Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Before I begin writing about these pretty lil' cupcakes....
In this post, you will notice that I provide links to some of the products I used to make this recipe. If you click on the link, it will take you to a detailed view of that item on my personal Pampered Chef website. In February, I became a Pampered Chef consultant. It just made sense. I've happily used their gadgets for years, I love to cook, and I already teach cooking classes. Selling their awesome products just seemed like a natural way to supplement my family's income. The day that my consultant kit arrived, packed with all kinds of wonderful kitchen toys, was a little like Christmas morning for me. I cut open the huge box right inside my front door (mostly because it was too heavy for me to carry into another room and I didn't want to wait until my husband came home) and carefully unwrapped each and every item. But like a kid on Christmas, I didn't want to just look at my new toys, I wanted to use them!
Which now brings me to the cupcakes....
I chose this recipe from the Fall/Winter Pampered Chef catalogue to try out a few of the products. These cute little chocolate-y, coffee flavored cupcakes topped with sweetened marscapone and whipped topping grabbed my attention right away. As much as I wanted to try them right away, I also wanted an audience to test them out. Luckily, I was having a party a couple of days after the kit came in. I was serving appetizers: Crab Wontons, Fondue, Apple Sausage bites, BLT Pinwheels, and homemade snack mix. What I needed was a dessert to round out all of the savory foods. This dessert was perfect: bite-sized, decadent, looked impressive, but was pretty easy to prepare.
Here's how I made them:
The batter is so simple! You start with a Devil's Food cake mix. Now here's the thing to pay attention to: It's a 9 oz. package or a SMALL package of cake mix. As in NOT the regular size. If you can't find a small Devil's Food mix, then just use 1-2/3 cups of cake mix from a standard size box. You'll ignore the box directions and stir in sour cream, eggs, and instant coffee dissolved in a little water. This makes for a thick batter (like brownies) and a wonderful coffee-flavored, fudgey cake.
I used my new Small Mix n' Scraper for combining the mixture. It's a stirring spoon and scraper in one. Perfect for projects like this!
Then, I divided the batter into my Deluxe Mini Muffin Pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Move to a Stackable Cooling Rack.
While the mini-cakes bake, dig out your coffee flavored liqueur, such as Kahlua.
Using a Chef's Silicone Basting Brush, I brushed the Kahlua over the tops of each mini cake. After brushing, I let the liqueur soak in, then I went back through and brushed em' all again. I kept brushing until I used up the recommended amount of Kahlua. Mmmm...dessert AND a shot!
The recipe says to remove the cakes from the pan to the cooling rack before brushing with the liqueur. However, I would leave them in the pan for this step. It will reduce the mess made from the liqueur dripping onto your countertop.
While the mini-cakes finish cooling, mix marscapone cheese or cream cheese together with powdered sugar and vanilla. I put the mixture in a plastic baggie, then cut off the corner and piped it onto the cakes.
Top em' off with some whipped topping piped over the cheese layer and a dusting of cocoa powder.
There you have it, lovely lil' bite-sized desserts in less than an hour!
Mini Chocolate Tiramisu Cakes from The Pampered Chef
1 small pkg (9 oz/250 g) devil's food cake mix
1/4 cup (50 mL) sour cream
1 tbsp (15 mL) instant coffee granules
1 tbsp (15 mL) water
1/3 cup (75 mL) coffee liqueur (see Cook's Tip)
Filling & Topping
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) thawed frozen whipped topping
8 oz (250 g) mascarpone or cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (50 mL) powdered sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract
Unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray cups of Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan with nonstick cooking spray. For cakes, combine cake mix, sour cream, egg, coffee granules and water in Classic Batter Bowl; mix using Small Mix ‘N Scraper®. Divide batter evenly among cups of pan. Bake 8–10 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean.
Meanwhile, place whipped topping into large resealable plastic bag; secure and set aside. For filling, combine cheese, sugar and vanilla in clean batter bowl; mix until smooth using clean scraper. Place filling into an additional resealable plastic bag; secure and set aside.
Remove pan from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack. Press tops of cakes with lightly floured Mini-Tart Shaper to make slight indentations; cool 2 minutes. Remove cakes from pan to cooling rack. Brush tops with coffee liqueur using Chef's Silicone Basting Brush; cool completely.
Trim corners of both bags. Pipe filling over cakes. Pipe whipped topping over filling. Sprinkle with cocoa powder, if desired.
Yield: 24 cakes
Nutrients per serving: (1 cake): Calories 120, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 20 mg, Carbohydrate 12 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 105 mg, Fiber 0 g
My notes: I think that I trimmed off even more calories and fat by using low fat sour cream and cream cheese and fat free whipped topping.
Cook’s Tips: If desired, 1 2/3 cups (400 mL) of devil's food cake mix from an 18.25-oz (510-g) package can be used for this recipe.
To substitute coffee liqueur, combine 1/4 cup (50 mL) water, 1/4 cup (50 mL) sugar, 1 tbsp (15 mL) instant coffee granules and 1 tsp (5 mL) rum extract in (1-cup/250-mL) Prep Bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 1–2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved; cool.
If you're interested in purchasing Pampered Chef products please check out my website and SHOP ONLINE! There are 27 awesome new products available for the Spring/Summer.