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By: James Martin From: Deck Dates

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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.36 / 5 (306 votes)

Prep time:
20 min
Cook time:
10 min
Serves 4-6

James Martin's rich, classic, coffee-flavoured Italian dessert is a classy way to round off your dinner party


1. Slit the vanilla pod lengthways, if using, and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife.

2. In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar with the vanilla seeds or extract until thick and creamy using a hand-held electric or rotary whisk. The mixture is ready when a trail of foam forms as you lift up the beaters.

3. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Beat in the mascarpone, then fold in the whipped cream. Set aside.

4. Mix the coffee with the rum and liqueurs. Dunk the Italian biscuits or sponge fingers quickly into the coffee, making sure that they are completely immersed. If using sponge fingers, don't leave in the coffee for more than a second, or they will turn soggy. Arrange the biscuits or fingers in a layer in a serving bowl and top with half the mascarpone and cream mixture.

5. Repeat with another layer of dunked biscuits or fingers and the remaining mascarpone and cream mixture. Sift the cocoa powder over the top in an even layer. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.


  • 1 vanilla pod, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 250 g mascarpone
  • 250 ml double cream, lightly whipped
  • 350 ml strong fresh coffee, cooled
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 2 tbsp Kahlúa
  • 2 tbsp tia maria
  • about 300g sponge fingers, such as Savoiardi such as Savoiardi
  • 2–3 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted

Tips and suggestions

Saffron Risotto

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Latest Comment


MichalaD69983 MichalaD69983  Posted 19 Nov 2012 2:28 PM

Really lovely recipe and quite easy. I used Marsala and Rum and it was gorgeous

ChristineT36881 ChristineT36881  Posted 23 Mar 2012 1:56 PM

Omit the cream, real Italian tiramisu doesn't contain any cream. Beat the egg whites until stiff and mix into the yolk mixture. Then you have real tiramisu.

TamaraC67645 TamaraC67645  Posted 21 Apr 2011 1:11 AM

Really delicious dessertand so easy to make.......

TraceyC27471 TraceyC27471 Posted 17 Apr 2011 8:31 AM

This worked fab and a nice an easy recipe! i made a few changes that I found really affected my family loved it! instead of using sponge fingers i used a large madeira cake which i sliced into fingers and also used baileys and rum instead of the other alcohol.

SarahD8086 SarahD8086 Posted 20 Jan 2011 2:07 PM

this is so simple and very turned out like the real thing you buy. Perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!

markH12306 markH12306 Posted 14 Feb 2010 9:43 PM

Had it again and it was so yummy! So I thought it deserved 5 stars.

IeshaV50745 IeshaV50745 Posted 07 Sep 2009 10:29 AM

Had it again and it was so yummy! So I thought it deserved 5 stars.

IeshaV50745 IeshaV50745 Posted 07 Sep 2009 10:22 AM

My husband made this for me, following James Martin and it was very delicious!! A great treat!!

IeshaV50745 IeshaV50745 Posted 02 Sep 2009 5:24 PM

Best tiraamsu recipe yet!

NicolaO31343 NicolaO31343 Posted 15 Aug 2009 3:31 PM