A classic that needs no introduction, be sure to start this the night before and leave it in the fridge, the flavours will all soak and mature for a really boozy, creamy treat.






Skill level

Average: 2 (286 votes)


  • 750 g mascarpone, chilled
  • 500 ml (2 cups) thickened cream
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 36 savoiardi (sponge finger) biscuits
  • 375 ml freshly brewed espresso (make 50-ml shots)  
  • 30 ml whiskey or rum
  • bitter cocoa powder, for dusting


  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 90 ml marsala

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.


This recipe needs to be started one day in advance.

  1. For the sabayon, place the egg yolks, sugar and Marsala in a heat proof bowl and whisk until well combined and the sugar has dissolved. Place the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and whisk continuously for about 8-10 minutes or until the mixture is thick, pale and has tripled in volume. Remove the bowl from the heat and keep whisking for a few minutes to cool down. Stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk the mascarpone into the sabayon until well combined. Using an electric mixer, whisk the cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Add a little whipped cream to the sabayon mixture to loosen, then fold in the remaining whipped cream until just combined.
  3. Pour the coffee and whiskey or rum into a bowl. Find a suitable rectangular dish that will fit two layers of 18 biscuits each.
  4. To assemble, dip half the biscuits, sugar-side down in the coffee mixture for just one 1 second, then place, sugar-side up and side by side in the dish in a single layer. Pour over half the cream mixture, then repeat the layers. Smooth the top, then refrigerate overnight.
  5. Dust with cocoa powder just before serving.


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Photography by Adam Liaw.