Delectable Oxonian recipes to get you in the mood for Christmas indulgence, courtesy of the winners of our recent flare pan giveaway.

Just dessertsIn our recent flare pan giveaway of the finned, super-efficient saucepans that Oxford helped to develop, we solicited Oxford-linked recipes. Here we share the two (randomly selected) winning entries from among many received. They are Boozy Tiramisu by Amelia Sharman (St John’s, 2008) and Whisky Cake by Dr Paul Taylor (Keble, 2000). If the other entries are anything to go by, the alcoholic component seems to be a pervasive theme…

Boozy tiramisu

Amelia says, ‘This is a boozy tiramisu recipe that I have very fond memories of our Desserts Officer making for our middle common room Desserts Evenings.’

Serves: 6-8


3 free-range organic eggs at room temperature

60g icing sugar

250g mascarpone, at room temperature

120ml espresso coffee

1.5 tablespoons kahlua

1.5 tablespoons dark rum

20–25 sponge finger biscuits

3 tablespoons dark chocolate shavings


1. Separate the eggs and whip the whites until stiff peaks form

2. Next, with clean beaters and bowl, whip the yolks and sugar until very pale and fluffy. This could take a while so be patient. Then, mix in the mascarpone until just combined.

3. Gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mix, taking care not to knock out the air.

4. Mix the coffee and alcohol in a bowl. Dip each sponge finger for 1 second on either side.

5. In a 25 x 25 cm square dish, layer some mascarpone mix, then a tight layer of dipped sponge fingers, and continue until full with a thick layer of mascarpone on top. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

6. When ready to serve, sprinkle with dark chocolate shavings and enjoy!

Whisky cake

Paul recalls, ‘From my time at Keble (matriculation year 2000) I remember fondly the Whisky Cake brought along to tea in the MCR. I managed to get the recipe and have had some success making this at home, so I hope that you will enjoy it too.’


6oz sultanas

4oz butter or margarine

6oz caster sugar

1 egg

6 oz flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

¼ teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

3oz Brazil nuts and walnuts (chopped)

2 tablespoons of whisky (for best results choose a single malt)


2 oz butter or margarine

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 dessertspoon of whisky

7oz icing sugar


1. Simmer sultanas in 1/4 pint of water for 15 minutes. Drain and be sure to save 2 tablespoons of liquid.

2. Cream butter and sugar.

3. Beat in egg.

4. Stir in flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

5. Add liquid and lemon juice.

6. Stir in chopped nuts, sultanas and whisky.

7. Place mixture in sandwich tins and bake for 30–40 minutes at 170 degrees C (gas mark 3).

8. Cream filling ingredients together to make butter icing.

9. When cooked, allow cake to cool then assemble into a sandwich.

Amelia Sharman and Dr Paul Taylor each receive a Lakeland flare pan.

  • Read about the flare pan developed by Oxford researchers.

Image by Bartek Zyczynski via Shutterstock.