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Suffolk chef Jordan Ryan, from The Weeping Willow in Barrow near Bury St Edmunds, tackles food waste with his tiramisu recipe

Well, here it is my first ever food column, and let me tell you I’m nervous. I never thought I’d get the opportunity to do something like this and I’m hoping the more columns I write the better they get, so stay with me, even if this one is a little rusty. . .

I’m going to kick things off with something I spoke about in my previous ‘get to know me’ article and that is zero waste. The hospitality industry does create a massive amount of food waste and we are all trying to do more to combat that, but unfortunately, when working with food there will always be some waste. I hope these articles and dishes will help you to use food in ways that you hadn’t thought about before.

Since becoming head chef of the Weeping Willow, the team and I have been working really hard to reduce food waste. We have made some simple changes, but also more challenging ones - which I have personally found more fun! Some of the simpler things we have done are using carrot tops in our pestos, or the ends of our sourdough as dried crumb for our treacle tart.

Zero waste tiramisu
Zero waste tiramisu

The idea of zero waste Tiramisu came to me when I was travelling in Italy this summer. I got to try so many different tiramisus from different regions of Italy and every one of them was so different, but always had this home-like taste and feel to them, which drew me in.

My biggest challenge was working out how I could recreate this classic dish without doing it any injustice. And then one morning when I was having my Italian breakfast (double espresso and a pastry) it came to me. I’d use the coffee grounds from the restaurant and the leftover breakfast pastries and that was the start of it. I started writing things down and taking note of the tiramisus I was eating, making sure I had all the elements in there and the know-how to get it right.

When I got back to work, I got straight onto the making of the tiramisus with our pastry commis chef Joe and he loved it. He enjoyed the challenge of making the waste ground coffee taste like the perfect espresso - as naturally the waste is much more bitter and doesn’t carry that creamy sweetness like it does the first time round. So we tried a lot of different ways on how to get that taste and texture. We eventually got there and started making a lot of tiramisus. I can confidently say the first five weren’t perfect, but with each attempt they got better. We changed things, adapted the recipe and now I think we have it spot on and the team (and guests) all seem to agree!

Thank you for taking time to read my first one. If you fancy giving this recipe a try, I’d love to see your attempts so feel free to stick them on social media and tag us in it!

Stay tuned for my Christmas banger next month, Until then!



1kg mascarpone

200g double cream

200ml coffee – we use the dead coffee grounds from the machine, but instant coffee or fresh coffee grounds will work

25ml amaretto

100g croissants, dried and blitzed into a powder (we use the leftover pastries from breakfast)

5 eggs

125g sugar

100g self-raising flour

100g dried croissant crumb

300ml coffee (just espresso or, if using instant coffee, a really strong coffee – the less water the better)

10g sugar


l Start with the making of the sponge. Whip the egg and sugar until light and fluffy, you should be able to form a figure of eight pattern.

l Once this is done, fold in the flour and pastry crumb.

l Spread the mixture on a lined flat tray, you should look for about an inch or two in height and do three trays worth of sponge.

l Cook this at 160C for 10-15 minutes.

l Put straight onto cooling racks when removed from oven.

For the filling:

l Gently whip the double cream into very soft peaks. Then slowly fold in the mascarpone and keep mixing but be careful not to whip, you don’t want to over-whip your cream.

l Once the mascarpone is fully combined with the cream, add the amaretto, coffee and the rest of the pastry crumb.

l To make the coffee syrup, boil the coffee with the sugar and then once reduced by half, strain through a sieve into a bottle or jug.

l Taste to make sure there is enough coffee/alcohol for you - if you fancy a little top up, go for it!

l Once the sponge has cooled down, soak it in our coffee syrup, then place one at the bottom of the tray. Add the filling and layer the tiramisu. Once finished layering, you can either dust in cocoa powder or grate some dark chocolate over the top.

Jordan Ryan is head chef at The Weeping Willow, 39 Bury Road, Barrow Hill, Barrow, Bury St Edmunds IP29 5AB

See www.theweepingwillow.co.uk

Call 01284 771881