One of my all time favorite desserts is tiramisu. It literally means "pick me up." I know that from my three years of college Italian. You probably know that from reading the menu at the Olive Garden.
At any rate, Martha has a Tiramisu cupcake recipe that I have been longing to try. It took me a little time to find marscapone cheese (which I got from Whole Foods) and the Marsala (in the wine section of the grocery store). I thought that they would be a nice pick-me-up during Friday afternoon lectures. I made a couple of changes to the recipe, mostly because I did have exactly the same ingredients.
Tiramisu cupcakes - makes 18, adapted from Martha Stewart
- 1 1/4 cups cake flour
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (coarse)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 vanilla bean, cut open lengthwise. Seeds removed
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 stick butter at room temperature
- 3 large eggs plus three egg yolks at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake tin with paper liners
- Put vanilla bean and milk into a saucepan with medium heat until small bubbles form along the outside edges of the milk. Remove from heat. Cut the butter into pieces and whisk into the liquid mixture. Add the vanilla and stir. Allow to cool for 15 minutes and then remove the vanilla bean pod.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a heatproof large bow, beat the three whole eggs and sugar together until mixed. Add the egg yolks and beat until well mixed on medium speed.
- Move the bowl to a saucepan of simmering water and continue beating until the sugar has completely melted, or about six minutes. Be sure to scrape down the edges of the bowl every once and a while or else some of the mixture will burn along the sides.
- Remove from the simmering water and continue mixing on high speed until the mixture becomes pale yellow and thick. This will feel like an eternity if you are using a hand mixer. You will know when you are done as the outside of the bowl will feel cool. It should take around 15 minutes or so.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg and sugar mixture. Mix well with a spatula after each addition.
- Add the milk/butter solution to the batter. Fold it into the batter using a spatula
- Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way with batter and put into the oven for 20 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Because my oven doesn't bake evenly, I usually rotate the pans halfway through the cooking time. I think that this may have caused the delicate cupcakes to fall in the center. Several of my cuppies looked pretty ugly when they were done. Luckily, sunken tops can be hidden by the marscapone topping! (and hidden by not taking pictures of them!)
I followed the instructions for the Coffee-Marsala syrup and the Marscapone Frosting as instructed online.
For the coffee-marsala syrup, Ilinca showed me how to use her French press to brew my very first cup of coffee!! It was very exciting.
I just used regular coffee and let it sit a little longer. It wasn't all that strong, but after sitting in the cupcakes overnight it gave the cupcakes a nice subtle coffee flavor. I didn't have a brush, so I just spooned it over the cupcakes evenly.
The marscapone frosting was delicious! The recipe doesn't make enough to give each cupcake a heaping amount, like in the picture on the Martha Stewart website. If I make these again I would probably double it.
I left them overnight in the fridge and covered them with cocoa powder right before serving them. Although the cupcakes don't incorporate the ladyfingers that are traditionally used in tiramisu, I think that they do a great job being a taste double for the actual thing!
I used our Italian poster art calendar as background for pictures, since it seemed appropriate. Now I just need to know what I should do with all of the leftover Marsala!