August 27, 2023

TIRAMISU egg free version and a note to self

Some years ago I posted about a Rachel Allen recipe for a strawberry tiramisu (see here) and some time after that a reader left a scathing comment about it.  Apparently this person got as far as assembling the dish before they realised it contained raw egg yolks, was disgusted that they hadn’t been warned about that, and had to throw all the ingredients in the bin!  (The word used was "trash" so I presume the reader was from the other side of the Atlantic somewhere.)

I remember thinking it weird that someone would (a) not read a recipe through before starting to cook it and therefore not realise the eggs were raw and would (b) throw expensive ingredients away without thinking of a different way of using them.  However, I did afterwards label all recipes that contain raw eggs although there are only a few!

Anyway, the other week a friend served us a delicious tiramisu made without any eggs at all.  The recipe was, she said, a John Torode recipe.  I eventually found it in one of my cook books, "Masterchef kitchen bible" and made it myself for visitors the other day.  She said it was a quick and easy tiramisu and it is definitely both of those as well as utterly divine! 

It differs quite a bit from my previous tiramisu recipe, apart from there being no eggs in it.  The alcohol used is coffee liqueur not Amaretto and there is no sprinkling of cocoa powder on the layers other than on the top.  Which just goes to show that, just like a fruit trifle, there are lots of different ways of making it and they are all delicious!

I modified the recipe a bit to account for the fact that a pot of mascarpone generally contains 250g, not the 350g in the original and I didn't want to have to buy two pots (the supermarket only had one pot on the shelf and supermarkets are a good distance apart here in rural France!).  I also found that my 20cm square Pyrex dish was perfect for it, creating the right depth of layers, but I did have to use more sponge fingers than stated due to its dimensions.  Happily there was still just the right amount of coffee liquid mixture to soak all of them.  The end result was a slightly denser, more cakey texture.  It wasn’t quite the same as my previous recipe (see here) being more creamy but somehow less rich but it was lovely.  As always it was even better the next day once the ingredients and flavours had melled together.  Note to self: always make tiramisu the day before you want to serve it!


120ml espresso coffee, cooled

75ml coffee flavoured liqueur such as Kahlua

250g pot mascarpone cheese

3 tblsp caster sugar

250ml double cream

14-20 sponge fingers (Boudoir biscuits) depending on the dimensions of your dish

cocoa powder to decorate

coarsely grated dark chocolate (optional)


Mix the coffee and liqueur together and pour into a large flat dish such as a lasagne dish so that it's in a shallow layer.

In a large bowl whip the mascarpone and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved.

In another bowl whisk the cream until it holds its shape then fold into the mascarpone mixture.  Spread 2 tblsp of this mixture into the bottom of your serving dish.

Dip the sponge fingers one at a time into the coffee mixture, turning once until just soaked both sides, and arrange in a single layer in a serving dish.  A 20 cm square dish worked perfectly for me.

Cover the fingers with half of the mascarpone mixture then repeat with more sponge fingers and the remaining half of the mixture.

Level the top, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Dust liberally with cocoa powder just before serving.  Add a sprinkling of grated chocolate if you like.

Serves 6-8, depending on the portion size!


  1. Long time reader, first time commenting. Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes. I'm so impressed! But like you, I find it strange that that lady didn't actually read the recipe beforehand, especially if raw eggs were going to be a problem for her!

    1. Well thank you for your lovely comment. I seem to get so few page views that I sometimes wonder if it's worth continuing with the blog but a comment like yours makes me want to carry on!
      In addition, I find it a very useful way of remembering recipes for myself!

    2. I think I may have found you through your other blog about France. I'm in France too (Haute Savoie) and have been for over 30 years. I've tried a few of your recipes and love them, although living alone it isn't always easy to pare things down!

  2. I really like the sound of this. It is similar to a dish I make, a long time favourite of mine, that was my mother's favourite. Yours has a bit more to it though so I will certainly give this a try. Thanks.

    Why would anyone consider making a dish without reading the recipe first ?? Secondly i agree the ingredients could have gone into something else rather than the "trash". Yes I suspect not this side of the Atlantic!

    Please keep the website going, I do not always comment but I always read. Cheers Diane

    1. Made this today and we had it tonight delicious, I did though use 30 Boudoir biscuits in my square dish. Very similar as I said to my mum's recipe but hers is with cognac.

    2. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  3. How can you start a recipe without reading it through first? I like the look of this (and I have the Pyrex dish!)

    1. I know, what a daft thing to do and how wasteful.

  4. Lovely and very nostalgic. I never tire of tiramisu. I think this recipe must be very close to the first version of tiramisu that I made back in the 1980s (maybe I added some egg whites at the time) and that will definitely do for me. I use Kahlua (or, sometimes, something very similar) in tiramisu. I've tried alternatives, such as cognac, but it never feels quite right to me.

    1. Prior to using this recipe I always put Amaretto in tiramisu but I now think I prefer to use Kahlua. I have a whole bottle to use up anyway.........

    2. Well, if you need to finish a bottle, alternate sips of espresso and Kahlua at the end of a good meal was one one of the great pleasures in life back in my more youthful days. (I refuse to reveal the other great pleasures, of course).