Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Italian-German Hybrid cupcakes

My friend at work, an awesome chick of Italian lineage, is marrying a fine fella of German descent. We held a surprise wedding shower for them last week, and I volunteered to make cupcakes. It's kind of become my "thing" at work...cupcakes for showers...though I can in no way compare my cupcake skillz to that of THE cupcake Stef...for one I spell my name with a "PH" rather than and "F" as my stage name implies. Second, my cupcakes usually involve a box mix. After all these years, baking still intimidates me. It's something I need to work on, but until then, my cupcakes seem to please.

Now, just because I am lame and my baking crutch is box mix, doesn't mean I can't inject a little bit of interestingness into my little cakeys. In this case, I wanted to pay homage to both of the heritages of the happy couple. Italian? Tiramasu! German? Well...German Chocolate Cake!! (Is German Chocolate Cake really German? Is there a lot of coconut trees in Germany?) The thought of how to combine the two into a harmonious cupcake plagued my mind for weeks. Then, the night before the shower, I just went for it. A hybrid of this Tiramisu cupcake recipe and this German chocolate frosting recipe. Ein klein wenig of this, un piccolo of that, and voila! (hey French, who invited you? Eh, whatever...like my online translation dictionary phrases are actually accurate anyway...) Italian-German cuppycake babies!!

Chocolate Tiramisu Cupcakes

1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
1-1/4 cups water
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons instant coffee crystals
2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 30 standard (2-1/2-inch) muffin pan cups with paper baking cups.

Combine all cupcake ingredients in large bowl; stir until well combined.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool completely.

German Chocolate Cake Frosting

1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup white sugar
3 egg yolk, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut

In a large saucepan combine evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, margarine and vanilla. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Meanwhile, toast about half of the coconut and the pecans in a 400 degree oven until they have browned slightly….about 8 minutes. Remove frosting from heat and stir in pecans and coconut. Let cool a bit before spreading onto cupcakes.

Tiramisu frosting

8 ounces cream cheese
1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur

combine cream cheese and 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar in large bowl; beat with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add liqueur; beat until well blended. If frosting is too soft, beat in additional powdered sugar or chill until spreadable. Place into plastic bag and squeeze towards one corner of the bag. snip a tiny hole in that corner of the bag, then pipe the frosting onto the frosted cupcakes in desired designs.

So that was it. Espresso-flavored chocolate cupcakes (tiramisu!) with German chocolate cake frosting (seriously, make this. from scratch. it's amazing. you'll never buy the pre-made stuff in a tub again.) and decorated with "marscapone" (with so much going on already, why bother with the expensive marscapone...it would get lost... I used cream cheese). It's like this couple's future babies in cupcake form! ...Is that weird?

I wish I could have thought of a clever name for these. I am open to suggestions. I am also curious as to how you might have combined Italian and German into cupcake form...so speak up!!


Anonymous said...

i'm not realy into expresso foofoo stuff, but those cup-cakes made me Hungry!!!
i'm going to try your reciept
i am crippled with Parkinson's Disease, i think the caffein will help!!!
Thanks and God Bless,
Your Friend,
Dr. Doc
(you have a Beautiful site)

Maria said...

Italian chick here (LOL)...the cupcakes were absolutely delicious and utterly adorable!! Thank you again Stef! :-)

Anya said...

Those cupcakes look sooo yummy! I am definitely going to have to try them!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

I love your cupcake babies! Perfect combo!

Rindy R said...

I LOVE German chocolate cake and I find it so funny that I have never thought of turning it into a cupcake. What a great idea!

Anonymous said...

much as i love german chocolate cake, i got stuck at the tiramisu in cupcake form. my italian soul cries out for them.

Anonymous said...

German Chocolate Cake actually isn't German, but it's still a fantastic idea for those cupcakes: http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Cakes/GermanChocolateCake.htm

Stef said...

Despite the "ph" and the box mix, those look mouth wateringly good! Like the concept too! Fun!

ironstef said...

dr. doc- I don't think the caffiene content is that much. Like the equivalent of 2 cups of coffee spread out among 24 cupcakes. Thanks for your comment!!

maria- it was fun creating your babies.

anya- they were good...the coffee made the cake part less sweet, while the frosting was really sweet, so it was suprisingly balanced for a hybrid cupcake.

my sweet & saucy- thanks! making cupcake babies is fun!

rindy- this frosting recipe is soooo good. toasting some of the coconut and pecans really made for some yumminess.

michelle-I bet they'd be better if I found espresso powder rather than instant coffee crystals :)

raynorgrace- Ha! I knew they couldn't really be German. Thanks for the info!

stef-I'm not too ashamed of my box mix problem...I always add stuff to it. Plus, frosting from scratch? That is now a must. Especially this german chocolate cake frosting. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

i adore german chocolate cake. so german chocolate cupcakes are of course right up my alley! yum!