Roman Recipes: Chocolate orange  Tiramisu

Roman Recipes: Chocolate orange Tiramisu

As part of our Rome series, Essteele has identified some beloved recipes that typify many a Roman Nonna's kitchen - and are often a fixture of the Eternal City's classic and contemporary restaurants.

There is no substitute for one of Rome's most iconic desserts, this orange-hued delicacy is a mainstay on any Italian menu.

Chocolate orange tiramisu

Makes 6


  • 12 savoiardi (ladyfinger) or Pavesini biscuits
  • 100ml (31/2fl oz) Grand Marnier, rum or brandy,
  • 200ml (7fl oz) orange juice
  • 100ml (31/2fl oz) cold water
  • 8 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 50g (2oz) dark chocolate

For the chocolate custard

(makes 500ml/17 fl oz)

  • 500 ml (17 fl oz) whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla pod or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 30g (1 oz) cornflour (corn starch)
  • 50g (2 oz 1/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) dark chocolate (min. 70% cocoa solids), broken into small pieces

For the mascarpone cream

  • 250g (9oz) mascarpone
  • 25g (1 oz/1/4 cup) icing sugar
  • 4 egg whites


  1. First, make the chocolate custard:
  2. Heat milk and vanilla over medium heat until bubbles form on the surface.
  3. Meanwhile, beat together the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add a ladleful of hot milk to the mixture and whisk immediately.
  4. Pour back into the pan containing the rest of the milk and bring to a gentle boil while stirring with a wooden spoon. As soon as it thickens, remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted, then transfer the custard to a cold bowl.
  5. Cover the surface of the custard with cling film or damp baking parchment to prevent a skim from forming. Allow to cool. When cooled discard the vanilla pod.
  6. To make the mascarpone cream, beat the mascarpone and icing sugar together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
  7. Add a couple of heaped tablespoons of egg whites to the mascarpone and whisk it in to loosen the mixture. Fold in the rest of the egg whites with a large metal spoon until you have a light, frothy cream. Set aside.

To assemble the tiramisu.

  1. Soak the biscuits one by one in a mixture of your chosen alcohol and orange juice; then hold the biscuit vertically and squeeze out the excess liquid before placing it on a plate. Halve the biscuits, then put a single layer in the bottom of six glass tumblers.
  2. Spread some of the marmalades over the biscuits, followed by a layer of chocolate custard and a layer of mascarpone.
  3. Repeat until all the ingredients have been used, ending with the mascarpone.
  4. Chill for at least an hour and up to overnight. To serve, grate over the chocolate.
  5. Recipe courtesy of Rome: Centuries in an Italian Kitchen by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi (Hardie Grant) available from Telegraph Books
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