Several months ago, in fact last semester, a friend of mine decided to host an Italian food themed dinner. I volunteered to make dessert, and in accordance with my newfound habit, decided to make tiramisu cupcakes. A Google search revealed pretty wide variety of recipes. But I ended up settling on one from a miscellaneous flikr post. Unfortunately I haven’t made this recipe since getting my new camera, so there aren’t any photos of the process of making them. However, I did take a picture of the completed cupcakes when I first made them. The picture’s nothing to write home about, but you’ll just have to trust me that the taste of these cupcakes is.
Since making these cupcakes months ago, people haven’t stopped asking me to make them again. I finally did last week for a potluck, where they were devoured as soon as they came out. I wish I could claim credit for the recipe, but I really only made a few minor adjustments. Making this recipe was also my first experience in whipping up egg-whites. Figuring out what a stiff peak is if you’ve never done it before can be a bit of a mystery, but it’s manageable. I think the secret to this recipe is in the frosting. The Marsala wine really gives it a little extra something; I used sweet wine, though the recipe didn’t specify.
Recipe makes ~30 cupcakes (29 last time I made a batch)
For the cake:
6 eggs, separated
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar, divided
3 tablespoon water, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sifted, all-purpose flour
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
1. Separate the eggs. I’m told the eggs separate better when they’re cold, and whip up better when they are at room temperature, however, I do the whole thing when the eggs are cold, and the eggs always whip up just fine.
2. Put the egg-whites and the cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl. Whip the egg-whites at highest speed until they are foamy. Begin adding a ½ cup of sugar 2 tablespoons at a time, until all the sugar is incorporated and the egg-whites have reached soft peaks. Rub a bit of the meringue between your fingers to make sure the sugar is fully dissolved.
3. In a small mixing bowl beat the egg yolks at high speed until they are thick and lemony colored. Should take between 3-5 minutes.
4. Gradually beat in remaining ½ cup sugar, vanilla, water and salt.
4. With a sifter gradually sift flour over the egg-white mixture (I never sift, I just sprinkle gently, mostly because I don’t own a sifter). Add the beaten yolk mixture, and gradually fold the flour and yolks into the whites.
5. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full, and bake in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes (I usually bake them for 12). The cupcakes will rise a lot in the oven, and then fall as soon as you take them out. As far as I can tell this is normal.
For Mocha Syrup
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
2/3 cup water
5 teaspoons instant espresso powder 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (this is my own addition)
1. Combine everything in a heavy pot over high heat; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally
2. Remove from heat and let cool. The mixture should have thickened into a syrup.
3. Poke holes in the tops of the cupcakes with a fork. Put a spoonful of the syrup on top of each cupcake, and let it permeate the cake through the holes.
For the Mascarpone Frosting
3 c mascarpone
1 1/3 c confectioner’s sugar
1/3 c marsala wine
3/4 c heavy cream, chilled
I’ve increased the amount of sugar and wine in the frosting, because I didn’t think it was strong enough as posted on flikr. You should adjust to your own tastes
1. In a mixer at medium speed, beat together the mascarpone cheese, sugar, and marsala wine.
2. Add the cream and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute
3. Frost the cupcakes, then top with a sprinkling of cocoa powder or shaved chocolate.