Saturday, March 5, 2011
Icing on the cake
I think I'm about ten years behind the times.
The world went crazy for cupcakes about a decade ago after Carrie (Bradshaw, of course) and her middle-aged friends from Sex in the City made cupcakes from New York's Magnolia Bakery look like the best indulgence one could ever have.
Today, I made cupcakes. It wasn't my first time; it was my third. Ever. Not for any particular reason, really. I just always preferred to make one whole hearty cake than many small, dainty ones.
You see, I'm not at all dainty. Some people call me a giant and I call myself clumsy. Now you understand, right?
The real star of this post is not the cupcake; it's the icing. When I saw a recipe for mascarpone-cream cheese frosting, I was floored ... slipped on my own drool and went tumbling to the floor. Ha!
I am kidding, of course... but dang, the frosting sounded divine.
Now mascarpone cheese is very pricey. Usually, the price of a 250g tub of mascarpone is about RM23. Last week however, I spotted a 250g tub for just RM11.50. Still expensive but, heck, it was a steal and I just had to buy it, even though I hadn't a recipe for it in mind. Yet.
Now if ever there was a "luxury cheese" it would be mascarpone. Italian, of course, mascarpone is cow's milk cheese that has a milk fat content of about 60 to 75%. It's buttery, creamy and very rich. Have a spoonful and I guarantee you will find it literally coats your mouth.
You most commonly find mascarpone in Tiramisu but honestly, many Italian recipes incorporate mascarpone to give a richer, creamier flavour. You can find it in risotto to lasagna and of course, cannollis. Some even add a small spoonful into their hot cocoa.
So I decided to use it in this icing. I love cream cheese icing too. But cream cheese is a little dense. Adding some mascarpone and sour cream (optional) makes the icing a lot creamier but also a lot lighter. It also made it a lot richer. (Oh! my hips!).IT isn't overwhelmingly sweet as you want the flavour cheese to stand out and not the sweetness of the sugar!
Here's the recipe for the frosting: The original cake for this icing was a brown butter cupcake but I decided to go with a simple lemon cupcake simply because I love lemons. I haven't included the recipe for the cake and I suggest you make your cake of choice.
Mascarpone-Cream Cheese Frosting
(enuogh frosting for 12 cupcakes).
250 gm mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 cup sour cream (optional)
125gm cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
Beat the mascarpone cheese and cream cheese (make sure they're at room temp) into the bowl of your electric mixer (medium speed) till smooth. Add in the icing sugar.
Add the sour cream and beat until everything is well incorporated, just a minute or so. You will see soft peaks beginning to appear and that's just the right time to turn the mixer off.
Transfer the frosting into a piping bag and pipe on top of cupcakes or use an spatula to slather the frosting on your cupcakes.