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Try this incredible, authentic Italian dessert for dinner tonight! 


  • 3 medium eggs, preferably free- range or organic, separated

  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar

  • 250g mascarpone cheese

  • 2–3 tablespoons cocoa powder

  • 250ml Marsala wine, in a shallow dish

  • 250ml strong black coffee (ideally espresso), in a shallow dish

  • 1 x 200g packet of sponge/lady finger biscuits (get Savoiardi if possible)


  • 1.

    Prepare your cream mix: separate your egg yolks from your egg whites. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl or use a free-standing electric mixer until it goes creamy, light and fluffy. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add the mascarpone to the egg-yolk and mix to combine, and then gently fold in the egg whites – be careful not to lose the lovely light air in the cream mix.

  • 2.

    Spread a thin, even layer of the mixture over the bottom of a serving dish approx. 22cm in diameter and 10cm deep (ideally a glass one). Using a fine sieve, sprinkle a little cocoa powder over the top.

  • 3.

    One by one, quickly dip each side of the biscuits first in the Marsala and then in the coffee. Don’t let them absorb too much liquid, as they can get rather soggy. Place a neat layer of the soaked biscuits on top of the cocoa powder.

  • 4.

    Repeat this process, layering the creamy mixture, cocoa powder and soaked sponge biscuits, finishing with a layer of the creamy mixture. Each creamy layer should just cover the biscuits; don’t spread it too thickly. You ideally want or 5 layers. Lightly dust with more cocoa powder and then chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour, and preferably overnight.

  • Tip:

  • 1.

    When you put each layer into the bowl, try to avoid any dribbles on the side of the glass so that your layers end up being pretty and neat.

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