Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tiramisu Cupcakes

This last weekend I spent some time welcoming my friend Heather back to the state of California after a long couple of years living in Ohio. In the shuffle of trying to avoid helping her unpack and organize her stuff, I made a quick dinner and some fun Tiramisu cupcakes as my offer to "help" around the house.

They were well received by all who partook in their consumption, but for opposite reasons. Heather was a little sad that they didn't have a stronger coffee flavor, while my brother thought they were great as is. Keep in mind, he hates coffee, so his review is telling of how un-coffee like these were. I am somewhere on the fence about coffee flavoring myself, so have to admit I was ok with it being not too strong. Now what I think it needed was a little more Amaretto!

So my biggest concern with these cupcakes was the "soaking." I like to make my cupcakes pretty moist, so felt like getting them too wet with a coffee mix would make them too fragile and soggy. One recipe I saw recommended dabbing the outside of the entire cupcake and it's layers with the coffee. Mind you, the recipe also called for each cupcake to be sliced into about 4 or 5 layers. I didn't feel like doing that, and covered up my laziness with the excuse of it being a utensil dependent dessert at that point, rather than an easy-going cupcake. So I only cut the cupcakes in half and dabbed the cut side of each half with the coffee/amaretto mix. I then spread the layer with a marscapone and whipped cream mix. It was a very delicious flavor, but I think it was too fragile. I'm generally opposed to refrigerating cupcakes because it dries them out, but the frosting was too soft and perishable to manage being at room temperature indefinitely. As well, because it was so soft, it had the effect of a slip and slide with the top halves that were supposed to be resting gently on top.

In any case, they did taste pretty good for an experiment. I think they are a great concept for a cupcake, they just need some refining. Ideas for the next round include making a coffee flavored custard as a filling and doing a purer marscapone buttercream frosting (without whip cream).

As always, sprinkle with cocoa powder for a proper finish.

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