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  • 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


  • Mix the brandy and Marsala together then add half of this to the coffee.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
Tried this recipe?Mention @PinnyandTrowel or tag #pinnyandtrowel!
Tried this recipe?Mention @PinnyandTrowel or tag #pinnyandtrowel!

Author: Tamzin

Food activist and childhood nutrition advocate Tamzin Cochrane helps the busiest of people to cook up something healthy and delicious, even after a long day. She also helps companies and schools educate around—and create a culture and environment that truly supports healthy eating. Decades in the foodservice and hospitality industry have given Tamzin a well-rounded perspective on mealtime. She is passionate about bringing back the lost art of families and friends cooking together, and she loves seeing people enjoy the amazing tastes and textures of their communal effort. Inspiring children to cook and expand there horizons on food is very important. She shares this message through virtual coaching and video courses, by speaking at corporations, schools, and events, and through her recently-released video courses. Tamzin is found most often at The Pinny and Trowel Cooking School, which she opened in early 2020, it is located in Austin TX. Tamzin was born in England, grew up in Scotland, and now lives in Austin, Texas with her husband (who incidentally, is Scottish but grew up in England) and their children.

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