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Recipe: This Indulgent Tiramisu is Full of Savoury and Textural Surprises

With the help of Luke Dale Roberts, we are here to turn up the heat to take this traditional dessert to new heights

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By House & Garden South Africa | November 6, 2023 | Recipes

The classic Italian dessert Tiramisu is typically a heavenly layered cloud of whipped marscapone, cream, and boudoir biscuits with a brandy-espresso flavour ribboned throughout. But, celebrity chef Luke Dale Roberts (of the Test Kitchen, the Pot Luck Club, and now Salon), has done it once again with a gastronomic twist on this comforting family dessert. Pulled from his new The Test Kitchen Cookbook, Luke Dale Roberts’ tiramisu is for the adventurous at-home chef who fancies a challenge in the kitchen and an adventure on the palette.

Here’s how to make Luke Dale Roberts’ tiramisu with amaretto chantilly, coffee liver jus, barley risotto, almond butter that serves 6:


Barley Risotto

¼ onion, finely chopped

½ clove garlic, finely chopped

1 sprig thyme, picked and chopped

25g butter

7.5ml canola oil

2.5ml salt

100g barley

50ml medium cream sherry

25ml pale dry sherry

800ml celeriac extraction

(see p. 234)

15ml butter

To make the Coffee Sherry

200ml medium cream sherry

200ml pale dry sherry

40g coffee beans

Coffee Liver Jus

50ml pale dry sherry

3g coffee beans, plus 2 extra beans

200ml liver jus (see p. 455)

50ml coffee sherry

To make the Almond Butter

100g whole almonds, skin on

1 clove garlic, roasted

100ml milk

salt to taste

To make the Lamb Sweetbread

200g lamb sweetbreads

20g rock salt

50ml canola oil

2 sprigs thyme

2 bunches sage

30g seasoned rice flour

15ml butter

To make the Amaretto Chantilly

100ml cream

12.5ml amaretto

Specialist Equipment

muslin cloth, blender, sous vide machine, vacuum sealer, glass bottle, squeezy bottle

Method for the Barley Risotto

​Add the onion, garlic, thyme, 25g butter and canola oil to a saucepan. Cook over low heat until the onion is translucent and softened. Season with the salt.

​Add the barley and stir with a spatula, coating the barley well and allowing it to toast in the fat.

​Increase the heat and deglaze the hot pan with the sherries until the liquid has completely reduced. Turn down the heat to medium.

​Meanwhile, heat 750ml of the celeriac extraction in a separate pot.

​Once the liquid has reduced, add the celeriac extraction one ladle

at a time, allowing the extraction to be absorbed before adding the next ladle.

​Stir continuously to cook the barley evenly into a creamy risotto.

​Once all the celeriac extraction has cooked into the risotto, remove from the heat and spread the risotto over a baking tray. Place in the fridge to cool rapidly.

​Before service, reduce the remaining 50ml celeriac extraction in a pot. Add the barley risotto and heat through, stirring continuously. Once the extraction has reduced and the risotto is coated, remove from the heat and stir in the 15ml butter.

Method for the Coffee Sherry

​Set a sous vide machine to 62.5ºC.

​Place all the ingredients into a vacuum pack bag, seal and sous vide for two and a half hours.

​Leave to cool and infuse, then strain through muslin and store in a sterilised glass bottle.

Method for the Coffee Liver Jus

​Bring the pale dry sherry, 3g coffee beans and liver jus to the boil in a pot. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse until completely cooled, then strain through muslin.

​Roast the two extra coffee beans and set aside for service.

​Before service, place the coffee sherry into a hot pan and reduce.

Add the strained mixture and reduce by a quarter to a thick jus.

Method for the Almond Butter

​Heat the oven to 175°C and roast the almonds on a baking tray for seven minutes or until roasted.

​Immediately place the almonds into a blender and blend to a nut butter. Add the roasted garlic and blend again.

​Place the milk into a small saucepan and reduce by half over medium heat. Remove from the heat, cool slightly, then pour into the almond butter while still blending.

​Season with salt and transfer the smooth almond butter to a squeezy bottle. Keep in a warm spot.

Method for the Lamb Sweetbread

​Set a sous vide machine to 82.5°C.

​Rub the sweetbreads with the rock salt and leave to soak in ice water for two to three days, changing the water constantly. Soaking the sweetbreads gets rid of any unwanted blood and impurities.

​Pat dry and place the sweetbreads into a vacuum pack bag with the canola oil, thyme and sage. Seal and sous vide for 80 minutes.

​Plunge the bag into ice water to cool rapidly, then remove and clean the sweetbreads by removing the membranes. Portion into 20g cubes.

​Before service, dust the sweetbreads in the seasoned rice flour. Add a splash of canola oil and the butter to a smoking-hot pan and fry the sweetbreads for 30 to 45 seconds on each side until golden brown and crisp.

​Remove the sweetbreads from the pan and rest for 45 seconds.

Method for the Amaretto Chantilly

​Just before service, whisk the cream and amaretto to soft peaks.

​Place into a pot and split with some of the coffee liver jus.


​Lightly coat the sweetbreads in the pan of coffee liver jus.

​Pipe two teaspoons of almond butter just off-centre of each plate.

​Plate a tablespoon of barley risotto on top of the almond butter.

​Plate a sweetbread portion on top of the barley risotto.

​Plate a tablespoon of amaretto Chantilly just off the sweetbread.

​Drizzle two teaspoons of remaining coffee liver jus around the plate.

​Finely grate an eighth of a roasted coffee bean over each dish, dusting the plate.