I may have slightly over-estimated the appetites of my guests when I made my rum cake. I am not, however, one to waste food. Aside from banana skins and orange peel our waste disposal unit sees very little action.

With this in mind I set about thinking of ways that I could revive the leftover rum cake, which was starting to flirt with staleness around the edges.

So my best options were as follows:

Queen of Puddings – no-one wants to eat hot jam and custard in 40°c weather.

Baked Alaska – a good idea but my freezer is already full to bursting, like I said, I don’t waste food.

Trifle – wonderfully British but I fear mine would not live up the standards set by Grandma and Mum every Christmas.

Pain Perdue – a strong contender, but there really was a lot of cake left!

With some not very subtle hinting from my husband I opted for tiramisu, his all time favourite.


I’m sure Italians would be appalled by my version but what this lacks in tradition it makes up for in taste and simplicity so it’s pretty speedy to make. It is also another dessert which benefits from being allowed to sit and mingle for a while before eating so feel free to make this the day before.


serves 6

300ml espresso or super strong freshly brewed coffee

3 tbs sugar

50ml rum or coffee liqueur

2 egg yolks

1tsp vanilla paste

225g mascarpone

200ml double cream

1.5cm thick slices of leftover rum cake or boudoir biscuits

Good quality cocoa powder

To start with take the mascarpone out of the fridge so that it can reach room temperature. It’ll blend a lot more easily this way.

Brew the coffee, add the booze and sweeten with 1 tbs of the sugar. Set aside to cool.


Using a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 2 tbs of sugar and the vanilla paste. If you happen to have Marsala in the house (I never seem to!) then by all means add a splash here. It’s easiest to use a handheld electric whisk for this stage unless you have unlimited reserves of elbow grease. The yolks should become pale and fluffy and double in size.

Remove the eggs from the heat and beat in the mascarpone so that it is smooth and well blended.

Whisk the double cream until it forms soft peaks and then fold or whisk this into the mascarpone mixture.

Pour the cooled coffee into a shallow dish and dip slices of the cake into it so that they are saturated but not soggy. Place these into the bottom of your serving dish. Cover with a layer of the cream and mascarpone. Dust with cocoa powder. Repeat these layers until the dish is full, finishing with a cream layer. Dust with cocoa to finish, using stencils to pretty it up if that takes your fancy.