I first tried the Tiramisu cupcakes at the Hummingbird Bakery in London and since their new recipe book came out, I have been dying to try them out! This is the second batch I’ve made and they turned out much better and less messy.
The cupcake itself is just a plain vanilla sponge, the part that makes it a Tiramisu cupcake is the coffee syrup and the mascarpone topping. With the sponge, its important to make sure you get quite a good sized sponge as you need to make a hole and add the filling in.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, you start to cut a small hole in the sponge -it’s important to make sure they have cooled properly first, because if you start cutting into the sponge and its still warm, it doesn’t hold its shape as well.
A coffee syrup is used to soak the cupcake and also to soak the piece of cut out cake as well. It is made by boiling and reducing strong coffee, caster sugar and Kahlua. I used a teaspoon on the sponge piece and also in the hollow of the cupcake – you’ll find that too much will cause it to seep through the bottom of the case or make the sponge fall to pieces.
The rest of the cupcake is filled with the mascarpone frosting – this is made from mascarpone cheese, a small amount of icing sugar, double cream and a small amount of Kahlua. I found that the filling worked best if you don’t overbeat the mixture – as it will get runny and messy. It was easy to fold in the double cream/icing sugar mixture to the mascarpone/Kahlua mixture rather than using a whisk as it keeps it lighter and fluffier.
Once the filling has been added, the cut out piece of sponge is placed back into the hollow and pressed down/cut down to make sure it fits in. It’s not the prettiest looking at this stage – so the rest of the mascarpone frosting is used to decorate the top of the cupcake. The first time I made these, I didn’t use a piping bag and used a palette knife and attempted to smooth on the frosting. This was difficult because I found that the sponge kept getting caught in the frosting and ending up all over the cake and it’s a lot slower than piping which means the frosting got warm/runny a lot quicker and it got messy quick!
The final touch is to add a dusting of cocoa powder on top – I found that using a sieve isn’t as neat and if you are too heavy-handed, the cocoa powder can end up everywhere! Instead, I used a brush (like a make-up brush) and lightly tapped cocoa powder over each cupcake – it comes out much finer and there are no clumps – best of all, you can control how much/where the cocoa goes!
If you do attempt to make these cupcakes, I would advise you to make plenty of room in the fridge for storage – as they will need refrigeration to prevent the frosting from melting and the cupcake losing its shape!