The “not quite” Tiramisu

Tiramisu, eh……I love the stuff. I’m however not prepared to make one that includes raw eggs (only because of my aversion – for no good reason – to raw eggs). I did a bit of Googling and there are many recipes for this lovely pudding, which avoid the whole eggy issue!

I inadvertently ended up improvising because I didn’t have Marsala and so I used Amaretto instead. I also could not find the sponge fingers required and so used Amaretti biscuits instead. I started to lose the plot at this point and thought I might even substitute the coffee liquid for Tia Maria and some of the mascarpone with cream cheese….but I restrained myself just in time.

This is so easy and is really like a version of a trifle, but nicer, and so whilst I told myself I was eating Tiramisu, I know full well that it was not the genuine thing. The recipe I based my pudding on was this one from BBC Good Food which is always an excellent source for recipes. So, this is what I did:


600ml double cream

250g mascarpone

80 ml Amaretto liqueur

5 tablespoons caster sugar

2 tablespoons coffee granules dissolved in 300ml just boiled water

Amaretti biscuits

100g dark chocolate


In a large bowl soften the mascarpone, add the caster sugar, Amaretto and double cream. Whisk until well combined and the mixture resembles thick cream.

Place a layer of Amaretti biscuits at the bottom of your dish of choice and spoon some of the coffee liquid over. Cover with half of the mascarpone mixture and sprinkle 50g grated chocolate over the top. Place another layer of biscuits on top of this, drizzle the coffee liquid over and cover again with the remaining mascarpone mixture. Finally, grate the remaining 50g of chocolate over the top. Put in the fridge to set.

Smugly eat your creation!

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 🙂

Cheese Scones (re-visited)

I wrote about this recipe a long time ago, and decided to revisit it.

I love scones, but the thought of rubbing the butter into the flour is just an effort too far for me.  Yes, ridiculous I know, but we all have our limits!  This particular recipe uses oil instead of butter.  It is the quickest, easiest recipe for scones, and the scones are lovely and light.  On the downside, they are quite crumbly because the dough is wet compared to traditional scone dough. You don’t roll it out, you dollop it onto the baking tray. 

If form and aesthetics are important to you, instead of putting spoonfuls on the baking tray, you can dollop the dough into a muffin baking tray, so the dough will hold a much better shape as it cooks.  Either way, it’s fine. Also you can safely add more cheese, to make the scones even cheesier!


500 ml cake flour

1 medium egg

100 ml oil

125 ml milk

20 ml baking powder

½ teaspoon salt.

50g grated cheese (I used a combination of mature cheddar and gruyere)


Preheat the oven to 240°C (220°C fan).  Lightly grease a baking tray or line it with baking parchment – or use a muffin tin.

Lightly whisk the egg, milk and oil in a bowl until just mixed.

Add the dry ingredients and the grated cheese. Mix lightly until just combined.

Drop tablespoonfuls onto the baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Quick, easy, superlight.  Enjoy!

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing I wish you a peaceful weekend 😊

Espresso Martini Trifles

Who doesn’t love a good pud? Coffee, chocolate, alcohol? Yes please 🙂

I saw this recipe in Sainsbury’s Magazine. I only did a minor tweak (honestly!) and I also left out the fancy bits – the cacao nibs and nut brittle, only because I wanted easy. You can see the full recipe here.

This is super easy to make and my taste testers loved it. It is like a combination of cheesecake and trifle, with just the right amount of kick from the coffee and alcohol.

Start with the custard part – put 50g dark chocolate and 300g fresh custard in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Heat gently, stirring until the chocolate has melted. Remove the bowl and set aside to cool, covering the surface of the custard with cling film to prevent a skin forming.

Make a coffee syrup by dissolving 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder and 1 tablespoon caster sugar in 2 tablespoons of just boiled water. Add 5 tablespoons of coffee liqueur, stir to mix.

Make the cheesecake layer by dissolving one and a half tablespoons instant coffee powder in 1 tablespoon of just boiled water. In a large bowl beat 400g full fat soft cheese until it softens up. Whisk in 40g of sifted icing sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and the coffee, until just combined.

Get 6 glasses and crumble (leaving some large pieces) a couple of Amaretti biscuits into the bottom of each glass. Drizzle with half a tablespoon coffee syrup. Top with half a dessertspoon of the chocolate custard, and then a dollop of the cheesecake mixture. Repeat the layers. Crumble an Amaretti biscuit on the top and decorate with grated dark chocolate, or even some cream if you’re feeling decadent. Put in the fridge and chill until ready to serve.

Next time I will pipe the cheesecake mixture into the glasses, as it was too thick to spoon neatly, so it ended up looking very messy.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 🙂