Tiramisu Cupcakes

 

20140930_091256I love cupcakes. I love how they are the perfect portion, easy to transport, and the options for cake flavors and frostings are seemingly endless. I also enjoy how they open up one’s creativity. I like adapting flavors of other desserts I enjoy and transforming them into a cupcake. With that said, it is clearly obvious I love the Italian trifle Tiramisu and set out to make its cupcake counterpart.

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I began with the base, the cake itself. It was here that I wanted the coffee flavor to stand out so I didn’t want to over complicate the cake. I used a simple white cake recipe and laced it with a little bottle of Kahlua liquor. This not only gave it the kick of coffee flavor I was looking for but also fools my brain that I am indulging in a boozy cupcake… and who doesn’t like the thought of a boozy cupcake.

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Next up was the frosting. This is where I integrated the traditional mascarpone and things got a bit tricky. My first trial run, I used too much marscapone, which lent a very heavy and overly sweet frosting. The base cake layer is very light and airy and the frosting was just too much for it. In my second trial run, I wanted to make the frosting be more light and airy like the cake beneath it. I didn’t want the cake to be weighted down. So I used less marscapone and more heavy cream. The result…perfection. A light dusting of cocoa powder to bring out the swirls of the frosting was all I needed and there you have a delectable and easy Tiramisu Cupcake worth sharing.

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I made my own white cake batter from scratch but if you are in a pinch you can surely use a white cake mix. Also be sure to use a nonstick muffin tin and do not grease it. This will allow the white cake to brown nicely.

 

Tiramisu Cupcakes

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe homemade white cake batter or white cake mix prepared according to box directions
  • 1 (50 ml) Kahlua Mini Bottle Liquor
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 4 oz. Mascarpone Cheese; room temperature
  • ½ cup Confectioners’ Sugar; sifted
  • Cocoa Powder; for dusting

 

Formula:

  1. Preheat oven according to white cake recipe instructions or box mix instructions. Use two nonstick muffin tins. Do not use paper liners or grease. Prepare a recipe for white cake either from scratch or from a box mix according to recipe instructions or box directions. Once batter is mixed, add in the mini bottle of Kahlua. Mix until just incorporated. Do not overmix. Fill each muffin cup halfway. Bake until toothpick in center comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the cupcakes gently from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  2. After cupcakes have cooled completely prepare the frosting. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or by hand, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Be sure not to overbeat or the cream will become grainy. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip together the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the whipped cream until completely incorporated and no streaks of white remain.
  3. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large star tip with the frosting. Using firm pressure and a clockwise motion, pipe large rosettes onto the cupcakes, passing the 12 o’clock position twice. Using a small sieve, sift a light amount of cocoa powder over the frosted cupcakes. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2014

 

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Hazelnut Kahlua Chews

Now that the holidays are approaching the shopping fever is beginning. What also begins is the hunt for the perfect Holiday Cookies to serve at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now I am a bit of a conservative traditionalist and Thanksgiving always has to have that Pumpkin or Pecan Pie and Christmas always must have its Sugar Cookies cut into fun holiday shapes but I also like to always add one new element to the table. A little bit of a mix between old traditional favorites you look forward to every year and a new and exciting thing to try to spice up the look of the table and cause some fun discussions. So for the next few weeks I will be testing some cookies. I’ll be sure to throw in some other items, like a cake I have in find, however it will still be inspired by a famous Christmas cookie 😉

So I introduce to you the first cookie on the hunt for 2012’s Most Interesting Holiday Cookies… The Hazelnut Kahlua Chew. This cookie is loaded with all the goodies…. Nutella, Alcohol, Sugar. What better way to satisfy all your holiday cravings in one bite size on the go cookie. And not to mention Nutella is trending at the moment and with good reason. It’s rich blend of hazelnut and chocolate makes it a snap to add both amazingly compatible flavors to just about anything you can think of.  Top that trendy pairing off with a dash of coffee flavored liquor that never goes out of style and you got yourself the perfect cookie addition that makes you psychologically believe you’re boozing up, a popular way to pass the stressful holiday season and caffeinating yourself for the long days ahead without having to stop at McD’s for a cup of Joe. This bite size confection is incredibly delicious, spectacularly simple, and way too easy to snatch along for the ride throughout all your holiday travels.

A few notes before I send you off to baking. Although I love the flavor the Kahlua adds to the cookies and wouldn’t recommend deleting its presence from the formula, I do understand people have their own preferences regarding alcohol. Either they do not like alcohol or do not like the thought of it in a cookie that kids may eat, despite the fact that all alcohol is burned off in baking. With those individuals in mind, you can substitute 1 tsp. of Instant Espresso powder for the Kahlua. That way, you still retain the coffee flavor and the benefits coffee flavors have on blooming and defining the flavors of chocolate already present. For those that may not be familiar with the Nutella craze, Nutella is a chocolate-hazelnut spread with a texture much like that of peanut butter. It is conveniently sold in most supermarkets in the peanut butter aisle. You will need one jar for this formula. The formula makes 3 ½ dozen cookies.

