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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cupcakes: mascarpone cheese icing

Coming in all shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors, cupcakes are becoming increasingly popular, sometimes even replacing birthday cakes. It's a no-brainer as to why they're getting more and more popular - there are more varieties of cupcakes than there are regular cakes, and the decoration part is more intricate, and well, they're more adept at attracting attention.

I have a love for tiramisu, so much that if I make it, I'll make my own from scratch, starting from the savioardi (sponge fingers), slowly to the mixture, layering, etc. I made tiramisu cupcakes, seemingly the ultimate combination of my favorite dessert, and the hottest thing out there now.

The recipe I used was Laura Vitale's recipe for tiramisu cupcakes - for the actual cupcake part. I opted for a mascarpone icing instead of the whipped cream icing she used for her recipe. Messing up is a routine for me in the kitchen, so I had to trim off the tops of the cupcakes so that the icing would sit on the cake without sliding off.

I used:
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of whipping cream
  • 2-4 tbsp icing sugar
What I did:
  1. Mascarpone has to be "processed" before it can be used, much like cream cheese. Just gently mush it down with a balloon whisk, then beat it until its smooth and creamy.
  2. Whip the cream until soft peaks in a separate bowl, adding as much icing sugar as you like to achieve the right amount of sweetness.
  3. Add the cream to the cheese, and mix until combined. Chill before transferring into a piping bag, or just dolloping it over the cupcakes (equally sinful).

According to my Italian friend, the key to good tiramisu is good quality mascarpone, and in turn, it kinda made me insist on tiramisu with mascarpone, or cream cheese at least. You could dust the tops of the cupcakes with a little cocoa powder and/or icing sugar, or just sprinkle with some chocolate chips like I did.

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