Marilena's Tiramisu

This tiramisu recipe is the perfect "I'll bring dessert" option.

Last Sunday we spent some time with the lovely Marilena who, showed us her foolproof tiramisu recipe. She also made us a divine lunch of potato gnocchi with butter and sage, which she made look effortless. If this combo sounds right up your alley, check out my mama’s  ricotta gnocchi with bolognese sauce.

Marliena is a first generation Italian who currently lives in a little pocket along the South Coast of NSW. Her family come from the tiny northern commune of Segusino, known for its mountainous terrain. Her kitchen’s full of colour, with a flock of traditional chicken ceramics, which she’s collected from her travels to the motherland. And of course, her beloved Kitchen Aid is a brilliant ruby red!

Her tiramisu is a family favourite and only appears on special occasions, like Christmas. She shows us how to make the classic dessert using traditional mascarpone filling. Although, Marilena admits she sometimes uses Philadelphia cheese because its less sweet. Some traditionalists however would argue, it’s not tiramisu unless it’s done with zabaglione custard!

The debate becomes even fiercer when we get down to layering the dessert! Old school purists use pan di Spagna (an Italian-style sponge), however Marilena prefers sponge finger biscuits, known as savoiardi, because they achieve the same fluffiness, but take half the time. Yes please!

Marilena’s daughter, Sophie, remembers breakfasting on savoiardi dipped in milk as a child! So if you’ve got little ones as a distraction treat when prepping your tiramisu.

This recipe can be made a day in advance, in fact it’s encouraged so that the coffee flavours soak through all the layers.  So if you have a big group of friends coming over, tackle dessert the night before! It will allow you to shower before guests arrive and stress less about the menu. Stress-free and fool-proof dessert. You’re welcome!

Marilena's Tiramisu Recipe


Prep time: 30 mins Serves: 12



  • 36 Sponge Fingers Savoiardi
  • 3 cups of Vittoria Coffee Brewed and cooled down
  • 250g Mascarpone ( Marilena used the Pantalica brand)
  • 600ml thickened cream
  • 2 Tbsp Marsala ( Boronia all'uovo) - optional
  • 2 Tbsp Icing Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 a cup of dark cooking chocolate shaved


  1. Use a plunger to make your coffee
  2. Beat the thickened cream for 2 minutes on medium and then add the mascarpone,sugar and vanilla essence until it comes off the beaters in soft peaks.
  3. Pour the Marsala into your coffee, make sure the coffee is cool otherwise it can split the cream and mascarpone mix.
  4. Have a 3 finger deep tray to assemble your tiramisu, start dunking the sponge finger biscuits into your coffee. Only dunk one side and place the soaked side face down in your tray.
  5. Continue to do this until you have filled the bottom of your tray
  6. Spoon half of your cream mascarpone mix on the top of your savoiardi layer.
  7. Repeat the same process creating another layer of biscuits and covering with cream and marscarpone mix. If you have any gaps, add the ends or halves of your biscuits to fill.
  8. To finish off shave your chocolate block and sprinkle on top generously.
  9. Place in the fridge overnight if possible or at a minimum 1 hr.


Da Tavola x