Cheat’s Tiramisu

Cheat’s Tiramisu

This recipe is adapted from one of the best cooks I know – little Vini’s mother. She still makes every meal at her home, including full breakfasts, thali lunches, snacks and dinners. Whenever I visit her, the table is laden with such delicious mouthwatering food, the image is not far from one you would see in a Rajshri film scene of a family eating together in a marble clad mansion.

She is also one of my most ardent fans – reads every newsletter, recipe and recreates them at home with great jest. It’s a humbling moment whenever she shares a picture and sends across messages.

So the story for this particular dishes started when I threw a tantrum over something so miniscule which has been a regular occurrence recently with the lockdown and what not. In order to appease me, Vini promised to make a dessert a special dessert loaded with dairy so it was safe from the all the vegan pigs that have been eating up my food. It is a literal survival of fittest in this house.

She called up her mother and got a recipe for a Marie biscuit dessert that she grew up on – a layer of Marie biscuit, a layer of vanilla ice cream, strawberries and chocolate. Set in the fridge for a few hours. Vini claims to have inhaled casseroles of this in her youth, though one would have a hard time believing it!

This time, Vini changed it up a bit (I’m brushing off her), and made a lighter filling with whisked paneer and cream. I went in, and poured a cup of espresso all over. We didn’t want any fruits since we aren’t on diets, and instead grated luscious Amul dark chocolate all over. This is our cheat’s tiramisu, minus the fingers, the mascarpone, the rum… yet it does justice for lockdown-screwed ingredients and my mini tantrums.

Thanks to excess of dairy, the dessert stayed safe, for us to eat spoonfuls through the day and night.

You can customize this dish as per your desire – throw in some mangoes, cherries, frozen berries – you get the drill.

The Recipe
Serves Yields: 1 small bake dish


  • Filling:
  • 1 cup paneer, mashed up
  • 100ml cream, cold
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp espresso
  • Crust:
  • 1 cup broken Marie biscuits
  • 2 tbsp soft butter
  • 2 tbsp espresso
  • Other:
  • Extra 2 tbsp espresso (optional)
  • grated dark chocolate


  • Crust:
  • Crush the Marie biscuit completely and combine with butter
  • Press down this base layer into the bake dish and smoothen with the back of a spoon
  • Put into the fridge to set.
  • After 30 minutes, pour the espresso on top of the layer and put back into the fridge.
  • Filling:
  • Whisk all the ingredients together
  • Layer the filling on top of the set crust
  • Grate dark chocolate on top and let set for 2-3 hours in fridge.
  • In between, can remove and pour remaining 2 tbsp espresso on top and return to fridge to set.

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.