ricotta al caffé (coffee-laced ricotta)

I found a lovely recipe in Elizabeth David's Italian Food for slightly sweet ricotta with a splash of rum and a spoonful of fine coffee grounds stirred through it. However, I prefer it with espresso rather than the coffee grounds. It's a subtler coffee flavour and doesn't seem to make your head spin as the straight grounds do. Together with the booziness from the rum and the hit of caffeine, it's rather like a lazy idea for a tiramisu. Served well chilled in little glasses, it is a refreshing, elegant and surprisingly light way to end a meal.

serves 4, time 10 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling

250g fresh ricotta
80g caster sugar
2tbsp strong espresso
A splash of rum (optional)
100g soft, plain biscuits (about 8), such as savoiardi (ladyfingers)
100ml pouring cream, whipped to soft peaks
20g dark chocolate, shaved or grated, to serve

Whip the ricotta with a whisk - if you prefer to remove all of the ricotta's characteristic lumps, you can make it perfectly smooth by passing it through a fine-mesh sieve, using a silicone spatula. Add the sugar, espresso and rum (if using) and whisk until smooth and well combined.

Crumble the biscuits and divide half among the glasses. Distribute half of the ricotta mixture over the top. Add a layer of the remaining crumbled biscuits, then a layer of the rest of the
ricotta mixture.

Allow it to chill for at least 1 hour before serving, then dollop whipped cream on the top and sprinkle with the dark chocolate.

If you want to prepare this ahead of time, leave out the whipped cream until just before serving.