Kahlúa Tiramisu Cupcakes

Adapted via Brown Eyed Baker
Serves: 18

For the Cupcakes:
♦ 1¼ cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
♦ ¾ tsp baking powder
♦ ½ tsp coarse salt
♦ ¼ cup milk
♦ 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
♦ 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
♦ 3 whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, at room temperature
♦ 1 cup granulated sugar

For the Coffee-Kahlúa Syrup:
♦ 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp freshly brewed very strong coffee (or espresso)
♦ 2 tbsp Kahlúa
♦ ¼ cup granulated sugar

For the Mascarpone Frosting:
♦ 1 cup heavy cream
♦ 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
♦ ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
♦ Unsweetened cocoa powder or Chocolate Espresso Beans, for garnish

Bake the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. 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, and let stand 15 minutes. Strain milk mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, and discard vanilla-bean pod.

With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together whole eggs, 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, whisk 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 batter into the strained milk mixture to thicken, then fold milk mixture into the remaining batter until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until centers are completely set and edges are light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

Make the syrup: Stir together coffee, marsala, and sugar until sugar is dissolved; allow to cool slightly. Brush tops of cupcakes evenly with coffee-Kahlua syrup; repeat until all syrup has been used. Allow cupcakes to absorb liquid 30 minutes.

Make the frosting: With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form (be careful not to overbeat, or cream will be grainy). In another bowl, whisk together mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated. Use immediately.

To finish, dollop frosting onto cupcakes; refrigerate up to overnight in airtight containers. Dust generously with cocoa powder or garnish with espresso beans just before serving.

To read more about these cupcakes and my musical pairing, click HERE.

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