Cupcake, Sweet

Tiramisu Cupcakes – Little pick me ups

I haven’t made any cupcakes in a long time so after I had bought some new cupcake cases I wanted to try them out to make sure they don’t peel back when you back them and let them cool.

If you don’t know what I mean, have you ever had it where you bake loads of lovely cupcakes and as they are cooling the wrapper starts to peel off! It is so annoying because it looks like someone has been unwrapping your cakes ready to eat them and all you can do is stare at them looking back at you really sad and uninviting? Well, if you haven’t then you’ve been very lucky.

I tried to find out one time on the internet what causes this to happen and even the cake queen Mary Berry had no answer for me. I tried every suggestion, cooking the cakes longer, shorter, letting them cool in the tray, taking them out straight away and finally… using different cake cases. I personally think it is the cake cases as the more expensive ones don’t seem to do this as much, oh, and making sure the cakes are completely cold before they go into your container (but this is a must anyway)

Well, I wanted to make sure these didn’t peel as I need them for a very special occasion – which I’ll write about soon.

Usually when I fancy cupcakes I always think of lemon but this time I was raiding my kitchen cupboards and came across some tiramisu flavoured drinking chocolate from Italy, so I thought that sounded like a good combination. I added a little café Moka Varnelli into the mix to give it some more taste and voila… Tiramisu cupcakes!

Obviously these aren’t anywhere close to a real Tiramisu – which is one of my favourite birthday cakes I used to get, but the flavour is there. There is no coffee in this, or alcohol, or raw egg whites so are suitable for anyone who can’t have these.

However, if you can’t get hold some of the ingredient then make your own flavouring using a little good quality brewed coffee left to cool, with brown sugar dissolved into it (or use coffee essence) and use normal drinking chocolate instead of the Tiramisu flavour.

Tiramisu Cupcakes

This recipe will make 12 large cupcakes or 18 standard sized. For large cupcakes bake for approx. 25-30 minutes, for standard cupcakes bake for 20 minutes.

For the cakes:

6oz Caster sugar

6oz Margarine

6oz Self raising flour

1oz Tiramisu flavour drinking chocolate

3 Medium Eggs

1-2 tbsp Café Moka Varnelli

For the icing:

Margarine, icing sugar, tiramisu flavour drinking chocolate and Café Moka Varnelli.

Pre-heat the oven to 160c (Gas 4)

Cream together the margarine and sugar in a bowl till they start to pale and look fluffy.
Weigh out the flour and drinking chocolate together in the same bowl.
Crack in one egg and add two tablespoons of the flour and drinking chocolate mix then combine together.
Once they come together do the same again with the other two eggs and flour.
Finally add the last bit of flour making sure you don’t overwork the mix through this process.
Spoon this mixture into the cake cases until they are 2/3rds full and bake in the oven for the recommended time.
Make sure you don’t open the oven till 20 minutes have gone by otherwise you risk the cakes collapsing.
Test they are done by poking them gently with your finger, if they spring back then they are ready.

Whilst the cakes are cooling make your butter cream icing for the top.
You don’t have to be accurate with this as it is all a feeling of texture and taste. Put a large spoon of margarine into a bowl and mix it with a spoon a little till it becomes soft, then combine a small dash of Café Moka Varnelli.
Add a large quantity of icing sugar mixed with some Tiramisu drinking chocolate into the soft margarine.
Slowly and carefully, so not to make a mess of you and your kitchen, mix together. If you need to or want to – add more icing sugar.
You will know it is perfect when it tastes really nice and sweet, feels very fluffy and is a little stiffer.

I used a flat knife to spread this one the whole of the top of the cakes and finished with some chocolate sprinkles… or vermicelli (aka little worms)


Biscuit, Sweet

Moka Melting Little Kisses

For Christmas this year we were given a bottle of Caffe Moka Varnelli by my Auntie and Uncle, which is a delicious chocolate coffee liqueur.  Now, you probably haven’t heard of this or seen it in the shops as it isn’t something you can’t buy easily in the UK – it is Italian, and from the Marche region to be precise.

The Marche region is very special to our family as it is where my Italian side of the family come from and every year we go for our holiday there to the same little town, where we spend time with my Great Aunties, get some sun and eat… lots.

After tasting the liqueur last Christmas I knew that I really wanted to do some baking with it.  I originally decided on making a coffee cake and replacing the usual coffee with the Varnelli but after my mom looked through one of my recipe books she asked if I fancied making some ‘melting moments’ which are also sometimes called ‘Viennese Whirls’.

The recipe I have created is on the same lines as melting moment biscuit as it is very crumbly and melts in the mouth but I have made a few changes to the recipe to make it have a rich chocolate taste and a Caffe Moka buttercream filling instead of the recipe lemon.  The other big change that I have made is to change their appearance, though this has been through necessity and not through preference.
Usually these have a lovely swirl piped pattern to them, however, my biscuits were made by rolling a small amount of the mixture into a ball and then flattening onto the tray with my fingers.  I would have loved to have had beautiful piped swirls but I don’t have the right nozzle for my piping bag so it is a bit of a made do change.

I also changed the name as they now resemble Italian biscuits called Baci, which means kisses.

Moka Melting Little Kisses

This recipe will make about 14-20 complete cookies

250g margarine or Butter
50g Icing Sugar
210g Plain Flour
2 tbsp Coco Powder
75g Corn Flour
1 tbsp Caffe Moka Varnelli

For the buttercream filling:
60g margarine or Butter
75g Icing Sugar
2-3 tbsp Caffe Moka Varnelli (could be substituted with Tia Maria or instant coffee dissolved into boiling water and left to cool)

Mix together the butter or margarine together with the sugar until pale then stir in both flours, coco powder and Varnelli.

Either pipe the mixture onto a non-stick baking sheet using a wide star nozzle or measure out teaspoon amounts of the mix and roll in your hands till ball shaped, then flatten with your fingers.  This method can be a bit messy and sticky but instead of  adding flour, just roll quickly.  If it is too sticky then chill in the fridge first.

Bake in the oven set to Gas Mark 5, approx 190c for about 12-17 minutes.  The time will depend on how big or small your cookies are.  To work out if they are done they should be soft if pressed gently but with a little bounce in them.  They will set more as they cool on the rack.

Whilst cooling, mix the buttercream.  To do this combine all of the icing ingredients and beat in a bowl till lovely and fluffy.

Pipe the buttercream into swirls on one of the cookies then sandwich with a second one.

Finally, make a cuppa tea or coffee and enjoy your biscuits.  They will be extremely crumbly so handle with care.