Today’s post is dedicated to a very dear friend who celebrates a birthday this week. Someone who has been with me through some very tough times, always ready with words of encouragement or the occasional – figurative – slap across the face when I am being ridiculous. To some, she may seem quiet, but to those who know her you know she’s really listening to you, really thinking about what you’ve said. She is bloody brilliant and passionate about the men and women who are affected by the work she does.
If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m talking about Ruth, my fellow Cork and Spoon blogger. Often times, her birthday has been overshadowed by that tryptophan laden holiday we will be celebrating on Thursday, and I just could not let that happen again this year. Knowing that Ruth’s favorite dessert is tiramisu, I thought it was only right to make her cupcakes inspired by the traditional Italian dessert. This recipe is adapted from the tiramisu cupcake recipe found in Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes.
Makes approx. 18 cupcakes
1 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup milk
2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
3 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
1 cup sugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
1) Preheat oven to 325°F. Line standard muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2) Cut vanilla beans in half lengthwise and carefully scrape insides out. Pour milk into a small sauce pan and add vanilla bean pods and the scraped out insides. Heat milk and vanilla-bean pod and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat just until bubbles appear around the edge.
3) Remove milk and vanilla mixture from heat. Whisk in butter, cut into smaller pieces, until melted, and set aside.
4) Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
5) In a heat proof bowl, whisk together whole eggs, yolks, and sugar using an electric mixer at medium speed. Set mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk by hand until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm. Rub mixture between forefinger and thumb to ensure sugar is fully dissolved.
6) Remove bowl from heat and use electric mixer to whisk until pale and fluffy.
7) Strain milk mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, and discard vanilla-bean pod.
8 ) Gently fold sifted flour mixture into egg mixture in three separate batches.
9) Stir ½ cup batter into milk/vanilla mixture (to thicken it), and then fold the mixture back into the rest of the batter.
10) Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full.
11) Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until centers are completely set and edges are light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
12) Brush top of cupcakes with Coffee-Marsala syrup until syrup is almost gone. Let rest for 30 minutes.
13) Top with Marscapone Frosting and dust with cocoa powder just before serving.
1/3 cup plus 1tblsp very strong coffee
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons Marsala
If the coffee is still hot, add sugar and stir until dissolved. If necessary, heat coffee in the microwave or on the stove until hot enough to dissolve the sugar. Add Marsala.
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
In a small bowl, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In another bowl beat together mascarpone and powdered sugar. Add mascarpone mixture to heave cream, use electric mixer with whisk attachment to bring them together. Use immediately.