This month's selection for the Martha Stewart Cupcakes Club was the Tiramisu Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting. These were chosen by Jennifer of The Rookie Baker, whom I am in both this group and the Craving Ellie group with. I was intrigued by these cupcakes, because while I am not too familiar with tiramisu in general, I did wonder how it would translate into cupcake form.
My understanding of tiramisu is that it is a dessert composed of ladyfinger cookies that have been soaked in wine and/or coffee. The dessert is topped with a whipped cream (I think; see, my knowledge of actual tiramisu is limited!) frosting and then dusted with cocoa powder. Since I am not usually a fan of desserts that taste like booze, I wasn't sure if I'd like these, though I was certainly open to trying it!
The cupcakes themselves are not too difficult to make; they just require a bunch of different steps. You infuse milk with vanilla bean flavor by heating it up on the stovetop with a vanilla bean pod. Some butter is stirred into this at the end of the heating process. Meanwhile, you beat together some eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until combined, then heat that up on the stove, as well. You just want the sugar to dissolve, and for the mixture to become warm. Next, you beat the eggs/sugar on high speed until the mixture becomes very thick and the batter is almost ribbon-like when drizzled from a spoon.
You blend in cake flour, baking powder, and salt next to form a cake batter. Once everything is combined, you divide it into cupcake tins and bake. Once the cupcakes have baked and cooled completely, you brush each with a simple mixture of brewed coffee or espresso, marsala wine, and a bit of sugar. I was concerned that these would become too soggy, so I stuck the baked cupcakes inside a second cupcake liner each to minimize the possibility of them leaking all over. As it turned out, it wasn't really a problem, but at least I was prepared!
You allow this mixture to soak in for a while, and then your cupcakes are ready to be frosted. I was eager to taste this frosting, because last week I made a different mascarpone frosting for the Tomato Soup Cupcakes that I didn't care for too much. This one's made with whipped heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, and some confectioners' sugar. Just those three ingredients. And I have to say, this one really worked for me! True, I did not really taste the mascarpone when all was said and done, but it did add some body to the otherwise light and airy frosting. It was smooth and divine. A sprinkling of cocoa powder over the top of this, and these are ready.
I'm still glad I tried these, but I have to admit that they are not my absolute favorite. There's just something about the soggy, soaked cupcake tops that jut does not appeal to me. However, my husband took these in to his office and they received rave reviews, so clearly I am in the minority here. That said, they were a lot of fun to make and were very impressive.
Thank you, Jennifer, for giving me the opportunity to branch out and try something new. I wonder how everybody else liked these? Click on over to the MSC blogroll to see all the other results, here!