Miss Windsor and I love tiramisu and have both noticed how actual Italian tiramisu in Italy isn’t terribly alcoholic, if at all. We decided we’d bring you our own special versions, mine based on my Venice one and Miss Windsor’s made with one of her favourite tipples, Harvey’s Bristol Cream, which I think is an inspired British alternative to the customary Italian marsala or vin santo. We love them both equally and we hope you will too.

Mrs Simkins Tiramisu Trifle

Tiramisu is one of the nicest puddings in the world but usually, to be honest, a bit of a faff to make at home. As I mentioned above, I had the most lovely one earlier this year during our late May jaunt to Venice, which on close inspection, turned out to be more of a tiramisu trifle.

In place of the expected marsala-enriched zabaglione blended with mascarpone and layered with coffee-soaked sponge fingers, was a beautiful confectioner’s custard sitting on coffee-soaked sponge, topped off with whipped cream and cocoa powder. It was absolutely gorgeous.

I’d promised our tiramisu-loving friend I’d take a photo of a genuine Venetian tiramisu for her (she and her late husband visited Venice many times years ago and she always had tiramisu for pudding. They would sample different restaurants every night so she’s practically a world authority on Venetian tiramisu!)

Anyway, when my tiramisu arrived, it looked so inviting I dived straight in and only remembered the photo when I’d virtually licked the bowl clean.

Our friend came round for Sunday dinner recently and I made my own version of the Venice one for her. I couldn’t detect any alcohol in the original but since we all enjoy a tipsymisu I’ve added a generous measure of Kahlua coffee liqueur to the sponge.

A light dusting of drinking chocolate gives a more mellow finish than the traditional substantial amount of cocoa, but use cocoa, or grated dark chocolate, if you prefer.

We all loved it and she said it was the best she’d ever tasted: certainly, she tucked into seconds very enthusiastically and we’ve promised to have it again next time she comes round.

Tiramisu literally translates from the Italian as ‘pick-me-up’ or ‘cheer me up; and this one certainly left us all feeling very perky and cheered up indeed!