Chrissamisu: Christmas tiramisu with coffee caramel and cherries

Adam Liaw
Adam Liaw's tiramisu with a twist, the Chrissamissu.
Adam Liaw's tiramisu with a twist, the Chrissamissu. 

In this tiramisu with a twist, I take the Italian staple and turn it into a Christmas centrepiece.


450ml thickened cream

250g mascarpone

110g (½ cup) castor sugar

500ml (2 cups) strong flat white coffee

25ml (¼ cup) brandy or dark rum

500g sponge finger biscuits (savoiardi)

cocoa powder and grated chocolate, to serve

Coffee caramel

110g (½ cup) castor sugar

80g (½ cup) soft brown sugar

60ml (¼ cup) espresso

150ml thickened cream

Italian meringue

220g (1 cup) castor sugar

4 egg whites


1. Combine the cream, mascarpone and sugar in a bowl and whisk to soft peaks. The mixture should not be too stiff.

2. To make the coffee caramel, combine the castor sugar and 60ml (¼ cup) water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until the sugar forms a dark caramel. Stir in the brown sugar, espresso and cream and simmer for just a minute, stirring constantly until the caramel is dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge to thicken.

3. To make the Italian meringue, heat the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. When the sugar mixture reaches 114C, begin to whisk the eggs. When the sugar mixture reaches 121C pour it into the egg whites in a thin, slow stream. Continue to whisk the eggs until the bowl is cold to the touch. This can take 20 minutes or even longer. When the bowl is cool, turn off the mixture. You can store the meringue in the fridge for up to 3 days.

4. Drizzle a little of the coffee syrup over the sides of a trifle bowl. Place the coffee and brandy in a deep tray and dip half the savoiardi biscuits into into the coffee mixture until softened but not falling apart. Arrange a layer of biscuits in the base of the bowl. Cover with a thick layer of the cream mixture, ensuring there are no air pockets. Drizzle with a layer of coffee caramel. Repeat with layers of soaked biscuit, cream and caramel until the bowl is filled.

5. Top with the meringue, then use a blowtorch to toast and colour the meringue. Garnish with cherries, chocolate and cocoa and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

This recipe featured in the Good Food Christmas television special on Nine.