Tiramisu is a favourite of many. I love this version using ready-made custard (must be a premium brand!), and choc-a-block with hazelnuts. If you have Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur), use it in place of Tia Maria.
150ml (about 5 fl oz) unsweetened espresso coffee, cooled 4 Tbsp coffee liqueur Tia Maria 200g (about 7 oz) sponge fingers (also known as lady fingers or boudoir biscuits) 200ml (about 7 fl oz) mascarpone 100ml (about 3½ fl oz) cream 200ml (about 7 fl oz) ready-made custard (use a premium brand) ½ cup toasted skinned hazelnuts, chopped Cocoa for sieving over top Small piece dark chocolate for grating or making chocolate curls
1 Mix coffee and Tia Maria together in a shallow dish. Dunk biscuits in coffee liquid to coat; note some biscuits are hard and need to be soaked briefly to absorb the liquid (others will disintegrate if soaked – it is best to test a small piece). Put biscuits in serving glasses, cutting them to fit, or assemble dessert in one medium-sized glass serving bowl.
2 Put mascarpone in a bowl and beat in cream. If the mixture is lumpy, pass it through a coarse sieve. Add layers of mascarpone and custard to glasses, scattering in hazelnuts as you go (reserve some hazelnuts for the top).
3 Sieve cocoa over the top of desserts, then grate chocolate on top of cocoa (I use a vegetable peeler), or garnish with chocolate curls. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped hazelnuts. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
While the dessert can be served as soon as it is assembled, it is best refrigerated for a few hours before serving to allow the coffee and Tia Maria liquid to seep through everything.