Over this past weekend, I decided to take on the most challenging recipe I ever had for a dinner party. It all started when I decided to make tiramisu for dessert. Only I could not find ladyfingers anywhere. (Are these not the types of things that should be available just about anywhere? C’mon.) So I started to look into other options. Most recipes for ladyfingers ask for a pastry bag, which I don’t have and probably would never use again. While I was looking for “ladyfinger-less tiramisu,” which, by the way, doesn’t exist, I came on the recipe for tiramisu cupcakes. Intrigued, I looked further into it. So cute. So pretty. So perfectly proportioned. I decided I had to do it.
There are two recipes here – one for the ladyfinger cupcake base, and the other for all the building blocks that make these delectable little beauties. Both recipes come from The Cupcake Project blog, one of my new all time favourite blogs because everything looks so delicious and inventive, and has pretty much guaranteed there are going to be many more cupcakes in my future. Not good for the diet. (You can see the original recipe here.)
Ladyfinger cupcake base:
4 eggs, separated
2 tbsp + 2/3 C white sugar
1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Line a 12 cupcake tin with cupcake liners.)
Fit large pastry bag with a plain 1/2 inch round tube. If you don’t have one, just cut off the end of a Ziploc bag.
Place egg whites in a bowl and beat on high until soft peaks start to form.
Slowly add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue beating until stiff and glossy.
In another bowl, beat egg yolks and remaining sugar.
Whip until thick and very pale in color.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder.
Fold half the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
Fold in flour, and then add the remaining egg whites.
Evenly divide the batter between the cupcake liners. The cupcake liners will not be filled to the top.
Bake for 8 minutes.
(this recipe should be doubled if using the first full ladyfinger cupcake recipe)
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
2 tablespoons rum
ladyfingers baked in cupcake wrappers (see my post on ladyfingers for instructions.)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
a small amount of dark chocolate for chocolate curls (optional)
In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended.
Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils.
Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly.
Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour.
Drizzle approximately 1 tbsp + 2 tsp of the coffee/rum mixture over each pre-baked ladyfinger. Add it a little at a time and wait for it to absorb into the ladyfingers before adding more. When it stops absorbing, stop adding more.
Spread the mascarpone mixture over the soaked ladyfingers.
Pipe or spread the whipped cream over the mascarpone.
Sprinkle with cocoa powder.
Optionally, top with chocolate curls. Make the chocolate curls using a vegetable peeler on a piece of chocolate. It works best if the chocolate is slightly warm, but not melty.
Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, until set.
And these do taste about as good as they look. I had a fun if messy time making these, and in case you can’t tell, am inordinately proud of myself that they actually turned out. I will definitely be making them again, but maybe not for a little while … I’ve used up all my culinary juices with these!
Word of the day:
Lubricious: arousing or expressive of sexual desire; lustful; lecherous