Tiramisu Martini – Anna Polyviou – Dani Valent

Shake your way to a classic Italian dessert

Ever-exuberant pastry chef Anna Polyviou always adds a bit of theatre to her desserts and her spin on a classic tiramisu is no different, delivering excitement and surprise but in a super simple recipe. Served in a martini glass, the liquid elements are combined in a cocktail shaker in front of your guests then poured into martini glasses. It’s a fun way to deliver a great dessert.

As Anna says, “This dessert is most dramatic when prepared on the spot, whether in front of guests at home or in a restaurant. It’s a fun, interactive creation that everyone can be involved in.”

I caught up with Anna for a chat before she appeared at the Cakes, Bakes and Sweets Show to chat festive planning, cooking and eating.

What tips do you have for home cooks this festive season?

Seasonal fruit in season is the best! If you don’t have time to make the sponge or the pav, there’s nothing wrong with buying it. Christmas is about sharing a meal with loved ones, not being in the kitchen 24-7.

What about planning ahead?

I always plan a menu, write it down, cater for people’s needs, keep it simple. If you don’t have a plan and you’re grabbing whatever from the shops, it can get expensive. Again, think seasonal and look at what’s on special. Mangos and cherries are in season – use them.

Pastry is all about precision but you love a bit of crazy too – how do you balance that?

Creativity is really important! For home cooks, think about classic dishes and give them a twist. You don’t have to get too experimental – still give people what they want to eat. Something like my tiramisu martini is great. It’s classic but you make it fresh and exciting by shaking it up in a cocktail shaker.

What will you be doing for Christmas?

This is my first Christmas not working for many years. We are doing fresh seafood on Christmas Eve and we’ll have the spit on the barbecue on Christmas Day.

Serves: 6
Time: 10 minutes


  • 100 grams (3 ½ oz) savoiardi (lady finger) biscuits, halved lengthways, then cut in thirds crossways
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) espresso coffee
  • 2 tbsp coffee-flavoured liqueur, such as Kahlua
  • 1 tsp vodka
  • crushed ice
  • 200 grams (7 oz) mascarpone
  • 100 ml (3 ½ fl oz) pure (pouring) cream (35% fat), lightly whipped
  • 1 tbsp icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
  • 30 grams (1 oz) chocolate, to be grated during serving


1. Divide the savoiardi between 6 martini glasses and pour the espresso coffee over the top.

2. Combine the liqueur, vodka and crushed ice in a cocktail shaker and shake for 1 minute to chill the alcohol. Strain and pour 1 tablespoon of the liquid into each martini glass.

3. Put the mascarpone, cream and icing sugar into a small bowl. Use a tablespoon to beat them together until combined, then spoon the mixture evenly over the sponge fingers.

4. Sprinkle finely grated chocolate on top of the whipped mascarpone cream and serve.


  • Try switching the savoiardi with sponge cake and adding strawberries.
  • Leave out the alcohol if desired.

Images and recipes from Sweet Street by Anna Polyviou, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99 Photography by Nikki To, styling by Rhianne Contreras.

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