I’m having a retirement dinner party at my house for one of my co-workers in a couple of weeks. Since Italian cuisine is my specialty --the menu includes homemade pasta and ravioli. It will be carb loading night for sure so I wanted a light, airy dessert as an end to this carbohydrate heavy meal. I found this wonderful tiramisu cake recipe, which I think will be perfect. The original recipe (by Dorie Greenspan) makes a two-layer round cake. Each layer is soaked in an espresso syrup and then frosted with a lovely light mascarpone whipped cream frosting. As a trial run, I decided to use the recipe to make cupcakes instead of a round layer cake. I dipped the top of each cupcake in the espresso syrup, then frosted them with the mascarpone whipped cream. I sprinkled each with shaved milk chocolate and topped with a chocolate-covered esppresso bean. The results of my trial run is a tiramisu cupcake that is decadently delicious and light. These cupcakes will be the perfect “lift me up” ending for my Italian-themed dinner.
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home To Yours"
Makes about 36 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 4 cups (464 grams) cake flour
- 4 teaspoons (20 grams) baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 grams) baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
- 2-1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons or 284 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cup (396 grams) sugar
- 6 large eggs (300 grams)
- 2 large egg yolk (36 grams)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
For the espresso extract:
- 2 tablespoons (2 grams) instant espresso powder
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
For the espresso syrup:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy
For the frosting:
- 8 ounces (227 grams) mascarpone
- 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese
- 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy
- 2 cups cold heavy cream
- 60 grams bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, shaved
- Chocolate-covered espresso beans, for decoration (optional)
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 3 standard cupcake pans with liners.
Step 2: To make the cupccakes: Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Step 3: Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.
Step 4: Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes.
Step 5: Add the eggs one by one, and then the yolks, beating for 1 minute after each addition.
Step 6: Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter.
Step 7: Fill the prepared cupcake liners three-quarters full with batter and bake until golden brown and baked through, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely.
Step 8: To make the extract: Stir the espresso powder and boiling water together in a small cup until blended. Set aside.
Step 9: To make the syrup: Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Pour the syrup into a small heatproof bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the espresso extract and the liqueur or brandy; set aside.
Step 10: To make the frosting: Put the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, and liqueur in a large bowl and whisk just until blended and smooth.
Step 11: Working with the stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until it holds firm peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream with a light touch.
Step 12: Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, soak the tops of the cupcakes with the espresso syrup.
Step 13: Frost with the mascarpone frosting and decorate with chocolate-covered espresso beans. Sprinkle the cupcakes with the chopped chocolate.