This a boozier version of tiramisù as I like to soak my homemade savoiardi (Italian sponge biscuits known as ladyfingers) in both marsala, which is traditional, and amaretto - an almond liqueur. I also add lemon zest to the biscuits.






Skill level

Average: 4.2 (19 votes)


Savoiardi biscuits (Italian ladyfingers)

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ lemon, zest finely grated
  • pinch sea salt
  • 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
  • ⅓ cup cornflour
  • icing sugar, sifted, for sprinkling 


Tiramisù cream

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 500 g mascarpone
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 


To assemble

  • 600 ml thickened cream, whisked to soft peaks
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 20 ml almond liqueur (amaretto)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) espresso coffee, chilled
  • 100 ml marsala
  • 50 ml almond liqueur (amaretto), extra
  • cocoa powder, for dusting
  • finely chopped toasted hazelnuts, to garnish

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


For the biscuits, preheat the oven to 180ºC and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. 

In one bowl, beat eggwhites and 100 g of sugar with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice until soft peaks form. 

In another bowl, beat egg yolks with remaining 100 g of sugar, vanilla extract, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and salt until light and fluffy.

Sift flour and cornflour over the egg yolk mixture and stir to combine.

Gently fold one-third of the eggwhite mixture into the egg yolk mixture to loosen, then into the remaining eggwhite mixture, without overstirring.

Pipe the batter into 10 cm-long rectangles onto the lined trays. Sprinkle with icing sugar, wait 5 minutes, then repeat again.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool on the trays. (Makes about 40 biscuits.)

For the tiramisù cream, beat egg yolks and sugar in an electric mixer until thick and pale. Add mascarpone and vanilla bean and beat till well combined. 

Beat eggwhites until soft peaks form. Gently fold one-third of the eggwhite mixture into the egg yolk mixture to loosen, then into the remaining eggwhite mixture, without overstirring. 

To assemble, combine the whisked cream with the icing sugar and 20 ml almond liqueur, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Refrigerate until required. 

Combine coffee, marsala and amaretto in a shallow dish. Lay the biscuits, in batches, flat in the liquid and leave to soak until only half of the biscuit is soaked. 

Neatly arrange a layer of biscuits, dry-side down, over the base of a 3 litre-capacity, at least 8 cm deep, serving dish. Cover the layer of biscuits with half of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat layering until the dish is full.

Pipe the cream over the top, lightly dust with cocoa and scatter over hazelnuts.


Cook's note

• You can use store-bought savoiardi biscuits, available from most supermarkets, in the biscuit or International aisle, and Italian grocers.


Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel


This recipe is from The Chefs' Line - a brand new series airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Can the passion of a home cook beat the skills of a professional chef? Missed all the action? Catch-up online and get all the recipes #TheChefsLine.

This recipe has been edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the series.