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Mascarpone is an Italian cheese made from cream that’s been coagulated with citric acid or lemon juice. This creamy cheese is used to thicken Italian rice dishes known as risottos

bar Tiramisu
or to create the indulgent Italian dessert known as tiramisu. Tiramisu quite literally means ‘pick me up’ or ‘lift me up’ and is a trifle-like layered pudding predominantly made with mascarpone, eggs, coffee, liqueur and ladyfinger sponges.

Picture by Manju Malhi

Serves 4

1 tbsp coffee extract or 1 tsp instant coffee granules
170g ricotta or mascarpone cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
150ml double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
12 sponge fingers
1 tsp cocoa powder, for sprinkling


Mix the coffee extract or coffee granules with 75ml of hot water.
Beat the cheese and vanilla extract with a whisk until smooth and blended well. Whisk the double cream until peaks form. Add the cream to the cheese mixture and combine with the icing sugar.
Line the bottom of dish with the sponge fingers and pour over the coffee.
Spoon a third of the cheese mixture on top of the fingers.
Repeat 3 more times, until all the mixture is used up, using the sponge fingers between each layer of cheese.
Dust with a little cocoa powder.
Let it cool in the refrigerator before eating.


(c) 2012

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