A popular, all-time favourite Italian pud made with sponge fingers, coffee and cream. This recipe has a double whammy of dark chocolate to make it extra indulgent - perfect for entertaining a large group at dinner or to bring to a party.
- Put the coffee and 50g caster sugar in a medium saucepan and boil down for around 10 mins to reduce the volume by half.
- Add the 75ml marsala and pour into a shallow dish. Briefly soak half of the sponge fingers in the coffee mixture - they need only a few seconds or they fall apart. Lay them across the base of a large, 24cm diameter serving bowl or dish.
- For the mascarpone mix, melt the white chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water (or melt in the microwave) until just melted, then remove the bowl from the pan and set aside to cool slightly. Put the egg yolks, caster sugar and marsala in a large heatproof bowl.
- Place over a saucepan filled with 2.5cm simmering water. Using an electric hand whisk, beat the mixture over the simmering water for 7-8 mins until thick and paler in colour. Remove from the heat and continue to whisk for several minutes until thicker and cooled - and when the beaters are lifted the mixture leaves a ribbon trail. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, beat the mascarpone and soft cheese with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in the crème fraîche. Using a spatula, fold the mascarpone mix into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the cooled white chocolate. Spoon or pour half of this mixture over the sponge finger layer.
- Briefly soak the remaining sponge fingers in the coffee mixture as before and lay them on top of the mascarpone mixture, cutting to fit if necessary. Pour over the remaining mascarpone mixture, to evenly cover the fingers.
- Sift the cocoa powder over the surface then grate over the dark chocolate. Cover with cling film and chill for at least 3 hrs, or up to 24 hrs, to firm up before serving.
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