Fig Gelato Tiramisu – A Funky Twist On A Classic

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Summer, despite the grey clouds and well covered, pasty skinned bodies stalking the damp streets, is on its way and it gets me thinking. When I was a wee bambino on my summer holidays back to Calabria, I can always remember the really sexy looking Ice cream cakes you would get in the pasticceria shops, and never having one…

These were big celebration cakes and, now knowing what I do now about southern Italy, back then would have been for wedding celebrations, christenings, baptisms and just maybe the odd barmitzvah. It wasn’t the kind of thing a three year old could stroll down the street with after dinner. Either way, their garish, effervescent colours, pillows of high rising whipped cream and ultra red cherries mesmerised a child who couldn’t usually even raise a smile to a bar of dairy milk.

Just recently I moved to Enfield, home of absolutely nothing except double doored cypriot palatial homesteads, and strangely a lot of pasticceria displaying a huge range of ice cream cakes and it got me thinking about them again.

This recipe is a bit of a hybrid, so bear with me, it will be summer after all. The gelato recipe is dead simple and doesn’t require a gelateria or ice cream maker, and when you pair it up with a little booze soaked biscuits, black chocolate and some sweetened mascarpone…get out of here!

Have a go, and when you bite into it, think about that three year old in his yellow coat sticking his bottom lip out at the prospect of having to make do with a small cardboard cup of soppy old vanilla. Buon appetito.


  • 1 pint of whole milk
  • 1 pint of double cream
  • 150g white caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • x2 Fig conserve
  • Fresh figs
  • Savoiardi biscuits x4
  • 2 shots of Tia Maria
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 10g dark chocolate


In a large saucepan, heat the milk and cream, don’t let it boil!

Add the sugar, honey and vanilla into the mix and stir well to allow all to dissolve.

Strain the mix through a sieve and pass into a glass container and allow to cool down completely, stirring from time to time.

When completely chilled pour into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. just when the gelato begins to firm up, add a couple of spoonfuls of the fig conserve and place back into the freezer/ice cream maker.

Now you have your ice cream, soak the savoiardi in the tia maria briefly, and mix the icing sugar into the mascarpone.

Take a glass and start by adding some of the savoiardi, a spoonful of mascarpone and the ice cream. Break up some of the fresh figs and a drizzle of honey, layer and repeat and finish with a grate of chocolate. Dead simple and very tasty.


Recipe by Joe Hurd. Joe Hurd is a Chef from the beautiful city of Hull, in the UK. Last year he starred on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen Live, with Britain’s favourite TV personality Jamie Oliver and Gennaro Contaldo! You can find out more about Joe Hurd at his website, and you can catch him on twitter.

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