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A cheater’s Tiramisu

December 22, 2008

Tiramisu seems like a bit of effort, and not particularly cheap when you consider the price of mascarpone these days. So I decided I’d make one basically out of all the stuff I already had in the fridge, without getting my hands all eggy (in fact, without any eggs at all), and shortcutting as much as possible while still using many thing from scratch (like the leftover sponge I’d made with 4 yolks leftover from that almond tart…heheh)

This should satisfy your tiramisu cravings without needing to run to the shops, and it’s pretty easy and cheap too. To make it extra appealing for your guests, make individual tiramisu in large wine glasses or any nice clear glasses.


Cheater’s tiramisu
makes one small glass bowlful with two sponge layers

Sponge, courtesy of Taste: (this is a less fluffy dry sponge due to the lack of egg whites but requires no butter. It works fabulously in tiramisu as it doesn’t just go soggy and disintegrate!)
Preheat oven to 180°C. Beat 4 egg yolks, ½ cup white sugar and 2 Tbsp water until light and frothy. Gently fold in ¾ cup self-raising flour (3/4 c flour + 1 tsp baking powder). Pour into greased 20cm/8″ cake tin (it won’t look like much, but will quadruple in size!). Bake for 19-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in tin for 10 minutes. Remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.
For optimum use for Tiramisu, use the next day. Try not to use the above method with store bought sponge cakes, as they are often too airy and will disintegrate – if you must buy sponge, get proper sponge fingers. Cut half the cake into 2cm thick slices and cut again to create 2″ long fingers. If using all the sponge (to make 4 layers), double the ingredients below.

250ml whipping cream (real stuff)
3-5Tbs sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
splash of Tia Maria or similar coffee liqueur (If you have Baileys, why not?)
6-9 squares dark chocolate or 2Tbs cocoa + 1 Tbs icing sugar if you’re a bittersweet fan
2-3 Tbs coffee (liquid), cold (optional – remember more liquid makes sponge prone to getting soggy, so if using a liquidy custard it’s best to skip this)

Whip cream and vanilla extract until thick and cream holds its shape well.* Fold in splash(es) of Tia Maria, then fold in sweetened condensed milk 1 Tbs at a time to achieve desired consistency (if you want the cream thick, only add a little condensed milk, for a more liquidy custard, add more condensed milk). Set aside.
Lay sponge fingers down in a glass bowl with flat bottom. Drizzle with 1 Tbs coffee. Pour over 1/2 the custard (or 1/4 if you’re doing 4 layers). Grate half the chocolate over the custard layer (or sprinkle mixed cocoa and icing sugar), making an even layer. Repeat layering. Refrigerate for about 2 hours before eating.

*Tip: Use a round bottomed bowl for whipping cream that has high sides, to prevent getting cream splatters everywhere.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 23, 2008 12:00 am

    What a fun site! Just came over from Tastespotting and wasn’t sure if there could really be a tiramisu out of pantry ingredients. Looks awesome! (And great photograph!)

  2. December 23, 2008 4:51 am

    wow! now this is what i call a real recipe (and a real foodblog). i can’t wait to try this one out. i’ve never attempted tiramisu before because all the recipes looked terrifying.

    and you’re from christchurch?? that’s awesome! one of my dreams is to move to nz, somewhere in the south island. i fell in love with the place when i went a couple of months ago.

    ps. i am soo linking you :)

  3. Zo permalink*
    December 23, 2008 4:55 am

    Thanks :D

    Jessie: I was just about to link to you as well actually, I am sooo making those truffle cookies!!!

  4. December 23, 2008 11:20 pm

    The past few times I’ve been on tastespotting and seen a beautiful picture that just drew me right in, I’ve ended up here. I love your site and I really love your tiramisu. I only wish I could concoct such treasures out of leftovers!

  5. November 23, 2010 3:32 am

    those thick and heavy borosilicate wine glasses are the best but they are very expensive ~`- ,-~

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