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Mascarpone gelato with espresso ripple

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By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking plus chilling, freezing
  • Serves 8 - 10
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Mascarpone gelato with espresso ripple
This dessert is a play on the much-loved flavours of tiramisù. Gelato has a higher milk content than regular ice-cream, so it freezes a lot harder, and we find it best to transfer it to the fridge for about 20 minutes before serving to soften slightly.


  • 900 ml milk
  • 80 ml Marsala
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 240 gm caster sugar
  • 750 gm mascarpone
  • To serve: plain chocolate biscuits or savoiardi, crumbled
Espresso caramel
  • 300 gm caster sugar
  • 100 gm liquid glucose or corn syrup
  • 70 ml espresso coffee
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) pouring cream
  • 70 gm butter, diced


  • 1
    For espresso caramel, stir sugar, glucose and 100ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook without stirring until the mixture turns dark caramel (5-6 minutes). Remove from heat, carefully add espresso and 50ml water (take care, hot caramel will spit) and return to heat. Add cream and butter, and whisk to combine. Simmer until a thick syrup forms (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a container and refrigerate until thick and cooled (2-3 hours).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, bring milk, Marsala and vanilla to the simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale (4-5 minutes), then pour milk mixture over, whisking continuously to combine. Return to pan and stir continuously over medium heat until custard thinly coats the back of a spoon (4-5 minutes), then strain into a bowl.
  • 3
    Whisk mascarpone in a bowl to soften, then gradually add custard, whisking until smooth and combined. Refrigerate to chill, then churn in an ice-cream machine. Spoon mascarpone gelato into a chilled container, swirling a little espresso caramel through to form a ripple effect, then freeze until firm (3-4 hours). Makes about 2 litres.
  • 4
    Bring remaining espresso caramel to room temperature 30 minutes before serving or warm gently in a saucepan over low heat. Serve scoops of mascarpone gelato topped with espresso caramel and crumbled biscuits.