Poor (and Skinny) Man’s Tiramisu

Poor (and Skinny) Man’s Tiramisu

Poor (and Skinny) Man’s Tiramisu

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I mean, how genius are the Italians in creating the Tiramisu? They literally took all the best flavours in the world, which are obviously coffee, chocolate and wine, and invented a dessert out of them! OK I know Marsala is technically a fortified wine, (and you can substitute it for brandy in Tiramisu) but still, genius!

Tiramisu (or Terry Monsoon as it’s affectionately known in our home) is one of our family favourite desserts. A traditional Tiramisu recipe uses raw eggs, mascarpone cheese, finger biscuits and either brandy, sweet sherry, port or Marsala wine. So Tiramisu is it is a bit of a treat to make – mascarpone isn’t cheap, and we don’t all have bottles of brandy or fancy Marsala wine lying about. It’s also not ideal for those who are weight conscious. Yes, I realise dessert generally isn’t the dieter’s friend anyway, but my recipe has a much lower fat content than traditional Tiramisu recipes!

I have a copy of Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food recipe book below ⇩ so one Christmas I made his Tiramisu recipe for dessert as it doesn’t contain raw eggs and I was pregnant. He uses cream, icing sugar, vanilla, mascarpone, Marsala, coffee, sponge fingers and cocoa and serves it in individual glasses which makes it looks a bit posher. It turned out perfectly and was a real easy and quick dessert option, especially for a busy day like Christmas.

*Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food: Recipes from “The F Word”

Now my recipe is called the Poor and Skinny Man’s version because firstly it doesn’t contain alcohol (so it’s more kid friendly, my kids all like the taste of coffee thankfully) also I have substituted mascarpone for the more affordable crème fraiche which is better for the waist line as it contains half the fat content of it’s Italian counterpart! Win – win!

My Tiramisu Recipe:

Serves 6 – generously (ok forget the diet).

You will need one 20cm square serving dish


  • 250mls fresh whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 100 ml crème fraiche
  • 1 cup of cooled strong black coffee or espresso
  • approximately 30 Rich Tea biscuits
  • cocoa for dusting


  • Thin the crème fraiche by adding about a third of the cream and beating with a fork until it is pouring consistency.
  • Lay one layer of rich tea biscuits over the base of your serving dish, break up a biscuit and use the pieces to roughly fill in the gaps between the biscuits. Spoon cooled coffee over the first layer of biscuits until they are soaked but not drenched (about a third of a cup).
  • Pour over half of the crème fraiche and cream mix, spread evenly with a spatula until all the biscuits are covered
  • Repeat with another layer of biscuits soaked in another third of the coffee and the rest of the crème fraiche mix.
  • Lay over a final layer of biscuits and spoon over the remaining third of the coffee.
  • Beat the rest of the cream until it reaches soft peak stage, beat in sifted icing sugar and vanilla essence.
  • Spoon cream over the top of the final layer of biscuits and smooth over.
  • Cover your Tiramisu with a generous layer of sifted cocoa powder to finish it off.
  • Refrigerate until you need it.

BTW We recently bought one of these brilliant little devices below – it’s called an AeroPress. I love it! It has become my favourite way of making coffee because it is fast and the coffee tastes amazingly smooth. I used it to make the coffee for the tiramisu recipe above as well as the coffee I drank while I wrote this post.

*AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker – Quickly Makes Delicious Coffee Without Bitterness – 1 to 3 Cups Per Pressing

Try my other easy dessert recipes:

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