Layer cake

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 May, 2012, 12:00am


Tiramisu is eaten most often as a dessert, but it's also a great snack, because not only does it satisfy between-meal hunger pangs, it also gives a good jolt of caffeine.

When you ordered tiramisu, you used to be able to count on being served a rich dish made with copious amounts of sweetened mascarpone, usually mixed with egg yolk, in thick layers between ladyfingers soaked in coffee or espresso. Now, though, it seems anything goes: I've seen tiramisu made with thick layers of cake with the merest slick of coffee-flavoured mascarpone in between (or even worse, cream cheese as a substitute). There's also tiramisu-flavoured chocolate and ice cream.

Gone are the days when you could look at a menu - any menu, not only in Italian restaurants - and without fail there would be tiramisu listed as one of the desserts. Thank goodness, in my opinion - it was tiresome, uninventive and predictable, and most of the versions gave the real McCoy a bad name.