 

 

Hazelnut Kahlua Chews

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 ¼ cups Nutella Spread
  • 4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp. Kahlua or Coffee flavored liquor
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 1 ½ cups Hazelnuts, toasted & chopped fine
  • 1 cup Confectioners’ Sugar

 

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Heat oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the Nutella, butter, and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, Kahlua, and eggs and mix until incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and milk, mixing until just combined. Fold in ½ cup hazelnuts and refrigerate the dough until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Place the remaining hazelnuts in a bowl and the confectioners’ sugar in another bowl. Once dough has chilled, remove from the refrigerator and roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Working with one ball at a time, roll in the hazelnuts and then in the confectioners’ sugar. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set and a little cracked on the surface, about 8 minutes, making sure to rotate the pans halfway through the cooking time. Cool 5 minutes on the warm pans and then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.

 

 

 

 

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM JENNIFER PARKS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2012

Kahlúa Chocolate Cake

Of all the requests I receive to prepare desserts, there is one particular component that is always mentioned no matter what age, sex, or cultural background…chocolate. Then if it wasn’t cliche enough, when asked what kind of item the individuals wanted me to incorporate the chocolate ingredient into, I get the generic pastry offering….cake. I suppose I was expecting them to say something like “the sky is the limit” or “you choose something exotic for us to try but be sure to incorporate chocolate”…but instead I get “cake…how about cake”. It must be the itch inside of me to now make grand, exotic pastries having completed culinary school and had it pressed into my brain the entire time to come up with new and cutting edge items to serve for 5* establishments that I now find it hard to go back to making products you could easily find on a bakery shelf in your local grocery store. Although it is hard to undo the damage of Le Cordon Bleu, I do see the point of locations such as Publix (local grocery store chain) preparing the simple yet satisfying items such as chocolate cake and apple pie. They are comfort foods to Americans and no matter how many exotic offerings you could place in front of them, each and every person would end up at least having one bite of that chocolate cake or apple pie. Which led me to prepare today’s offering…chocolate cake. In order to spruce up the typical chocolate cake, I decided to take the Le Cordon Bleu method and spike it with a bit of liqueur. At Le Cordon Bleu, we had a tremendous amount of liquor at our disposal and one of my favorites to work with was Kahlúa. So to spice up the traditional chocolate cake and prevent my sheer boredom, I added a generous amount of Kahlúa brand rum & coffee-flavored liqueur.

A common professional way to intensify chocolate flavor in products is to add coffee. The flavor profiles of chocolate and coffee enhance each other on the palette, bringing forth the chocolates richness. Many recipes add instant coffee to the cake batter in order to achieve this but I chose to use a coffee flavored liqueur instead. To further enhance the chocolate flavor beyond the coffee trick, I swapped some flour with cocoa powder, which not only added more chocolate flavor but also allowed the minimization of melted chocolate in the formula, which helps to cut down on fat in consideration of the addition of liquor. One last way to optimize chocolate flavor, plus add moisture to prevent a dry, crumbly cake was the unexpected addition of chocolate syrup. For the chocolate glaze, I used a traditional butter, confectioner’s sugar, and milk mixture as the base. To create a rich, chocolatey flavor, I added melted chocolate, swapped some cocoa powder for a portion of the confectioner’s sugar, and added a bit of Kahlúa.

 

Kahlúa Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. Semisweet Chocolate, chopped
  • ¾ cup Cocoa Powder
  •  2 tbsp. Chocolate Syrup
  •  1 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
  •  1 tsp. Baking Powder
  •  1 tsp. Baking Soda
  •  ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cups Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp. Kahlúa Original (or your favorite coffe-flavored liqueur)
  • 1 ½ cups Low-Fat Milk
  • Chocolate Kahlúa Frosting (formula follows)

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Heat oven to 350°. Line bottom of one 13×9 in. pan or two 8 in. pans with parchment. Spray sides of pan with cooking spray. Melt chocolate with cocoa powder until smooth. Once smooth, whisk in the chocolate syrup. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. In another bowl, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and continue creaming until incorporated. Add melted chocolate mixture and beat until mixture is thick and appears grainy. Add eggs, vanilla, and Kahlúa. Beat on medium-high until mixture is fluffy and pale brown. With mixer on low speed, add a portion of the flour mixture. Once incorporated add half of the milk. Repeat until all of the milk and flour mixture has been incorporated. Be sure to end with the last addition of the flour mixture. Beat until no lumps remain, on medium speed. Be sure not to overmix.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth the top and gently tap the pan to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes then invert the cake out of its pan. Peel off the parchment paper and re-invert to cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Kahlúa Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Kahlúa Liqueur
  • ¾ cup Cocoa Powder
  • 3 cups Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1 cup Skim Milk

Formula:

  1. Melt the butter and chocolate together until smooth. Stir in the salt and Kahlúa until dissolved and transfer to mixing bowl to cool, about 10 minutes.
  2. Sift cocoa and confectioners’ sugar together in a bowl. With mixer on low, gradually add cocoa/chocolate mixture. The mixture will appear grainy. Gradually add milk until incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Spread on cooled cake.

Special Thanks to: Kahlúa Original Liqueur & Sandra Wu

(Mentions of KAHLÚA® Liqueur are ©2011 The Kahlúa Company)

All remaining content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2012