Richard Holden
Trained Chef & BBQ Specialist
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