What is Tiramisu Italian Desert?

What is Tiramisu Italian Desert?

Tiramisu Italian Desert – Most people have eaten it but have never made it. One of the most decadent and popular Italian desserts is Tiramisu. The traditional Italian sweet, is made from a mascarpone cheese mixture, layered with sponge fingers soaked in espresso and sweet Marsala wine. You could change it up and substitute sweet Marsala wine for Baileys, Cherry Brandy, Kahlua or a liqueur of your choice.

Here is a simple recipe, which will impress your family and friends.

Tiramisu making. Woman hands holding a spoon and smeared cream on cookies


Espresso mixture – brewed by dissolving 2 teaspoons of espresso coffee in  6oz/150 ml. boiling water.

50 millilitres of liqueur (alcohol can be left out if the dessert is for children)

6 egg yolks

1 cup/128 g/4.5 oz. Sugar

2 tablespoons of milk

1.5 cups / 375 ml /12.5 ounces of cold double/whipping cream

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1 cup/ 8 oz mascarpone cheese

200 grams of sponge fingers / lady cookies

Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting.


Brew and cool the espresso coffee. Add marsala wine or liqueur of choice.

Place the egg yolks in a double boiler or a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water and add the sugar. Whisk constantly for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the milk to make the mixture smooth. Cool completely.

Whip the cream and vanilla essence until the mixture is stiff.

Transfer the egg mixture into a larger bowl and add the mascarpone cheese.

Add whipped cream by folding from the centre to the outer edges until smooth.


Either use a 9″ x 9″  baking dish or individual dessert glasses

Dip (not soak) the sponge fingers into the espresso mixture and lay in the dish or individual glasses.

Cover the sponges with the mascarpone mixture. Repeat the layer and finish with the remainder of the mascarpone mixture.

Cover with waxed paper or foil and refrigerate for a minimum of eight hours. The best results are if the tiramisu is eaten after 24 to 48 hours.

Dust with cocoa powder for serving.

Master Your Inner Chef With Yvonne’s Cooking Course

Master Your Inner Chef With Yvonne’s Cooking Course

Master your inner chef!

Ever wanted to experience a cooking course, but questioned how good the expertise of your teachers would be?

Well that’s definitely not a problem on our cooking course in southern Italy where you’re taught by a Masterchef contestant!

This tasty 8-day trip, consisting of daily hands-on practical classes, will teach you to produce Italian dishes that are traditional to the region, mixed with Chef Yvonne’s signature gourmet style, whilst using the best locally sourced ingredients of the particular season. She’ll be sharing all her tips and secrets, along with a few stories as well!

One of the things that set Yvonne apart during the Masterchef competition was the presentation of her dishes, which took inspiration from her art design background that she left behind to allow herself to fully focus on food, all of which you will experience during this cooking course.

Yvonne’s passion and skill when it comes to food is what earned her a well-deserved place in Italian Master Chef. She says, ‘My personal Masterchef Italia experience, held in the city of Bari, was thrilling. Cooking in front of the judges was nerve wracking, but once I started to prepare my own plate of squid stuffed with pea puree coated in herb flavoured bread crumbs, I calmed down. For me, cooking is a joyous and relaxing thing to do.

The judges ate everything and I made it through to the final 15 competitors. It was a really wonderful experience, which enhanced my cooking skills, knowledge and confidence. I don’t cook to live, I live to cook!’

Book your place here to have the chance to become your own Masterchef!

Yvonne-Master Chef Set up - cooking course
Squid stuffed with Pea puree-cooking course
Traditional Italian pasta Bolonese -cooking course
A Festa a Day Keeps the Gloom Away

A Festa a Day Keeps the Gloom Away


It seems that there’s a Festa for nearly every day of the year in the south of Italy. They are celebrated in every hamlet, village and town, as homage to their patron saint. Historically, there would have been candles and devotions in the windows of households.

The modern day version may include a band of walking musicians, elaborate street lighting, fireworks, and of course, food.  Much work goes into competing with neighbouring communities to see who can be the most inventive and surprising.

Italians love to stroll, sit and people watch, it’s a natural pastime for them. So adding the celebration of their patron saint, gives even more meaning to being part of the community.

A popular street snack served at festa time in Salento, would be sweet, crunchy, cupeta, an almond brittle, work of art, which represents the festive flavour. Cupeta is also eaten at other important religious times such as, Easter and Christmas. The traditional way of hand rolling the cooled molten sugar, almonds and lemon onto marble, is a delight to watch if you get the chance.

The south of Italy has much to offer; its delightful traditions, culinary heritage and distinctive flavours have survived and been passed down the generations.  

We should all take the time to celebrate, it’s good for the mind, body and soul and in our uncertain world, constancy is reassuring.

As we say, “A festa a day keeps the gloom away”.

