The ultimate makeover: Tiramisu

The ultimate makeover: Tiramisu

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(14 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 10 mins Plus cooling and overnight chilling


Serves 8
Angela Nilsen lightens a classic high-fat Italian dessert without compromising on the rich indulgence factor

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal220
  • fat10.1g
  • saturates5.8g
  • carbs25.5g
  • sugars17.4g
  • fibre0.3g
  • protein5.7g
  • salt0.25g


    For the sponge fingers

    • 250ml strong hot coffee, preferably using freshly ground
    • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
    • 4 tbsp marsala
    • 18 sponge fingers (boudoir biscuits), preferably Savoiardi

    For the filling

    • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
    • 1 tbsp cornflour
    • 150ml semi-skimmed milk
    • 1 medium egg



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • ½ vanilla pod, split lengthways
    • 85g half-fat crème fraîche
    • 1 tbsp marsala
    • 140g light mascarpone
    • 100g light soft cheese
    • ½ tsp cocoa powder, to finish
    • raspberry, to finish (optional)



      A member of the rose family, raspberries have a wonderfully intense, sweet taste, and many…


    1. First make the coffee soaking liquid for the sponge fingers. Stir the coffee and sugar together, then pour into a shallow heatproof dish. Stir in the Marsala and leave to cool.

    2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Put the sugar and cornflour into a medium saucepan, preferably non-stick. Stir in 1 tbsp of the measured milk to make a thin, smooth paste. Separate the egg, putting the white into a medium bowl and setting it aside, and dropping the yolk into the saucepan. Beat the yolk into the cornflour paste, then stir in the rest of the milk. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the pan, then drop in the pod. Cook over a medium-low heat for about 8-10 mins without letting the mixture boil, stirring all the time, until the mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat, then stir in the crème fraîche and the 1 tbsp of Marsala. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover the surface with cling film and leave until cold.

    3. To assemble, line a 23 x 13 x 6cm deep loaf tin with cling film (see step 1), leaving an overlap at the top. Beat together the mascarpone and soft cheese, then stir into the rest of the cold filling. Whisk the egg white to stiff peaks and gently fold into the filling using a large metal spoon.

    4. Dip one of the sponge fingers in the coffee mixture, rolling it around briefly, for a few secs only, to coat and soak in, then lift it out before it has a chance to get too soggy (see step 2). If left in the coffee, it will disintegrate. Lay it lengthways in the bottom of the tin. Do the same with 5 more of the sponge fingers, trimming to fit if necessary, so that they cover the bottom of the tin. Spoon over half of the filling, spreading it to cover the biscuits (see step 3), then repeat the biscuit dipping with 6 more of them. Spoon and spread over the rest of the filling, then dip and lay the rest of the sponge fingers over the top (see step 4). Bring the cling film overhang over to cover. Chill overnight.

    5. To serve, turn out onto a serving plate and carefully peel off the cling film. Dust the top with cocoa and scatter with raspberries, if using. Slice and serve the same day.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    18th Sep, 2011
    25th Jul, 2011
    This was a great end to our meal. Really tasty. Everyone was surprised when I said it was low fat. I did make a couple of changes to the original recipe though. I used skimmed milk not semi skimmed. I also used Quark in place of the light mascarpone and soft cream cheese as this is even lower fat, it also meant I only had to buy one tub and that saved some money too. Finally I used a whole vanilla pod not half. It set really well in the fridge over night and came out of the tin perfectly.
    21st Jul, 2011
    Alvena, try Almond essence or flavouring...
    20th Jul, 2011
    You can use only the coffee for the sponge and nothing for the filling. I'm italian and we never use any alcohol for the filling.
    20th Jul, 2011
    I would like to know what to replace the amerreto with as I do not consume alcohol.
    13th Jul, 2011
    Really lovely recipe - you'd never be able to tell it was low fat as it is so creamy. I find traditional tiramisu is often too rich so this was perfect for me. I didn't have Marsala so used Amaretto instead and slightly less than specified in the soaking liquid. The only change I would make next time would be to add an extra tablespoon or so of sugar to the filling as it wasn't quite sweet enough. I will definitely be making this one again though!


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