So, this is a bit of a cheat, since most of this recipe has been posted before. It’s such a favorite though that it’s one of the few recipes I am willing to remake. This time I tried to change it up a little. Rather than the standard mascarpone frosting, I made this one by first making a zabaglione, and then beating it with the mascarpone. The frosting was richer than usual (if such a thing is possible), and I thought it had a greater depth of flavor. Once the frosting is in the fridge, it also sets nicely (the ingredients basically are the same as what would go into a cheesecake). I also added orange zest to the sponge cake, but it got a bit lost behind the other flavors. This frosting is really great, a strongly recommend it. Could also be used as a filling for a no-bake cheesecake. Unfortunately, the amounts of marsala and powdered sugar in the frosting are largely estimates, as I just added them until the frosting had the right taste and consistency.
Makes ~ 30
Cake6 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
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Separate the eggs.
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, orange zest 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 Syrup½ cup confectioner’s sugar
2/3 cup water
5 teaspoons instant espresso powder
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 Frosting4 egg yolks
1 1/3 c confectioner’s sugar (more as needed)
1. Mix the egg yolks, sugar, ¼ cup of the wine, and the cinnamon in the bowl of a double boiler. Over simmering water rapidly beat the eggs until thick, foamy, and doubled in volume. It should come to about 180 degrees.
2. Remove the bowl of the double boiler from the heat. Let it come to room temperature, or, if you want to use it sooner, place the bowl in a larger pot of cool water. You need to reduce the temperature of the zabaglione before using it, or it will melt the mascarpone.
3. With a hand mixer, beat the mascarpone on medium speed until smooth. Reduce the speed to slow and add the zabaglione. Add the powdered sugar and the remaining marsala. If the frosting is not stiff enough, add more sugar, if it is not flavorful enough, add more wine. Keep alternating until you get a taste and texture you like. When I made this it was on the runny side, so I just scooped it onto the cupcakes, but it set up very nicely once refrigerated.