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So you’ve probably noticed the shortage of sweet, delicious things around here. Believe me when I say that this hurts me far more than it hurts you. When I’m not baking, I obsess. A lot. All the time. About cookies and cakes and pies and open faced tarts.
And cupcakes. I daydream about all the different cake flavors and frostings that are just waiting to be put together. I want an excuse to bake and play cake and frosting matchmaker.
A few weeks ago, I had a mini cupcake tasting courtesy of Trang. I took a tiny bite of each cupcake, purely in the name of research. But when I got to the tiramisu cupcake, I was very tempted to eat the entire thing. As a matter of fact, it took a whole lot of will power to step away and leave the rest of that cupcake in the box. I’m a tiramisu lover, and that cupcake was the goods.
Naturally, I began to obsess about tiramisu cupcakes.Then this little video (so bizarro and so completely random, you have to watch the entire series) found its way into my life and I took it as a sign that it was tiramisu time. So I tried to make them for the opening reception of Edwin’s art show. But that first attempt was nothing like I had hoped it would be, so I abandoned that batch. I went back to the drawing board and tried a different vanilla cake recipe, a different technique for making the whipped mascarpone frosting, snuck a little more booze into the coffee syrup (and frosting), and it all seemed to just come together. And now I’m just waiting for an excuse to make them again.
makes 36 cupcakes
for the cupcakes:
from Gourmet Today edited by Ruth Reichl
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1-3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups whole milk
cocoa powder (for dusting)
Arrange the racks in the upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 350F. Line muffin trays with liners.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until completely incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk alternately in three batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing just until batter is smooth.
Divide batter among muffin cups, filling them two-thirds full. Bake cupcakes, switching position of the pans halfway through baking, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean., 18 to 22 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pans on racks for 5 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely.
for the coffee syrup:
adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes
2/3 cup freshly brewed very strong coffee
2-4 tablespoons dark rum or marsala (or a combination of the two)
1/4 cup sugar
Stir together the coffee, rum, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Let cool before using.
for the mascarpone frosting:
adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts
2 cups heavy cream
16 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
2-4 tablespoons amaretto
Combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium-high speed, until soft peaks begin to form. Add the amaretto and continue to mix until stiff beaks begin to form. Be very careful not to overmix in order to avoid grainy frosting.
Using a toothpick, poke holes in the tops of each cupcake. Brush the tops of the cupcakes generously with the coffee syrup. Repeat until all of the syrup has been used. Allow the cupcakes to absorb the liquid for at least 30 minutes. Dollop frosting onto each cupcake or transfer the frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a tip and pipe onto each cupcake. If not serving immediately, refrigerate cupcakes in an airtight container. Dust with cocoa powder just before serving.