Cheat’s Tiramisu

Cheat’s Tiramisu

Tiramisu is Italian for “pick me up” – and after one mere spoonful of this delectable dessert it’s no wonder the creators dubbed it so. Tiramisu contains four of the most awesome ingredients known to humankind: coffee, chocolate, cheese, and alcohol. Boom! (Which, coincidentally, is the cry your arteries and/ or pant seams might make if you get a little too tirami-happy, if you know what I’m saying …)

The thing is, delicious and divine as it may be, tiramisu can be a bit of a pain in the arse to make. Six egg yolks? Freshly brewed espresso shots? Marsala wine? Vanilla pods? Ah, no thanks. Like I’m leaving the house for/ spending my cash on/ wasting my time with those. Luckily for you (and everyone else you end up making this for), I’ve put together a less expensive and easier-to-make version that still retains the original flavour elements of the classic tiramisu. It’s not exactly authentic (hence, the “cheat” factor). But, from experience, authenticity is the last thing on people’s minds when they’re licking the bowl and elbowing others out of the way in order to secure themselves another helping.

Those of you who are less budget-conscious can opt for the more “upmarket” ingredient suggestions in brackets (look at you, fancypants!).


- 500mL cream
- 250gm mascarpone cheese
- 150mL Canterbury cream (or Kahlua, Baileys, Amaretto)
- 5 tbsp caster sugar
- 300mL strong coffee made with 4 tbsp instant coffee granules and 300mL boiling water
- 2 unfilled sponges (or 2 packets of ladyfinger biscuits)
- 2tsp cocoa powder
- 1 bar of chocolate for decoration


1. Put the mascarpone, cream, sugar, and half of the liqueur into a large bowl. Beat until all the ingredients have combined and your mixture has the consistency of thickly whipped cream.

2. Have your serving dish ready; you are now going to layer the sponge with the cream mixture. Get a shallow dish and put your coffee mixture in it, along with the rest of the liqueur, and lightly mix. Dip in a piece of sponge for a couple of seconds, turn upside down and dip again, and then place into the serving dish. Do this until you have covered the bottom of the serving dish.

3. Now spread over half of the cream mixture. Repeat the sponge dipping process to create another layer on top of the cream and then spread the last of the cream mixture on top.

4. Decorate with sifted cocoa and grated chocolate.

5. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight. This will last in the fridge for up to two days (yeah … right …).
This article first appeared in Issue 19, 2013.
Posted 2:29pm Sunday 11th August 2013 by Kirsty Dunn.