At the end of 2008 I travelled to Germany to visit some friends of mine, Per & Carol. Per & Carol showed me around in Germany & we travelled to Vienna & Paris. We saw so many beautiful places & yet one of my most vivid memories is of a friend’s Tiramisu.

One day we went on a day trip to the castles of the Black Forest, with a couple of Per & Carol’s friends, Massimo & Stefania. The sky was clear & the sun was out but it was bitterly cold. We spent most of the day getting lost in the hills looking for the castles, in the end I think we only visited two. We ended up back at Massimo & Stefania’s apartment for dinner. Dinner was nice, a walnut pasta I think, but what I really remember is the dessert. Massimo had made two full trays of Tiramisu for us to eat. We ate maybe half of one tray for dessert & we were full. Massimo insisted we take the other tray home with us for later, we tried to argue that we had to catch the train to Paris the next morning. He insisted we take it anyway, telling us it would make for the best breakfast we’d ever had.

He was right. I still remember standing next to Per & Carol’s fridge at 6am scofffing Tiramisu, before heading off to catch the train to Paris.

To this day that was the best Tiramisu I’d ever had. The sponge was moist, but not soggy. There was a clear coffee flavour, but it wasn’t overpowering. This was helped by the fact that it was alcohol free. The marscapone was soft & light & fluffy. I’ve been searching for a recipie that comes close ever since.

This Gourmet Traveller recipe for Tiramisu did come close. It does use a small amount of booze, (Marsala), which I halved. That worked quite well, you still had the flavour from the Marsala but without the sting of the alcohol. I used store bought sponge fingers instead of the ‘make-your-own’ variety, but that’s mostly because I was lazy.

I may never find a recipe that produces the same Tiramisu & if I did I’d probably be disappointed because the moment would be lost. But this one came pretty close.