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Monday, April 12, 2010

Iron Cupcake Challenge - Tiramisu Cupcakes


Iron Cupcake Challenge round two, here I come! This month's challenge theme is Italy and tell me what is more Italian than tiramisu? I guess you could have answered pizza, pasta, or wine, but that would not have been the answer I am looking for. I did seriously think about (and even found) some savory "cupcakes" that were actually mini pizzas. But when I think of cupcakes I think of sweet so tiramisu inspired cupcakes won out over pizza cupcakes.

There are quite a few recipes for tiramisu cupcakes, everyone from Martha Stewart to the food network to Joe Schmoe has a recipe. I bookmarked about 4 or 5 different ones that sounded like they could work but I couldn't make up my mind at the time. After going about my business for a few weeks I realized that the challenge date was getting closer and I'd have to make a decision sometime soon. Hmm, I know, I'll make a batch of the two that sound the best and my husband can take them into work for his drill weekend as a taste test kind of thing. That will work.

Scratch that. After perusing the recipes I realized two things: one, there was really only one recipe that stood out to me this time as the one that I would like to bake, and two, this isn't a professional competition so why waste money on somewhat expensive ingredients just to make two batches of taste test cupcakes. Ahhh, I just may learn the art of saying no (especially to myself) and not putting too much on my plate one of these days.

So, back to the recipe.These were really fun to bake! Surprisingly, almost all my cupcakes turned out the same size so I must have done something right when squeezing the batter into the cupcake liners. Also, these were probably the most beautiful cupcakes I've ever made and that was even before the icing was piped on. The way the espresso glaze mottled the spongecake just baffled my mind. Gorgeous!


I slightly adapted the cupcake recipe and did end up completely changing the frosting recipe that I had planned to use. I started to make the one included with the cupcake recipe and realized right away that it wasn't quite what I was looking for in my tiramisu frosting. I ended up going with a fluffier version from Martha Stewart. Enjoy!



Tiramisu Cupcakes
Source: Epicurious.com and Martha Stewart

Cupcakes
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
8 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk

Tiramisu Glaze (prepare when cupcakes have cooled) (I only used about half of mine)
1 cup hot espresso
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate syrup (I used Torani Chocolate Syrup found in the coffee aisle)
2 ounces Kahlua
1/2 ounce Myers Dark Rum or Brandy

Icing
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 - 8 ounce package marscapone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
cocoa powder, chocolate covered espresso beans, and/or chocolate shavings for garnish


Cake Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with cupcakes liners (aluminum might work best). Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 15-24 minutes, or until top springs back. (My mini's baked 10 minutes and the full size baked 13 minutes.) Let cool for thirty minutes, then remove from pan and cool an additional 30 minutes.

Glaze Directions:
Melt the sugar into the hot espresso in a large mixing bowl by mixing by hand with a whisk. Then add chocolate syrup, kahlua, and rum/brandy. See assembling directions.

Icing Directions:
With an electric mixer, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form (be careful not to overbeat or cream will be grainy). Add vanilla, and whisk until blended. In another bowl, whisk together marscapone cheese and confectioner's sugar until smooth. Gently fold whipped cream into marscapone mixture until completely incorporated. Put icing in a piping bag.

Assembling the cupcakes:
Take a toothpick or a fork and poke several small holes in the top of each cupcake. (I made about 7 holes with a toothipick.) Spoon about 1-2 teaspoons of espresso glaze over the top. (Place a bowl underneath to catch drippings so you can reuse the glaze.) Then dip the top of each cupcake into the glaze to ensure that it is evenly covered. It shouldn't be soggy, just covered enough that the cupcake looks light brown.

Pipe icing onto each cupcake. Lightly dust cupcakes with cocoa powder and top with espresso beans and/or chocolate shavings.