Friday, February 6, 2009

ICE February - Coffee: Have a cup of Tiramisu' cupcake!

Coffee has to be, no doubt in my mind, the hot beverage that is the most consumed in the western world. I just have to take a look around campus when I'm at school and one out of two, max three, students has a cup of some kind of coffee in their hands.

I must admit, I'm not a huge fan of straight-up coffee. I like it when it's mixed with some kind of other flavor. So I admit, when I first saw that this month's ICE secret ingredient was coffee, I cringed a little! But I took a deep breath, went back to my roots and thought "I'm Italian, coffee has to somehow, in some way, run through my blood... no problem!"

We could live off of coffee alone if that were possibile! We use it in every way we can, as much as we can and the two most popular ways to consume coffee for an Italian it's spiked with Sambuca (a sweet anise-flavoured italian liqueur) or in our national most famous dessert: Tiramisu' (which my mom also does with some Sambuca in the coffee used to soak the cookies in... addicted much?!).

So it all came oh so clear to me... a Tiramisu' made into a cupcake! This is a Sambuca flavoured cupcake with coffee buttercream, topped with a chocolate ganache and mascarpone cheese frosting. Of course I just couldn't resist making little coffee cups out of them (all out of fondant)!

If you liked my cupcakes, please vote for me!! To cast your vote go to No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner!! Voting starts on March 1st at 8pm and ends on March 6th at noon.

Sambuca Cupcakes
(yields 12 cupcakes)

3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large egg whites
10 tbsp whole milk
2 tbsp Sambuca liqueur
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper baking cups; set aside.

Put butter and granulated sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg whites, milk, sambuca, and vanilla extract; mix until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; mix until just combined.

Divide batter among paper baking cups in muffin pan, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven until very light golden brown, approximately 24-27 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Coffee buttercream (from Tartelette)
(it will make more than you need but freeze the leftovers for up to 3 months)

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 large eggs
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water

In a small heavy saucepan set over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the water. While stirring bring the mixture to a boil, and continue to cook until it registers 240F. on a candy thermometer. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand held beater beat the eggs until they are frothy. Add the sugar syrup in a thin stream, beating, and beat the mixture until it is cool. Change to the paddle attachment and add in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, the espresso mixture, and beat the buttercream until it is combined well. Leave at room temperature so it will be easier to spread.

Chocolate ganache
(again, you'll probably have more than needed... make a Sacher Torte!)

90 ml heavy cream
90 gr bittersweet chocolate

In a heavy saucepan set over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the stove and pour on the chopped chocolate. Let stand 2 minutes and then stir until fully combined. Let cool until firm enough to spread on top of the cupcakes.

Mascarpone Cheese frosting (recipe from Martha Stewart)
(enough to generously frost 12 cupcakes)

1 pound mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy cream

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the mascarpone, cream and confectioners' sugar until medium-soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Be careful no to overbeat and use immediately.


Our corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, JESSIE STEELE APRONS , the CUPCAKE COURIER, TASTE OF HOME books and UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM will be providing our winner with one of their cute cupcake attitue t's!


Anonymous said...

Good idea! Fantastic.. and i hope very delicious.. i like the MMF cup :)

Dani said...

that is amazing!!!!!

apparentlyjessy said...

Very cool presentation! Good luck with the competition!

Maggie said...

You have my vote! These are great.

Claudia said...

thank you guys! and maggie thaaaaaank you for your vote!! :)