Pick-me-up Cake (tiramisu)

The perfect day for me would be, eating something very delicious (like say…. Tacos El Si Hay in Oak Cliff), shopping (Etsy annual Spring Bash), cooking something dangerously good (home made tiramisu?!!!), and finally, a good game of tennis.

The girls and I hit up a hooded taco joint called Tacos El Si Hay, which now has become my official favorite taco shop despite the barb wires I have to get through to get to it. The meats are cooked fresh to order.  The salsa verde is so flavorful. The lengua tacos were tender, flavorful, and juicy. The pastor was pretty good. Luckily it’s only 15 minutes away from home so it’s not like taking a road trip to White Castle. My only complaint is, the reviews lied about the fresh corn. There wasn’t anyone selling elotes with butter and sour cream. But I digress…. see, it was okay because after an afternoon of shopping for arts and crafts, we went to the Farmer’s Market where roasted corn was plenty. The juicy tomatoes made me want bruschetta and when I arrived home, I went straight to work on the tiramisu I planned to make for Hector and Ana’s cake tasting. It turned out so well, I can’t wait for you to try this recipe. Originally, I wanted to make these into individual cupcakes but ran out of cupcake liners. Instead, I baked the batter in a spring foam pan, and drenched it in espresso syrup, and topped it with a yummy mascarpone whipped topping. The final touch of dusted cocoa is a necessity. Tiramisu would not be complete without it.

The couple whom I made this for, really loved it. I was afraid the 3/8 cup of espresso would be too strong but if anything, personally I thought it could’ve used a little more. Nevertheless, the Arguetas enjoyed it, the couple especially.

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, halved and seeds scraped
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs + 3 egg yolks, at room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar

For the coffee-marsala syrup

  • 3/8 cup espresso (or strongly brewed coffee)
  • 1 oz sweet Marsala (I used port)
  • 1/4 cup sugar

For the frosting

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8oz mascarpone
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

unsweetened cocoa for garnishing

  1. Preheat oven to 325.  Use nonstick spray to great your spring-foam pan. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside. In a small microwave-safe bowl, add milk, butter, vanilla bean pod halves and seeds, and butter. Heat in 15 second intervals until butter is melted.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar on high speed. (The cookbook instructs you to whisk the eggs by hand over a simmering pot of water for 6 minutes, until warm. I overlooked that step and didn’t seem to have any problems with the finished product.) Whisk mixture until pale, fluffy and thick enough to hold a ribbon on the surface for several seconds when the whisk is lifted.
  3. Remove vanilla pods from the bowl of milk and discard. Switch to the paddle attachment (if using an electric mixture, just fold in the ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula). With the mixer set on low, add flour mixture and slowly add the milk mixture, mixing until just combined. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned and a skewer comes out clean. Let sit in pan until just warm to the touch. Using a knife, poke 4-5 holes in each cupcake (you want to give the syrup a way to travel down the cupcake but you don’t want to tear up the cupcake).
  4. To make the coffee-Marsala syrup: Mix coffee, sugar, and Marsala until the sugar has dissolved. Using a silicon pastry brush, brush the tops of the cupcakes, letting the first round soak in completely before making another pass. Repeat until all of the syrup has been used.
  5. Make the mascarpone frosting: With the whisk attachment, whip the cream on high until stiff peaks just form. Add the mascarpone, powdered sugar, and vanilla and whisk on medium-high for 1-2 minutes. Frost cupcakes when they have completely cooled. Garnish with a dusting of cocoa powdered and coffee beans.
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