Nutella tiramisu with roasted hazelnut crumbs

As kids, if we were ever feeling shattered from sport, school or riding ponies, Mum would make a huge bowl of tiramisu, the classic Italian mamma’s pick-me-up. I adored it even though it was probably a little on the boozy side! My kids were born with my tiramisu adoration, but being half-French they also have a hereditary addiction to Nutella. In this recipe, I’ve combined the two. These little jars (individual servings lessen the squabbles for the last spoonful) of chocolatey, hazelnutty goodness are less eggy than Mum’s original recipe. I also add whisky, not the usual Marsala, for a smoky note or maybe just to stamp my Scottish heritage on it. Delizioso. Photograph by Jani Shepherd and styling by Fiona Hugues – Gatherum Collectif.

  • 1 hr 30 mins preparation
  • Serves 8
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  • 380 gram nutella, plus extra to serve
  • 300 millilitre hot fresh espresso (use decaffeinated if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoon whisky, or to taste
  • 48 savoiardi biscuits (sponge fingers), approximately
  • 5 free-range egg yolks
  • 200 gram caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground coffee beans or cocoa powder
  • 400 gram mascarpone
  • 3 leaves gold-leaf gelatine (can be ommitted for vegetarians)
  • 350 millilitre fresh cream
hazelnut crumbs
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup skinless, roasted hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder


  • 1
    Place Nutella in a bowl. Pour in hot espresso and whisky. Stir until Nutella has melted and combined with liquid.
  • 2
    Break up the biscuits with a rolling pin while they are in the packet (kids love doing this) and crumble them into the Nutella mixture.
  • 3
    Mix until it looks like rough cake crumbs and the Nutella is incorporated. Depending on freshness of sponge fingers, you can add a little more espresso if mixture is too dry (or add a little hot chocolate or extra hot water).
  • 4
    Whisk yolks and sugar until creamy. Stir in the ground coffee beans. Add mascarpone and beat until combined.
  • 5
    Soak gelatine in cold water for 3 minutes. Heat 100ml of the cream in a pan and add softened gelatine, stirring to dissolve. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • 6
    Whip remaining cream until firm. When gelatine mixture has cooled, pour into mascarpone mixture, then fold in the whipped cream.
  • 7
    To assemble, layer Nutella mixture and cream mixture into glasses. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.
  • 8
    To make roasted hazelnut crumbs, lay a piece of baking paper on a tray. Add sugar to a heavy-based saucepan on medium heat and cook until it begins to melt and caramelise at the edges. Gently tilt and roll pan until sugar is a deep golden colour. Add hazelnuts and cocoa powder, stirring to combine. Quickly pour onto baking paper, tilting tray to spread it out. Leave to set on bench.
  • 9
    When cooled, break into shards and blitz for a few seconds in a food processor or bash with a rolling pin to make crumbs. Store in an airtight container – it will last a few weeks.
  • 10
    To serve, remove tiramisu from fridge, sprinkle each with hazelnut crumbs and add a dollop of Nutella.