4 fl oz (125 ml) brandy

4 fl oz (125 ml) Marsala

8 fl oz (250 ml) strong expresso coffee or very strong coffee

32 sponge fingers

3 eggs, separated

3 tablespoons vanilla caster sugar (this is simply sugar stored with vanilla pods)

11 oz (325g) mascarpone cheese or 1/2 quantity cream cheese and 1/2 double cream

2 1/2 oz (65g) plain chocolate, refrigerated

a pinch of salt



  1.    Mix the brandy and Marsala together then add half of this to the coffee.

2.    Place 16 sponge fingers in the bottom of a 2 1/2 – 3 pint (1.5-1.75 liter) gratin or other shallow dish and sprinkle with half of the coffee mixture.

3.    Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and pale and then blend in the mascarpone (or cream cheese and double cream) and stir in the remaining brandy mixture.

4.    Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form and fold them into the cheese mixture.  Spoon half of this mixture over the sponge fingers.

5.    Dip the remaining sponge fingers into the rest of the coffee mixture and place them on top of the cream in the dish.  Spread the rest of the cream over this.

6.    Grate the chocolate on the coarse side of the grater or in a rotary hand grinder.  Sprinkle the chocolate over the top of the cream.

7.    Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.


The Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook 

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