Tickle Your Tastebuds Italian Style

• 568ml pot double cream
• 250g tub mascarpone
• 75ml Marsala or Amaretto
• 5 tbsp golden caster sugar
• 300ml strong coffee, made with 2 tbsp coffee granules and 300ml boiling water
• 175g pack sponge finger
• 25g chunk dark chocolate (optional)
• 2 tsp cocoa powder
1. Put the cream, mascarpone, Marsala or Amaretto and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk until the cream and mascarpone have completely combined and have the consistency of thickly whipped cream.

2. Get your serving dish ready. Put the coffee into a shallow dish and dip in a few sponge fingers at a time, turning for a few seconds until they are nicely soaked, but not soggy. Layer these into your dish until you have used half the biscuits, then spread over half of the creamy mixture. Using the coarse side of the grater, grate over most of the chocolate. Then repeat the layers (you should use up all the coffee), finishing with the creamy layer.

3. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight. This can now be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. To serve, dust with cocoa powder and grate over the remainder of the chocolate.

Bolognese Sauce
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 400g/14oz beef mince
• 1 onion, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped or garlic puree
• 100g/3½oz carrot, grated (optional)
• 2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
• 400ml/14fl oz stock (made from stock cube. Ideally beef, but any will do)
• 400g/14oz dried pasta
• salt and pepper
• ½ teaspoon Oregano or Mixed herbs – experiment to your taste

1. Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and once hot add the beef mince and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the mince until well browned over a medium-high heat (be careful not to burn the mince. It just needs to be a dark brown colour). Once browned, transfer the mince to a bowl and set aside.

2. Add another tablespoon of oil to the saucepan you browned the mince in and turn the heat to medium. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and herbs of your choice and fry gently for 5-6 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the grated carrot then pour the mince and any juices in the bowl back into the saucepan.

3. Add the tomatoes to the pan and stir well to mix. Pour in the stock, bring to a simmer and then reduce the temperature to simmer gently for 45 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and rich. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

4. When ready to cook the pasta, heat a large saucepan of water and add a pinch of salt. Cook according to the packet instructions. Once the pasta is cooked through, drain and add to the pan with the Bolognese sauce. Mix well and serve.