My beautiful daughter weighs a mere 90 pounds. While I thought, OMG if we make those cupcakes I'm going to gain another 10 pounds, I didn't mind her doing that. In my attempt to help her gain more experience in the kitchen, I told her if she wanted to make them to go right ahead. I would be standing close by in case she had any questions, or needed someone to taste test :).
The results were amazing. While she was a nervous wreck (she does this when making something from scratch), I was standing there grinning ear to ear...so proud of her.
We made a couple of small insignificant changes to Martha's recipe, but otherwise kept it pretty much as she wrote it. I mean come on now, I love vanilla bean, but I was not going to spend $16.00 for one pod. We used Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla instead.
We also did not have Marsala on hand, so we used Kahlua. If you get the opportunity to puchase this new Martha book, do so. Some of the varieties of cupcakes will make you dance with delight.
1-¼ cups cake flour, sifted
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon course salt
¼ cup milk
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
4 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
3 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
Coffee Marsala Syrup
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard size muffin pans with paper linters. Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt. Heat milk 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. Let stand for 15 minutes. Strain milk mixture through a sieve into a bowl and discard vanilla bean pod.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together whole eggs, egg 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, mix 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 ½ cup of batter into the milk mixture to thicken then fold milk mixture into the remaining batter until just combined.
Divide batter among lined cups, filling each three-quarter full. Bake until centers are completely set and edges are a light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire rack to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
Brush tops of cupcakes with coffee-marsala syrup; repeat until all syrup has been used. Allow cupcakes to absorb liquid for 30 minutes. Dollop frosting onto cupcakes. Dust generously with cocoa powder just before serving.
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly brewed very strong coffee or espresso
¼ cup sugar
Stir all ingredients together until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, whisk together mascarpone and powdered sugar until smooth. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated. Use immediately.
This cupcake is so lush and tasty you really need to eat it with a spoon so that you don't miss any coffee-syrup soaked crumbs. AND the mascarpone frosting...OMG delicious. Way to go my darling girl.
Tip of the Day:
Chocolate stain removal: Rinse stain with cold water. Rub in liquid detergent and let sit for 5 minutes. Soak for 10 minutes in cold water, rubbing every 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. All gone!