Iced tiramisu terrine with coffee syrup

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For

    six to eight

Appears in

The Café Paradiso Cookbook

The Café Paradiso Cookbook

By Denis Cotter

Published 1999

  • About

I wasn’t too comfortable with the dessert squad using ‘tiramisu’ in the title of this dish, even though in savoury dishes I often use familiar words and names of dishes as signposts to the general territory of a new dish. There’s something about that word, though, and one night a woman sent her terrine back, saying ‘that’s not a tiramisu, I make great tiramisu and that one doesn’t even...’. So let me say now that this is a layered frozen dessert that has some of the flavours of a traditional Italian dish. Oh, and it’s divine, especially with the extra coffee kick of the syrup. Make sure the sponge has enough alcohol in it to prevent it freezing too hard. This recipe makes enough to fill one 2 lb loaf tin, which will comfortably satisfy eight non-pedants.


  • 4 eggs
  • 115 g caster sugar
  • 115 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 150 mls marsala
  • 250 mls single or double cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 250 mls water
  • 1 tblspn icing sugar
  • 2 tblspns very strong coffee
  • 1 tblspn Tia Maria coffee liqueur
  • 250 g mascarpone

For the Coffee Syrup

  • 300 mls strong coffee
  • 150 g sugar
  • 1 tblspn coffee beans


PREHEAT AN OVEN to 375°F (Gas Mark 5). Butter a 16 cm square cake tin or similar and line the base with baking parchment.

Whisk the eggs and the 115 g of sugar until thick and creamy, then fold in the flour and baking powder. Bake the sponge in the prepared tin for 40-50 minutes, until just firm to the touch. When the sponge is cooled, take it from the tin, slice it in half horizontally and sprinkle three tablespoons of the marsala over the pieces.

Whisk the cream until softly whipped and set it aside. Then whisk the egg yolks until pale and creamy. Bring the 150 g of sugar and 250 mls of water to a boil in a pan and boil for a minute to dissolve the sugar. Pour this on to the yolks, whisking all the time until they become frothy, then gently whisk in the whipped cream and the rest of the marsala. Freeze this custard, preferably using an ice cream machine.

Stir the icing sugar, coffee and Tia Maria into the mascarpone. Line a 2 lb loaf tin with a double layer of overhanging clingfilm. Spread in one third of the ‘ice cream’, cover it with a layer of sponge followed by half of the mascarpone. Repeat these layers, then put in the final third of the ice cream. Fold over the overhanging clingfilm, then freeze the terrine. Turn it out on to a plate before slicing it. If the terrine seems to have frozen very hard, move it to a fridge for half an hour before you serve it.

BRING THE COFFEE and sugar to the boil and simmer them until reduced to half the original volume. Toss in the beans and leave the syrup to cool. Spoon some syrup over and around each slice of terrine.