Cannoli Cupcakes

My first memory of pistachios was in my best friend’s family car. I looked in the back seat and saw a bag of these tan ovals and thought WTF ARE THOSE!?

I may or may not have eaten one, but the important thing to note is GamerMan loves pistachos and had I not been that weird kid in grade school who ate stuff off the floor of other people’s cars, we probably wouldn’t be together today.

But back to the cupcakes :) I used Joelen’s recipe as a base, doubling the amount of orange zest, and substituting vanilla bean seeds for vanilla extract. Oh, and lots and lots of pistachios!

 

GamerGirl

Tiramisu Cupcakes

I’m not going to lie, these were pretty much the best things on earth – next to these.

And since we’re being honest here, I’ve never eaten real tiramisu… Though I once ate a Twinkie studded with chocolate chips, dunked in coffee and topped with ReddiWhip. But that doesn’t count, right?

If you like tiramisu, or even just enjoy the whole coffee-chocolate-cream-cake thing, you need to make these ASAP.

Tiramisu Cupcakes:
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 1/4 c cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 c lowfat milk
1/8 c heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
3 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
1 c sugar

Coffee-Marsala Syrup:
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly brewed very strong coffee (or espresso)
1 ounce sweet Marsala wine
1/4 cup sugar

Stir together coffee, marsala, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 325F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Heat milk, cream, and vanilla-bean pod and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat just until bubbles appear around the edge. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter until melted, and let stand 15 minutes. Strain milk mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, and discard vanilla-bean pod.

With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together whole eggs, yolks, and sugar. Set mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk by hand until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm, about 6 minutes. Remove bowl from heat. With an electric mixer on high speed, whisk until mixture is fluffy, pale yellow, and thick enough to hold a ribbon on the surface for several seconds when whisk is lifted.

Gently but thoroughly fold flour mixture into the egg mixture in three batches; stir 1/2 cup batter into the strained milk mixture to thicken, then fold milk mixture into the remaining batter until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until centers are completely set and edges are light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

To finish, brush tops of cupcakes evenly with coffee-marsala syrup; repeat until all syrup has been used. Allow cupcakes to absorb liquid 30 minutes. Dollop frosting onto cupcakes; refrigerate up to overnight in airtight containers. Dust generously with cocoa powder just before serving.

Mascarpone Frosting:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form (be careful not to overbeat, or cream will be grainy). In another bowl, whisk together mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated.

 

GamerMan liked these so much, he’s moping around the house because he only got to eat one ┬ásince I made a half-batch. Maybe next weekend, honey!

GamerGirl

Blueberry Cupcakes w/VB White Chocolate Buttercream

Story time! This time last year GamerMan ate his first fresh blueberry. I made him. He hated it.
He has, to date, eaten only 1 blueberry. And I use the term “ate” loosely as he spat the offending berry out.

As I don’t take defeat lightly, I have been searching for a recipe in which blueberries were featured, but still had enough “safe” flavor to trick GM into taking a bite.

I know how his taste buds work ;)

Gala’s blueberry cupcakes looked promising and blueberries were on sale this week, so it took it as a sign that it was time to revisit the blueberry incident!

Looks like a winner to me!

So, GamerMan’s verdict? N/A. He’s been “too full” since Sunday to try one.

I’m fairly certain that’s code for “No way am I EVER touching those!”, but I still have hope.

And another plan >:)

 

GamerGirl