Tiramisu pots

Polpo's simple tiramisu recipe with rum is coffee-rich but still light and airy. Serve this Italian favourite as an impressive dessert
Tiramisu pots
  • Rating:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 8 hours to set
  • Effort: easy


  • 360 ml very strong coffee, warm, or 6 double espressos
  • 4 tbsp dark rum
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 6 free-range medium eggs, separated
  • 120 ml marsala
  • 500 g mascarpone
  • 24 sponge fingers
  • cocoa powder, for dusting

Tips and Suggestions

Italian sponge fingers are crisp, light and long. You may find them labelled as Savoiardi sponge fingers in the supermarket.


1. Combine the coffee with the rum and 50g of the sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and set aside.

2. Separate the eggs and reserve the yolks in a large bowl. In another clean bowl, whisk the whites until they are stiff.

3. Add the remaining sugar and marsala to the yolks. Whisk until pale and fluffy, then add the mascarpone and gently stir it in. Fold the whisked whites into the yolk mixture.

4. Using 2 sponge fingers per glass, dip each one in the coffee mixture, letting it absorb enough of liquid to wet the whole finger without it breaking. Place half a finger at the bottom of a small glass tumbler (150ml).

5. Spoon over a tablespoon of the mascarpone cream, then add the other half sponge finger and add another tablespoon of mascarpone cream. Sprinkle over a little cocoa powder and take another soaked sponge finger, break it in two and lay both halves on top, covering with a little more of the cream. Repeat for all 12 glasses. Cover and place in the fridge for no fewer than 8 hours, or until properly set.

5. Liberally dust the top of the pots with cocoa powder to serve.

Apdapted from Polpo by Russel Norman (Bloomsbury)

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