Giorgio Locatelli's recipe for an irresistible Italian dessert - a creamy coffee and marsala-flavoured filling in a crisp biscuit base
By Giorgio Locatelli
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: plus chilling
  • Effort: hard


For the base:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 50 g flour
  • 50 g butter, melted
  • 8 sponge fingers
  • espresso coffee, for soaking
  • cocoa powder, to decorate

For the coffee sauce:

  • 300 ml milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp espresso coffee

For the tiramisu cream:

  • 2 eggs
  • few drops of marsala
  • 250 g mascarpone
  • 1 tbsp sugar


1. To make the base, beat together the egg whites and sugar until the sugar has dissolved, then fold in the flour. Carefully add the melted butter and beat until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes until set.

2. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 3.

3. Using the back of a metal spoon, spread four thin circles of the mixture onto a baking parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave plenty of space between the circles. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes until just golden.

4. Meanwhile, put the sponge fingers in a bowl and sprinkle with enough espresso coffee to soak. Turn the biscuits so they are evenly soaked. Refrigerate until needed.

5. Remove the base from the oven. Lift from the baking parchment with a palette knife, and while still soft, place on upturned glass tumblers or small bowls. Mould to form a basket. Leave to cool on the glasses.

6. Now make the coffee sauce. Heat the milk. Mix the egg yolks, sugar and coffee together. When the milk comes to the boil, remove from the heat and slowly stir in the egg yolk mixture. Return the pan to the heat and simmer very gently for 2 minutes over low heat. Do not let the mixture boil or the egg will overcook and scramble. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and leave to cool. Put in the fridge to chill.

7. Now make the tiramisu cream. Separate the egg whites and yolks. Put the yolks and sugar in a food processor or mixer, and whisk on medium speed for about 10 minutes until the mixture is almost white. Add a few drops of marsala wine.

8. Add the mascarpone and continue whisking until well mixed. Scrape into a bowl, cover with cling film and put in the fridge.

9. When ready to assemble the tiramisu, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then carefully fold in the mascarpone mix.

10. Spoon some of the tiramisu cream into one of the baskets. Add some crumbled soaked ladyfinger biscuits and then some more cream. Continue until the basket is full, making sure the final layer is the cream. Repeat with the remaining baskets.

11. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and serve at once.

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