I satisfied a recent cupcake craving with my personal take on a classic Italian dessert - Tiramisu. Of course, I cut a few corners and opted to use cake-mix out of a box. But with just a few special touches, these cupcakes were anything but ordinary tasting.
Step 1: Bake the cupcakes. I like to use a basic white-cake mix because it's light and uses only egg-whites. While the cupcakes are baking, start preparing the coffee-liquor syrup and frosting.
Step 2: To make the syrup, combine about 1/3 cup of warm espresso or strong coffee with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 ounce Amaretto or Marsala. I prefer the almond aroma of Amaretto. Brush the tops of the cooled cupcakes with the syrup mixture. Repeat about 3 times until the cupcakes soak in the syrup.
Step 3: To make the frosting, whip 1 cup of very cold heavy cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Do not over mix; otherwise, the whipped cream will turn into butter. In a separate bowl, whisk 8 ounces of room temperature mascarpone cheese with 1/2 cup of sifted powdered sugar. Fold the mascarpone mixture into the whipped cream. Be gentle to avoid deflating the whipped cream. Frost each cupcake and garnish with sifted powdered Dutch-process cocoa powder. Voila!