- 1 cup cream
- 200 g 70% dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 cups espresso
- 1 cup brandy
- 4 free-range eggs, separated
- 300 g caster sugar
- 1 kg mascarpone
- 500 g Boudoir biscuits
- cocoa, for dusting
Heat the cream in a saucepan. Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour over the hot cream. Stir until smooth and melted, then set aside.
Mix 1½ cups espresso and the brandy. Beat the eggs and half the sugar until pale and creamy, then beat in the mascarpone.
Dip the biscuits into the coffee mixture and place a layer in the bottom of a 30 x 24 cm dish. Spoon over some of the chocolate mixture, then spoon in the mascarpone mixture, reserving some for decoration. Repeat the process, then pipe on the reserved mascarpone mixture.
Chill for 2 hours. Drizzle with the coffee syrup and dust with cocoa before serving.
To make the coffee syrup, bring the remaining espresso and sugar to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Cook's note: Veneto, home to Venice, whose lagoons are a World Heritage Site, is known for cheeses including Asagio and Grana Padano, as well as this decadent dessert. It's traditionally made using Saviovardi biscuits dipped in coffee, but you can add brandy for an extra kick. Its name means "cheer me up" in Italian – and this version is guaranteed to do just that!