Kumquat-fig tiramisu with pain d’épices

# play Dessert , Italian
Prep time:
20 minutes
Cooking time:
20 minutes
Chilling/ Freezing Time:
2 hours
Level of Difficulty:


75 g sugar
250 ml orange juice, freshly squeezed (about 3 oranges)
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves, whole
100 g kumquats
4 ripe figs
3 fresh, medium organic eggs
375 g mascarpone
150 g cream
A pinch of freshly ground green pepper
2 packets Bourbon vanilla sugar
About 130 g pain d’épices (gingerbread or honey cake)
2 tbsp hazelnuts

We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. All eggs are 55–60 g, unless specified.

This is not your typical tiramisu; we’ve added a modern twist on this traditional much-loved dessert. We suggest making individual servings but this recipe can also be made in a larger dish to suit your style of cooking.


In a saucepan, heat the sugar until it starts to caramelise. Add the orange juice. Break the cinnamon stick in half and add cinnamon and cloves to pan. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Rinse the kumquats and figs. Slice the kumquats thinly, removing any seeds. Cut the figs into eighths and add to the pan. Bring to a boil. Shut off the heat, cover the pan and let cool.

Place the mascarpone in a bowl. Separate the eggs. Add the yolks and cream to the mascarpone. Season with a few pinches of green pepper and mix together.

Combine the egg whites, vanilla sugar and a pinch of salt and beat until stiff in a separate bowl. Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.

Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves from the liquid.

Cut the pain d’épices into small cubes and make a layer in the bottom of each glass. Drizzle with the orange sauce. Top with the kumquats and figs and spoon on the mascarpone cream. Repeat this procedure until all the glasses are nearly full. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

In a pan, toast the hazelnuts. Then wrap them in a kitchen towel, rub them slightly to remove some of the skin, chop coarsely and sprinkle onto the Tiramisu. Season with a little freshly ground green pepper and serve.


Pain d'epice is French spiced bread, a bit like a gingerbread or honey cake. It can be purchased from gourmet delicatessens, your local supermarket or made from scratch at home. Bourbon Vanilla Sugar can be substituted by mixing a little sugar, a drop of vanilla extract and a splash of bourbon - to your liking.

If you don’t have serving glasses try using a normal water glass or see-through coffee cup to achieve the same look.

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