I landed my first job when I was 16 years old at  Northland Country Club. A small club with a rich history in Duluth, MN. I  had absolutely no job skills, other than a big smile and willingness to learn.

The General Manager took a chance on me and hired me to answer phones for a few hours during Sunday Brunch.

Eventually I earned myself a position as a waitress in the formal dining room.  It was my first experience with fine dining, catering and Tiramisu.

If you are not familiar with the elegance of Tiramisu you won’t find it here either.

Tiramisu is traditionally an Italian desert made from lady fingers soaked in coffee, layered with a mascarpone cheese mixture and cocoa.  The literal translation means, “pick me up.”

My friend Tina recently showed me a recipe for Tiramisu cupcakes. She offered to take some photos for me, if I agreed to bake for her.  I couldn’t say no. I really should have though.

Heavy batter with a silky texture.

Photo: Courtesy Tina Overbaugh Photography. All rights reserved.

The recipe started out well. The cakes, as expected did not rise much, which was good.  A dense cake is needed to soak up the coffee mixture.

A new paint brush stood in for my misplaced pastry brush.

Photo: Courtesy Tina Overbaugh Photography. All rights reserved.

About this point in the process something went horribly wrong. I’m not referring to the use of a new paint brush in place of my pastry brush either.

I beat the mascarpone cheese frosting together, but could not get the sugar to completely dissolve. The flavor was there, but the texture and appearance were definitely off.

In my eagerness to salvage what was sure to be the most delicious cupcake I had ever created, I reached for a can of cocoa and my Pampered Chef stencils.

Fancy tools don't mean a thing if you don't know how to use them!

Photo: Courtesy Tina Overbaugh Photography. All rights reserved.

As you can see in the image above, the pile of cocoa is not, actually in the shape of a flower.

The powder came out very fast. In desperation to save my little cupcake, I shook the excess on to another cake.

I did not, however, take gravity into consideration when plotting that maneuver . While inverted, the mascarpone frosting began to slide off the cupcake.

Uff da.

These were not pretty cupcakes but they were tasty cupcakes.  As it turned out, the belly laughs over these terrible looking cakes were just the “pick me up” I needed.

In short: If the worst part of your day is a failed cupcake recipe, consider yourself blessed.


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12 thoughts on “Tiramisu

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