Tiramisu ‘Espresso’ Cups

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When we visited Rome with our friends last year we enjoyed a great meal at a little restaurant in the Trastevere area called ‘Grazia and Graziella’. The entrees and mains were all fantastic but what really stuck in my mind was their delicious desserts. I ordered the Tiramisu which came in an espresso cup and whether it was the Italian wine talking or not, both my friend Mel and I just couldn’t get over how cute it looked presented that way.

Besides the cute factor, it also turned out to be the perfect portion size; Tiramisu is a rather rich and indulgent dessert so a few spoonfuls is just what you need for a sweet but not sickening pick-me-up. After our holiday, serving these tiramisu cups quickly became my favorite way to end any Italian inspired dinner parties!

Now, the tiramisu I had in Rome was most likely done the traditional way which uses raw eggs. However, since I know that some people don’t like the idea of eating raw eggs I usually go for the eggless version below instead. Even though it’s not as authentic, I think this version of tiramisu tastes just as great and it also makes it that much easier and faster to make which are both big bonuses. You could make the cups the night before your party if you’d prefer but they’re also perfect for a last minute affair!

Also, did I mention they look cute?


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Ingredients (serves 6)

250 g mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup cream
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp Tia maria, Kahlua or Marsala wine
4-5 savoiardi (sponge finger lady fingers biscuits)
1/2 cup strong coffee, cooled
25 g dark chocolate, shaved or grated


– In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form.

– In another bowl, beat the sugar, mascarpone and liquor together until creamy (about 2-3 minutes).

– Gently incorporate the cream into the mascarpone mix.

– Break the savoiardi biscuits into small pieces and fill each espresso cup until about half-way up.

– Pour a little coffee over the biscuits – they should be thoroughly damp but not completely soaked.

– Top with the mascarpone mix and leave in the fridge (between 1 hour and 24 hours) until ready to eat.

– Sprinkle with chocolate shavings just before serving.

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