Tiramisu Al Caffe Marocchino


My all time favourite place for a coffee in Florence is amongst the fashionistas of the Roberto Cavalli café, Caffè Giacosa. I happen to walk past it almost every day, which gives me a great excuse to pop in for their speciality, a caffè marocchino – a “Moroccan coffee.” A step up from your regular macchiato or cappuccino, the Italians make this hot beverage as an espresso served in a glass and topped with creamy milk foam – a lovely, naughty way to start the day. There’s actually nothing Moroccan about it, but supposedly it got its name from the coffee-coloured leather bandana (known as a “Moroccan”), which was popular in the 1930s when this coffee was being born. What I really love for a change though is an actual Moroccan coffee. When in Marrakech on our honeymoon, we bought a beautiful spice mix of 26 different types of spices, which, when ground, could be added to coffee for a powerful, spicy aroma that leaves your tongue tingling and has the power to immediately bring me back to the Souks – a wonderful maze of a place with hundreds of things to fill each and every one of your senses until you think you may burst. Taking these two connections as inspiration, you can put a little kick into a traditional tiramisu. My husband's nonna used to make her legendary tiramisu by dipping her ladyfinger biscuits into a mixture of half espresso, half Vin Santo (a Tuscan dessert wine). This version uses coffee (made with a teaspoon of Moroccan spices mixed in to the coffee grounds), with a splash of Vin Santo. If you don’t have it, another sweet alcohol will do nicely, as will spiced dark rum. Instead of cocoa powder, I’m going with some melted dark chocolate, drizzled generously. - Emiko

What you will need

8 ounces mascarpone

2 ounces sugar

4 ounces ladyfinger biscuits

1 cup strong coffee (espresso, made with a teaspoon of ground Moroccan spice mix: such as cinnamon, cardomom, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, ginger, aniseed, juniper berries

1 shot Vin Santo, Marsala or spiced rum

3.5 ounces dark chocolate

2 eggs


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