Oh, wow. I can’t believe the year is half over already. Crazy.
Sometimes I forget that not everyone is as much of a nerd as I am, especially when it comes to food. I also sometimes forget that not everyone is as gaga about certain things like I am. Like Tiramisu. I could eat it for every meal and never get sick of it. I found a recipe for Tiramisu cupcakes that I’ve been dying to try since I came across it. I discovered (at least at work anyway) that I’m in the minority when it comes to my love of this particular dessert. Which is fine. I planned to make the cupcakes anyway–I just wouldn’t be sharing as many of them. Instead, I made some quasi-patriotic Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (I actually used the Pioneer Woman’s cookbook recipe for Red Velvet Cake, not the sheet cake version she has on her blog, and I used my own version of cream cheese frosting, which is just a block of cream cheese, a stick of butter, a teaspoon of vanilla and 4 cups of powdered sugar):
With red white and blue sprinkles, for that extra “patriotic” boost. I suppose I could’ve gotten some stars and stripes-themed cupcake liners, but I got really excited when I discovered that The Party Depot here in town sells greaseproof cupcake liners. Until recently, I’d only seen them down in Sioux Falls. Party Depot has a wider selection, and even carries the mini greaseproof liners. And the best part is, Party Depot’s just a 10-minute walk from my house! So I just used red liners, to go with the red cupcakes.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Red Velvet Cake. Even with its unnatural shade of chemically-induced red, it’s good stuff. But I was craving Tiramisu. It’s light, but it’s decadent. If it’s dusted with cocoa powder, it’s got enough chocolate to be rich. And in cupcake form, it’s portion-controlled (which, since I have a weigh-in coming up on Tuesday, is a good thing). So I went ahead and made them.
While searching for recipes, I got a mix of adapted Martha Stewart ones (which is the recipe I used from The Vanilla Bean Blog) or Semi-Homemade-with-Sandra-Lee type recipes involving boxed cake mixes. And while I have nothing against boxed cake mixes, I prefer to make my own. I also had some issues when it came to the frosting. The one time I attempted to make whipped mascarpone cream frosting, it didn’t quite turn out that well. I decided instead to try mascarpone buttercream. I didn’t really have a recipe in mind, I just used 12 oz. of mascarpone, a stick of butter (I do love my butter, especially in baked goods!), powdered sugar, vanilla, and instead of milk, heavy cream.
I thought they would be good. I figured they might be great, even. Instead, I got “meh.” And I know what the problem with them is. It’s the frosting. The cake itself and the coffee syrup are good. Spongy, like espresso-soaked lady fingers. I noticed, when I went to cream the butter and mascarpone together that something odd happened. The mass of butter and cheese took on the look and consistency of butter, and started leaching some liquid. I added the powdered sugar, and it mostly came together, but it’s still somewhat grainy and tastes more like straight buttercream.
Even the cocoa powder didn’t really help. I dunno. I’m my own worst critic, and since I’m taking a couple of these to work tomorrow, perhaps my coworkers will think differently about them. I only got about half of what I wanted to accomplish today done. I had hoped to make some breakfast burritos, but that didn’t happen. Nor did my crockpot buffalo chicken. There’s always tomorrow, I suppose! Have a great evening everyone!