After stuffing myself full of carby deliciousness, we still had many many treats to get through at Hsien & Katie’s party last weekend. We had:
- Freshly made crepes with dulce de leche gelato (so a French/South American/Italian hybrid)
- Homemade Panettone
- Chocolate and Cherry Biscotti
- Homemade Grappa & Limoncello
I also brought dessert, and after briefly contemplating this cheesecake, I decided to go for something a little lighter, and settled on these Tiramisu Cupcakes. Let’s be clear: tiramisu is so far down on my list of favourite desserts, I would say it’s hovering only slightly above citrus desserts (which you know I don’t care for). But of course, these fit our Italian theme perfectly, so that’s what I wanted to make.
They turned out great and everyone loved them, but I will NEVER make these again. Cupcakes should not take more than 20 minutes to mix together, or use up more than two bowls, tops. I’m not even talking about the syrup or frosting here either. This is the most high maintenance cupcake I’ve ever made, and I’ve made a lot of cupcakes. You have to infuse milk with a vanilla bean, heat the eggs over a double boiler with the sugar, and fold things together in stages. Only after that do you get into soaking the cupcakes in the coffee/Kahlua/sugar syrup, and finally making the frosting, which was another two bowls. Unacceptable! Here’s the recipe anyway, in case you feel like spending a few hours in the kitchen resulting in a sink full of dirty dishes!
Source: Annie’s Eats
Yield: 14 cupcakes (I halved the original recipe)
3/4 cup + 4 tbsp cake flour
1/2 + 1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
1/2 vanilla bean
3 tbsp butter, room temperature
2.5 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup hot coffee or espresso
1 1/2 tbsp Kahlua
3 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
6 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp icing sugar
+ a square of dark chocolate to grate on top
- For cupcakes, preheat the oven to 325 and two cupcake pans with 14 liners.
- In a small saucepan, add the milk. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and add them to the milk. Throw in the pod too. Heat over medium-high heat just until bubbles form around the edge. Take off heat and add butter; whisk until the butter is melted. Let stand 15 minutes, then remove the vanilla bean pod.
- In a large glass bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks and sugar. Set bowl over a saucepan containing a few inches of water that has been brought to a simmer. Whisk occasionally until the mixture is warm and the sugar is dissolved, about 6 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat, and with an electric mixer, beat until the mixture is pale yellow and has thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Gently fold these dry ingredients into the egg mixture.
- Scoop about 1/3 cup of the egg mixture into the milk, and mix to combine. Then pour the whole milk mixture into the egg mixture. Fold gently until everything is combined.
- Pour batter into cupcake liners, and bake until cupcakes are light golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then take cupcakes out and place them on a wire rack over a cookie sheet (this will catch the dripping syrup we’re about to brush on).
- For the soaking syrup, combine the hot coffee, Kahlua and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Using a pastry brush, brush the syrup over the top of the warm cupcakes until it’s used up. It’ll take about four or five cycles of brushing. Let cool completely.
- For frosting, whip the cream in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Remove to another small bowl and set aside. In the same large bowl, whip the mascarpone and icing sugar together until smooth and fluffy, about two minutes. Fold about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture to lighten, then fold in the remaining whipped cream.
- Transfer the frosting a a piping bag with a large round tip, and pipe a large dollop of frosting on top of each cupcake. Chill until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, grate a little dark chocolate over top of the cupcakes. You could also dust them with cocoa powder.