Festa lights-firworks-Italy
Festa food - almond sweet Sold on streets at Italian festas
Pastry Fista food
Sweet of savory fiesta Italian food
Gallipoli has the Old and New in Italy

Gallipoli has the Old and New in Italy

Gallipoli is called the ancient Kallipolis (beautiful town). It has a long history covering Messapian, Hellenic, Roman and Byzantine eras. Over the years, Gallipoli operated as an important port, serving merchants from all over the Mediterranean basin. One trading example is that the oil used to illuminate the lamps of London, left from the port. Still a working fishing port today, Gallipoli is now an important international tourist centre. The town offers a combination of wonderful clean beaches, edging onto crystal clear sea. In fact, they are among the most beautiful and best beaches in Italy. At night time, there are exciting clubs.  The local food speciality, is of course fish – La Scapece. Gallipoli is a town of two halves. The old part with the castle standing on the ancient limestone island, is connected over a stone bridge to the new town. There are ancient alleyways, a typical fish market, important historical churches and many palaces. The new town, has the vibrant Corsa, which is packed with modern shops, bars and cafe’ life. Here you will experience an inviting and unusual combination of the old and new.

Fisherman Gallipoli harbour
Gallipoli restaurant- Italian food with great views
Olive Grove -Gallipoli, Salento, Puglia
Beautiful Gallipoli beaches
Lecce Historical Adventure

Lecce Historical Adventure


Called the Florence of the south, Lecce is a treasure of culture, history and architecture. We love Lecce for the Baroque style buildings, seen in the churches, many palaces and monuments.

There’s also an amphitheatre dating back to the second century A.D. in Piazza Sant Oronzo. The city castle, which was built between 1539 – 1549 is now used for high profile shows and cultural events.

Apart from the lovely historic centre and the cherubs, visitors will also appreciate the local hand-craft shops, modern shopping facilities, bars, restaurants and fresh local food.

Life in the south of Italy  still has the rhythm of long lunches followed by ‘siesta’ and quiet time. Although a city, most of Lecce’s attractions and shops close for a few hours and the streets are quiet but then burst into activity from early evening until late.

The city is surrounded by beautiful countryside, small towns and the sea shore a few kilometres away. Lecce is definitely worth a visit and we promise that memories of this amazing, almost fairytale town, will stay with you

Cupeta sold by street vendors in Lecce
Lecce Palace
Pasticciotto a speciality of Lecce and Puglia
Heffort Sports Village Restaurant

Heffort Sports Village Restaurant

Heffort Restaurant is within Heffort Sports Village. It stands at the highest point of the town Parabita, meaning that the sea and landscape can be seen from the first floor dining area. It’s an unusual site for a top quality eatery, but well worth a visit.

Depending on the time of day, there may well be a football match or children in the park area when you arrive. The village can be used by the whole family, as is the way of life in Italy.

There are two elegant rooms with 120 covers and large French windows leading onto a vast terrace, which is used for summer dining.

Part of the complex is a stylish modern bar and café, serving sweet and savoury snacks, ice cream (gelato) and soft drinks. The clean modern lines provide a comfortable and stylish place to meet during the day.

Alle Due Corti Restaurant

Alle Due Corti Restaurant

Although the locals call the food at this restaurant ‘cucina povera’, which literally means food of the poor, Alle Due Corti Restaurant, serves anything but poor food. The locally produced ingredients are the perfect starting point for the expertise of the grandmother chef, Rosalba, who runs the kitchen. She is famous all over Italy for her culinary creations, has appeared on television and has written books on speciality foods of Salento.

Apart from the exquisite sensory experience of the food, the waiters are friendly and speak both Italian and English. Lecce has many top rated restaurants, but Alle Due Corti Restaurant is a truly traditional, Italian family trattoria.  The menu is written in Salentino (not Italian) for the locals and English for the convenience of tourists.

The location is about 200 meters away from the main square but that’s why the character is so different from the main tourist area. This is where the locals go in Lecce to eat good authentic food. The ambience is simple and inviting with a lively atmosphere.

One trip advisor contributor says he has eaten in some of the top restaurants in the world over the past forty years, and Alle Due Corti Restaurant is up there with the best.

Another contributor writes that the food was phenomenal, simple, traditional and spectacularly well done. They loved every dish they tried and the prices were very reasonable.

A typical meal for two can cost around €50, including half a carafe of excellent, local wine. If you like a good dessert to finish your meal with an overload of pleasure, this is the place for you.

It’s worth noting that, The ‘Lonely Planet Guide’, also recommends Alle Due Corti, as do local hotels.

Stunning Local Beaches

As part of your Cooking Holiday, you will have the opportunity to visit stunning local beaches. Ideal for a stroll or catching the rays.

The video below is an example to whet your appetite.