Tiramisu cupcakes, because they are served cold, are a refreshing way to beat the end of summer heat. Making tiramisu cupcakes is not an original idea; many cupcake bloggers have made cupcake versions of tiramisu. The common way of making tiramisu cupcakes is to start with a basic yellow or white cupcake recipe, flavor it with some rum and coffee, and top it with mascarpone, whipped cream, and cocoa powder. While I would never turn down tiramisu cupcakes made that way, they miss out on what is to me the key feature of tiramisu – the topping to cake ratio.
Tiramisu has very little cake (ladyfingers) and LOTS of mascarpone and whipped cream topping. Tiramisu’s ladyfingers are like circus ringmasters: they keep everything together, but no one goes home talking about them. The rum, coffee, mascarpone, whipped cream, and chocolate are the clowns, elephants, contortionists, unicycle rider, and man flying out of a cannon. You simply won’t forget them. Because my tiramisu cupcakes start with just a small amount of “cupcake” (ladyfingers baked into cupcake wrappers), there is a TON of room for the “big top”.
a small amount of dark chocolate for chocolate curls (optional)
In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended.
Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils.
Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly.
Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour.
Remove from refrigerator and whisk in mascarpone until smooth. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum.
Drizzle approximately 1 tbsp + 2 tsp of the coffee/rum mixture over each pre-baked ladyfinger. Add it a little at a time and wait for it to absorb into the ladyfingers before adding more. When it stops absorbing, stop adding more.
Spread the mascarpone mixture over the soaked ladyfingers.
Pipe or spread the whipped cream over the mascarpone.
Sprinkle with cocoa powder.
Optionally, top with chocolate curls. Make the chocolate curls using a vegetable peeler on a piece of chocolate. It works best if the chocolate is slightly warm, but not melty.