Dear Nigella Lawson re. your Baileys Tiramisu

Dear Nigella,

Following on from writing to Delia about the traumatic time I tried to follow her boiled egg recipe , I am writing to you about the time I made your Baileys Tiramisu.

I have a large bottle of Baileys in my fridge which my Dad got me for my Christmas present, a month later he died, so sadly this will be the last bottle of Baileys he ever got me. As it happens I am not that keen on Baileys but I used to be when I was 18, and every year since then my Dad or my brother bought me a bottle of Baileys as a Christmas present. I have never had the heart to tell them I don’t really like it, and since on Christmas day it is a bit nice in a coffee and its okay in an emergency “no wine in the house situation” so usually by the following Christmas I might just about finish the dregs of last years bottle so would be timely for next years bottle.

Anyhow my mum came to stay this week and she suggested making a Bailey’s tiramisu to use the bottle up as I am not keen on drinking it these days. I happen to love tiramisu so I decide that is a genius idea. When I later nip to the supermarket for some essentials I remember the tiramisu plan but failed to bring the ingredients list with me, but a sneaky look at a packet of ready made Tiramisu in Sainsburys tells me I need cream, marscapone, and sponge fingers. I figure I have coffee at home and it will all be fine.

Of course when I get home and look up your recipe here, I discover I am missing some of the crucial ingredients and don’t have the right amounts of anything. So I am going to share the LadyCurd version (my amendments are in purple) of your Baileys Tiramisu.

An IrishCream LadyCurd Tiramisu


  • 350ml espresso coffee, made with 350ml water and 9 teaspoons instant espresso powder, cooled (I had a nespresso pod to make a large espresso about 100ml)
  • 250ml Baileys cream liqueur (check)
  • 2 x 200g packets Savoiardi (Italian lady finger) biscuits (I only bought one 200g in the supermarket)
  • 2 eggs (check)
  • 75g caster sugar (check)
  • 500g mascarpone (I only bought 250g)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder (hot chocolate powder)


Serves: 12 (or should if you have enough ingredients!)

  1. Mix the coffee with 175ml of the Baileys in a shallow bowl. Dip the biscuits into this liquid; let them soak on each side enough to become damp but not soggy. Line the bottom of a 22cm square glass dish with a layer of biscuits. (I’m still waiting for the coffee to cool down so I ignore this step and start with step 2)
  2. Separate the eggs, but keep only one of the whites. Whisk the two yolks and the sugar together until thick and a paler yellow, then fold in the remaining 75ml of Baileys, and the mascarpone to make a moussy mixture. (I do this but figure I had probably better halve the alcohol as all the other ingredients have been halved apart from the eggs!- so I put 50ml in – I think the extra 12.5ml of Baileys was just for luck)
  3. Whisk the single egg white until thick and frothy; you can do this by hand with such a little amount.(I don’t like waste and don’t want to faff with an unwanted egg white so I thought sod it and whisked both of them using an electric whisk as less hassle) Fold the egg white into the yolky mascarpone, and then spread half of this mixture on top of the layer of biscuits. (folding it was not going to happen – mixture went all lumpy- I got the electric whisk on it again. Then I remembered I hadn’t done step one so I added a huge slug of baileys to the espresso probably 100-150ml) and then quickly dipped the biscuits and started to layer them up. At the same time I am also cooking the toddler’s healthy pizza and chips tea and making sure the baby isn’t choking on a rice cake. I am impressed with my multitasking even if no-one else is.)
  4. Repeat with another layer of soaked Savoiardi, and then top with the remaining mascarpone mixture. (did this it took up a large oblong glass dish- double the mixture would have been massive and too much for one person to eat as my mum has now gone home and we have no house guests and my husband doesn’t like tiramisu)
  5. Cover the dish with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight. (by some willpower I managed it) When you are ready to serve, push the cocoa powder through a small tea strainer to dust the top of the tiramisu (no cocoa powder so made do with too sweet hot chocolate powder then remembered too late the Bournville cocoa powder in cupboard)
  6. Due to alcohol content serve small portion to unsuspecting friend @Glosswitch who has come for tea but needs to drive somewhere that evening as do you. Both have two spoonfuls and admit defeat as far to alcoholic to proceed and be able to drive safely. Put back in fridge for later.
  7. Get in later that evening and consume two bowls of IrishCream LadyCurd Tiramisu. Mouth goes numb and get quite drunk and fall asleep.
  8. 3pm next day ponder if Tiramisu is allowed as an afternoon snack but you probably shouldn’t as have to drive and pick up toddler from Nursery at 6 so write this letter instead all the while mouth watering at thought of tiramisu snack.
  9. 3.30pm finish post realise it needs a photo of the LadyCurd tiramisu so serve up a bowl for the noble purpose of adding photographic evidence to this letter and then eat it.
  10. Eat Tiramisu- feel sick and a bit drunk but yummy and happy and now need to carry on with work, oops!

So yeah absolutely fab recipe Nigella- with hindsight halving all the ingredients properly except for the alcohol was possibly a mistake [hic]. I think my version needs a touch more coffee flavouring and liquid to the sponge fingers so another espresso would have been ideal. But all in all I am very pleased with it- LordCurd doesn’t like Tiramisu and obviously the kids can’t have any so it’s a lovely indulgent desert for me to eat up swiftly in next couple of days.

A very fitting tribute to my Dad’s last ever bottle of Baileys Christmas Present.



P.S It has two raw eggs (and half all the other non alcoholic ingredients) in – how long do I have to eat it up if I made it on Tuesday Night?



2 responses to “Dear Nigella Lawson re. your Baileys Tiramisu

  1. this one is a pretty easy tiramisu recipe for a first-timer like me. I used baileys instead of kahlua and it’s yummy. My husband loves it and I’ll definitely make it again.

  2. Pingback: Dear “A Time to Grieve” | Letters From LadyCurd

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