Cannoli Cupcakes

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SURPRISE.  I am back after my many-month hiatus.  No clue how long I’ll be back for, though.  Blogging…is a lot of work.  Probably not if you are tech-savvy, but for my age, I am not at all (I didn’t even know how to turn on my roommate’s computer the other day).  So, that being said, I guess this is going to be less about teaching (and rambling) and more of just a place to stash my recipes for when I need them again.  If you’d like, you can follow me on Twitter for random food facts (@JancoFoodFacts), or if you are lucky enough to live in my city, participate in Local Libations with me <– tapas this week!  So needless to say, I have not disappeared from the culinary world, just involved myself in different ways.

I will be making as many posts as I can today to clear off some of my to-do list, so I apologize to anyone who is subscribed to this blog, because you are about to get pummeled with emails.

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To the food.  These cupcakes came about because Little Brother needed a snack to take to his last Foreign Language Party of his senior year in May.  I am PRETTY sure that the base of these is the same cake batter I use for Tiramisu Cupcakes…however, I only wrote down “cupcake recipe as written”, and that’s asking too much to remember all the way back to May.  Whatever it was, they were dry anyway.  Find yourself a good vanilla cupcake recipe that you trust, and go from there!

For the ganache part, there was far too much left over.  You could probably get by with making less than half of the “2 cups cream and 2 cups chocolate” ratio.  I have left it how it is, however, because with all that extra ganache, you could make the Chocolate Tart a few posts over!

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Cannoli Cupcakes

Yield: About 30 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Your Favorite 2-Dozen Vanilla Cupcake Batter (please don’t use a box mix, for the love of…)

1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp Instant Espresso Powder

1 lb Whole-Fat Ricotta, drained (plunk it in a sieve with some cheesecloth for a few hours)

8 oz Mascarpone

3 c. Powdered Sugar

2-3 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 c. Heavy Cream

2 c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Crushed almonds, pistachios, maraschino cherries, etc. as desired

Method:

Whip up your favorite from-scratch vanilla cupcakes, stirring the espresso powder into the milk or other liquid before incorporating.  Add the ground cinnamon after everything else is combined.  Bake as your recipe directs, then completely cool the cupcakes.

Combine the drained ricotta and mascarpone, whip with a hand mixer until fluffy.  Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, whipping after each addition.  Finish by adding the vanilla extract.

Next, either use a piping bag with a large tip to pipe the sweet cheesy mixture onto the cupcakes in dome form, or perhaps use an ice cream scoop that is appropriately sized.  Put the cupcakes in the freezer to firm up the cheesy mixture.

Once the cheesy mixture is pretty solid on the cupcakes, begin making the ganache: heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until hot, but not boiling!  Place the chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl, and pour the hot cream over the top.  Let sit for two minutes, then begin to stir until it reaches a homogeneous texture.

One by one, take each semi-frozen cupcake and dip it “head first” into the ganache to attempt to completely cover the cheesy mixture.  You can gently reheat the ganache if it gets too stiff.  Sprinkle any garnishes (nuts, fruit, etc.) over the top, and store in the refrigerator for up to a few days.

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