No Excuses and Tiramisu–An Italian Pick Me Up

by Joanne on December 26, 2011

The holidays are no excuse to quit the exercise routine.  In fact, all those delicious eats and treats offer more of an incentive to put heart and soul into the workout. 

My long run on Christmas eve was 12 miles. It wasn’t easy even though I ran more than double just over a month ago.  The weather was cold and there was some wind.  At mile 9 when my mouth was craving some H2O, my hands were so cold I couldn’t get my water bottle detached from the belt to take a drink.  My body was chilled but nothing compared to frozen fingers. I knew heading home before running my mind set of 12 would leave me feeling unaccomplished for the day so I pounded out the last three miles at a snails pace, cold, nose running, fingers frozen but achieving the goal.

Christmas Day, Shane and I were no slackers.  It was still windy but we jogged around the parks meeting only two other “die-hards” on the path.  4.6 miles was good way to start the celebration.  The unfortunate thing was that my stomach wasn’t feeling good all day. I felt hungry but each time I would try to munch, I’d get indigestion.  Maybe it was the champagne at 9 am? 


This is a Venetian dessert which is easy but tastes like you spent hours toiling over this perfection.  Based on the recipe from “The Italian Baker” by Carol Field”.


Makes a 2 layer, very long cake which will serve 18 – 20


  • 1 lb 2 oz Mascarpone cream OR really good quality cream cheese
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 6 TBS rum
  • 6 TBS strong black coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Genoise – Like cake (or use Lady Fingers) *See recipe below
  • 2 TBS cocoa powder
  • 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate shavings

We’ll begin with the Genoise cake which you make well ahead of time, freeze or simply leave on the counter covered for one day.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 4 egg yolks at room temperature
  • 2 TBS water
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • pinch salt
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • grated zest of one lemon

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Coat an 11 1/2 x 17 1/2 baking sheet with parchment or spray with non stick.

Whisk sugar, eggs, yolks, water, and honey over low heat until it feels luke warm.

Remover to a mixing bowl and beat on high until pale lemon, creamy and thickened to tripled volume (about 3 – 4 minutes). If you over mix, the batter will fall. You want to keep it light.

Sift in the flour, salt and cornstarch plus the baking powder into the egg mixture.

Fold in the vanilla and lemon zest.  The batter will be soft, airy and light.  Gently pour onto your prepared pan and spread carefully.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until a knife comes clean. You’ll smell this lovely cake and at that point, test for doneness.

Leave to cool until you are ready to proceed with Tiramisu filling.

Tiramisu Filling


Mix the marscapone (or cream cheese) until smooth. 

Add the cream, sugar.   Mix together the rum and the coffee.  Add 4 TBS to the cheese-cream mixture.  Add the vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy.

Cut the cooled cake VERTICALLY (length wise) in half. 

Brush each layer with rum-coffee mix.  Spread HALF of the cheese mixture over one half. Top with second half.  Top with remaining cheese mixture.

Sprinkle the top with cocoa powder. Top with chocolate shavings.



*I had extra filling so I added 1 TBS of cocoa powder and filled some cannoli shells with it. 




What was your favorite dessert this holiday season?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  • At 2011.12.26 17:57, Donna said:

    tiramisu is my favorite dessert!!!! My 3 bantam easter egger hens are named tiramisu, creme brulee, and fudge. 🙂

    • At 2011.12.27 07:39, Heather said:

      I’ve actually been working out extra hard because of all the goodies! No slacking over here. 🙂

      • At 2011.12.27 17:00, Steph @ StephSnacks said:

        wow, good for you for working out so hard during the holidays! i’d have to say my favorite dessert was a brownie/blondie combo that was topped with a white chocolate chip/coconut frosting. SO DELISH!

        • At 2011.12.27 17:06, claudia @whats cookin italian cuisine said:

          Who could beat this gorgeous and elegant dessert? A beautiful treat during any time, why wait for the holiday you did a marvelous job.. Hoping you and yours had a blessed holiday… at least there wasnt any snow! 🙂

          • At 2011.12.27 20:50, caloricandcrazy said:

            What a beautiful tiramisu….and cannolis 😀

            • At 2011.12.28 00:23, Treat and Trick said:

              Looks fabulous! My favorite would be brownies….

              • At 2011.12.28 01:52, Nava Krishnan said:

                That tiramisu is really very nice and I would like to have a slice of it. With all the exercising you do, you can enjoy any amount of desserts. I am not a dessert person and its once a while with very tiny winy portions.

                • At 2011.12.28 17:48, Peggy said:

                  hey – hope your Christmas was fantabulous! I’m sure you made some delicious food. I felt like I cooked and cleaned for four days, but it was wonderful. The best thing I made IMO was beef wellington. Of course, you wouldn’t have liked it. You would have liked my carrots though!! Wishing you a happy new year. The tiramasu looks awesome!!

                  • At 2011.12.28 21:39, Pam said:

                    Heman *LOVED* your tiramisu, I think he had the most slices 🙂
                    It was great to see you and Dad! The time flew but we made the most of it, always a wonderful visit!
                    Happy New Year!

                    • At 2011.12.29 13:23, Sophie @ LoveLiveAndLearn said:

                      Wow that is dedication! It must have been nice to run together and to have that time when almost no one else was around 🙂
                      That tiramisu looks absolutely delicious, I haven’t had one in ages, maybe I’ll have to make my own sometime!
                      I can’t wait to get back into a serious exercise routine – you’ve inspired me!

                      • At 2011.12.30 07:32, clauda @Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine said:

                        Happy NEW YEAR!!!!!

                        • At 2011.12.30 12:36, Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said:

                          You motivate me to exercise! After I get back on track this week, I am making that Tiramisu. Wishing you a wonderful 2012 and look forward to more of your inspirational posts and recipes in 2012. 🙂

                          Previous post:

                          Next post: