One thing I've really come to appreciate about Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book, is the way it attempts to take concepts and reformulate them in the shape of a cupcake. Take these Tiramisu Cupcakes, for example. All the key elements of this classic Italian dessert are in place - coffee, cocoa, mascarpone cheese and cream. But wait - where are the lady fingers? In their place, we make our own sponge cake. Starting with a vanilla bean.
Breathe deeply. Can you smell the fragrant aroma? I love cooking that allows me to experience with my kids the lessons that food doesn't need to come from a box. Food should appeal to all the senses!
I call the kids over and they help me scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod.
The bean and seeds steep in milk and are redolent of pure bliss.
Next, eggs and sugar are blended in a double boiler "until the mixture is fluffy, pale yellow, and thick enough to hold a ribbon on the surface for several seconds when whisk is lifted."
This is what mine looked like after eight minutes.
The dry ingredients, egg-sugar mixture and vanilla bean milk mixture are folded together.
I didn't strain the vanilla seeds because I love the speckled batter.
After the muffins baked (mine came out fairly flat), they were brushed with a coffee-marsala syrup.
Do you like my new Le Creuset silicone pastry brush?
Not being a huge coffee drinker, I was a little worried that the syrup would be bitter, but found that the addition of the sugar and marsala wine gave it a smooth and delicious flavor.
The crowning glory, however, was the Mascarpone Frosting.
If you are not a fan of Tiramisu, just make a bowl of the frosting and eat it with strawberries! Sweet Italian Mascarpone Cheese, heavy cream and a scant half cup of powdered sugar make this topping light and fluffy and not too sweet.
Thanks, Jen, for a great selection this month!
Join us next month for Father's Day Tee-Time Cupcakes!