Mike Colombo shows to make tiramisu.
Mike Colombo and wife Harlene Hayne came to Dunedin in
1992 to positions in the psychology department at the
University of Otago.
It was difficult to find two jobs in the same department, and
they thought they'd stay for three years. Now, 20 years
later, they love Dunedin and the lifestyle, relishing the
opportunities to get outdoors.
Prof Colombo's parents were Italian. He grew up in the United
States, but lived in Italy for a while. He does most of the
cooking at home and loves making things that are not often
seen in restaurants.
Tiramisu is a popular Italian dessert. There are probably as
many recipes for tiramisu as people who make it, but Prof
Colombo's version is very quick and delicious, making it
ideal for Christmas or a special occasion.
Mike's tiramisu. Photos by Gregor Richardson.
1 cup strong black coffee (Mike makes espresso)
½ cup brown sugar (or to taste)
2-3 Tbsp liqueur such as brandy, Frangelico or Kahlua
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar (second amount)
1 packet (about 12-14) sponge finger biscuits
chocolate for grating
Mix the sugar with the coffee, then add the liqueur. The
liquid should be cool enough so you can dip your fingers in
Mix the mascarpone and second measure of brown sugar
Dip half the sponge fingers briefly in the coffee. They will
disintegrate if left too long. Lay them on a serving dish,
then spread with half the mascarpone mix.
Repeat with another layer of coffee-soaked sponge fingers and
the rest of the mascarpone.
Top with grated chocolate.
• If you use a beater to mix the mascarpone and sugar, it
will develop a velvety texture, but it is fine just stirred
together well so the sugar dissolves.
• Mascarpone, an Italian cream cheese, can be found in most
supermarkets, but you can substitute cream cheese. This can
be a bit thicker, so you might need to blend it so it's
• This dessert can be served almost immediately, or it can be
left in the fridge for several hours.
• Thanks to Afife Harris and Centre City New