Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
Tomorrow is my birthday. I turn 35. I don’t know what 35 is supposed to feel like; old, wrinkly, senile?
I don’t really feel any different to when I turned 25. Sure, I can’t stay up past 11pm any more and one drink would send me over the edge. My bones do ache and groan on a cold morning and there are lines on my face where there used to be none. I guess my body knows I’m ageing, but my mind is still dancing to the Back Street Boys on a podium.
My only real barometer for age is my mother. When my mum was 35 I was 12 years old. I don’t remember thinking she was a young mum (although now in hindsight and compared to me she was) or a cool mum but that may have been more about my impending adolescent self than my mum. Like all (almost) teenagers I thought my parents were “so old”; but were they? If they were then does that make me “so old” now? Should I be reading Mills and Boon rather than running in the mud? Do I need to trade in my denim mini skirt for a floral blouse and corduroy full length skirt?!
How do you know when you are old… and does it really matter?
Tomorrow I am 35; today I am 34. The only difference will be that I have been on this earth for 24 more hours. Your age should not dictate the life that you lead. I am fitter, stronger and healthier now than I ever was in my 20’s. I am much smarter and more confident to be able to live the life I want. Age has brought me wisdom, a new outlook on life and well toned quads. It has also brought me crows feet, facial baggage and a clicky left knee but let’s focus on the good things about getting older!
Of course birthdays mean cake (all day cake in our house thanks to our Birthday breakfast dessert buffet tradition) and for a dessert blogger it’s always a struggle to decide which cake to cook. This is why we normally end up with at least 3 desserts and a pot belly.
I recently brought you a Tiramisu Cake after a reader requested a nut free, dairy free Tiramisu recipe. After nailing the flavour (I ate a lot of the Tiramisu in order to be able to make such a bold statement!) the next obvious creation was the Tiramisu Cupcake. I’m not a coffee fan so Tiramisu Cupcakes have never been on my radar, but holy cow they are now. Why? The Marscarpone Frosting.
Making your own Marscarpone is a labour of love, but just like all labours it’s worth it in the end. Adding Marscarpone to the Coconut Cream results in a sweet, slightly tart, fresh frosting that is strong enough to be piped onto the cupcake and hold it’s shape. Don’t be surprised if the all the frosting goes first… even before you pipe it onto the cupcake!
These Tiramisu Cupcakes are Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Refined Sugar Free and made from Paleo Friendly ingredients.
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/4 Cup minus 1 teaspoon Milk (of choice)
- 1 teaspoon Vinegar
- Cocoa for dusting
- 1/4 Cup freshly brewed Coffee (strength dependent on your love of coffee)
- 2 Tablespoons Marsala (Brandy, Rum, Irish Cream or Kaluha can be used instead. For a non-alcoholic version try grape juice or orange juice)
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Cream (leave a can of coconut cream/milk in the fridge for 24 hours and scoop of the thickened cream)
- 1/2 Cup (125 grams) Marscarpone (see recipe below for a dairy free version)
- 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Pre heat the oven to 175C/350F.
- Place the egg whites into a bowl of a kitchen stand mixed with a whisk attachment.
- Whisk the egg whites on medium until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
- Add the egg yolks and whisk on medium until combined.
- In a separate bowl sift the coconut flour and baking powder.
- Add to the vinegar to the milk.
- With the mixer on medium/low add the flour mixture and the milk mixture alternatively in 2 rounds. Whisk until everything is just combined (not over mixed).
- Place 4-5 cupcake liners in a tray and spray.
- Evenly pour the mixture into the liners and smooth the top of the cupcakes.
- Bake for 17 minutes.
- Whilst the cupcakes are baking, place the coffee and Marsala in a small saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven.
- Immediately pierce each cake with a skewer several times and gently spoon the warm syrup on top.
- After 5 minutes remove from cakes from the tray and allow to cool.
- Frost with Whipped Marscarpone Cream once fully cooled.
- Lightly dust with Cocoa
- Using a kitchen stand mixer with a whisk attachment whip the Marscarpone and maple syrup and vanilla extract together. This can also be done by hand.
- Lightly fold in/whip in the coconut cream until combined.
- Place the frosting in the fridge to thicken slightly.
- 1 400ml Can Coconut Cream/Milk
- 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
- Candy Thermometer
- Cheese Cloth/Tea Towel/Paper Towel
- Place an opened can of coconut cream or milk in the fridge overnight (the milk may require up to 24 hours to thicken). The cream/milk will thicken on the top of the can.
- Scoop the thicken cream from the can, discarding the watery remains, into a heatproof glass bowl. Measure the amount of cream that is used.
- 1/2 fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to medium and allow the water to simmer.
- Place the cream bowl over the saucepan of water (a double basin) making sure the bowl isn't touching the water. Place a candy thermometer in the cream and bring it to 80-85C/176-185F. If you don't have a candy thermometer this the point when the cream is quite warm to the touch and before it starts to boil.
- Add the lemon juice. For 1 1/2 cups of cream (which is how much I get from 1 400ml can) 2 teaspoons of lemon juice are required. Alter the lemon juice depending on the amount of cream you have (eg 1 cup cream 1 1/3 teaspoon lemon juice). Stir the lemon juice through.
- Maintain the cream temperature at 80-85C/176-185F for 5 minutes. This may require the stove temperature to be altered.
- Remove the cream bowl from the saucepan and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sieve.
- Place a piece of cheesecloth, a tea towel or paper towel over a fine weaved sieve (I used a kitchen strainer) and place the sieve over a bowl.
- Pour the cooled cream into the lined sieve and place in the fridge for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours the marscarpone cream will be thickened and glossy.
- Transfer to a container and keep refrigerated. The marscarpone cream will keep for up to 3-5 days.