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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tiramisu (mini) cupcakes

I'm sure you've all heard by now that JulieBakes has it's own facebook page.  The other day, I posted a question on the facebook page asking you, the faithful JulieBakes readers, what I should bake this weekend.  The Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake (a two layer red velvet cake with a layer of cheesecake in the middle) was the quick forerunner, but these Tiramisu Cupcakes (mini, naturally) snuck in at the end and beat out the cake by a mere 4 votes.

I have to admit that I wanted to make BOTH the cake and the cupcakes, but I didn't want to bake a cake without an occasion or event to bring it to, and the BBQ that I'm going to on Memorial Day isn't the best venue to bring it to.  And I couldn't turn it into cupcakes, since the cheesecake layer would be hard to sandwich between two layers of cupcake.  So, thank you JulieBakes fans, for choosing these cupcakes instead.  But rest assured, I will make that cake!

By now you should also know that I love everything miniaturized.  Which means these tiramisu cupcakes are mini tiramisu cupcakes.  The orginal recipe says it makes 18 cupcakes, but I got 72 mini cupcakes (plus enough batter for about 6-8 more, but I didn't bake those last few).  When making mini cupcakes from a regular cupcake recipe, you usually need more toppings, since the surface area of the mini cupcakes is much greater than that of the regular sized cupcakes made from the same amount of batter.  Sorry for getting all scienc-y and math-y on you, but it's a good rule of thumb for your future baking endeavors (in this case, it comes to about 1.5 times the amount for the regular-sized cupcakes).

These cupcakes are like soft lady fingers.  Then they're topped with a little bit of a coffee-liquor syrup, covered in a mascarpone-whipped cream icing, and lastly sprinkled with some cocoa powder.  I thought about using some chocolate shavings, but it was too hot in my apartment and they would've melted.

These cupcakes are time and dish intensive - but well worth it, if you ask me.

Tiramisu (Mini) Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:

1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 cup milk
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
3 whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar

For the Coffee-Marsala Syrup (you may or may not run out of this mixture - I doubled it and had a LOT extra):

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly brewed very strong coffee (or espresso)
1 ounce marsala (I used rum, since I didn't have marsala, and the last time I made tiramisu, it said to use rum; I halved the amount of alcohol as I assumed that rum is stronger than marsala)
1/4 cup granulated sugar

For the Mascarpone Frosting:

1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Line muffin tins with paper liners.
Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
Heat milk and vanilla-bean pod and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat just until bubbles appear around the edge. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter until melted, and let stand 15 minutes. Strain milk mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, and discard vanilla-bean pod.

With an electric mixer on medium speed (I used my stand mixer), whisk together eggs, yolks, and sugar.
Set mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk by hand until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm, about 6 minutes.
Remove bowl from heat.
With an electric mixer on high speed (I used a stand mixer), whisk until mixture is fluffy, pale yellow, and thick enough to hold a ribbon on the surface for several seconds when whisk is lifted.

Gently - but thoroughly - fold flour mixture into the egg mixture in three batches.
Stir 1/2 cup batter into the strained milk mixture to thicken, then fold milk mixture into the remaining batter until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full (I used a mini scoop to fill them evenly).
Bake, rotating tins halfway through (I didn't rotate), 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.

Make the syrup: Stir together coffee, marsala, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.

Brush the tops of the cupcakes evenly with coffee syrup; repeat until all syrup has been used (I drizzled the syrup on the cupcakes individually, since I was afraid of making my cupcakes too soggy).
Allow cupcakes to absorb liquid 30 minutes.

Make frosting: With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form (be careful not to overbeat, or cream will be grainy).
In another bowl, whisk together mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated.
Use immediately.

To finish, place frosting onto cupcakes (I used a pastry bag with a large circular tip).
Keep in the fridge up to overnight in airtight containers.
Dust generously with cocoa powder just before serving (I got overzealous and did that part tonight for the pictures, and I'm hoping they'll last).

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