Valentines Menu ~ Fontina Rigatoni & Tiramisu Cupcakes

Welcome back to Someone’s In The Kitchen! With Valentines Day just around the corner we thought we’d put together a little menu that’s sure to make anyone swoon! One thing we’ve always loved doing is cooking a delicious dinner and dessert on Valentines Day. Strawberry Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles being our every year specialty (not to mention a sure fire way to beat the “love” day blues). Cupcakes always make the day feel fun and happy even if you have a significant other in your life or not. And we have very delectable cupcake for you today as well as a tasty pasta dish! So whether you are cooking this meal for your shall we say, “honey bunch”, “sweetie-pie”, “cookie bear”(ick) ….. or for you and friends/family, enjoy sharing this lovely meal of Fontina Rigatoni and Tiramisu Cupcakes. Bon Appétit & happy Valentines Day!! 🙂

Fontina Rigatoni –
(Recipe found @ http://redvelvetgirls.typepad.com/emma)

We are really big pasta fans and always on the look out for great pasta recipes to make. I found this one for Fontina Rigatoni on one of my favorite food blogs, From Scratch. We made this pasta dish on New Years Eve this year and loved it! We had never cooked with Fontina cheese before so we were a little nervous about using it, but ended up really loving the flavor. We added in a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes (because Cecily thinks everything needs a generous sprinkle of red pepper flakes) and it really seemed to enhance the flavor and gave it a little kick. The creamy Fontina cheese sauce with a hint of nutmeg, rigatoni pasta, and parmesan cheese and bread crumbs on top make for a really delicious pasta dish!

You will need:
a box of rigatoni noodles
6-7 ounces of Fontina cheese (shredded)
3-4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup cream (or  half and half)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
a pinch or two of salt
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Cook the noodles according to directions and strain. In a large sauce pan or dutch oven melt butter, add in nutmeg and salt. Then stir in cream and Fontina. Once it is nice and saucy, add in the cooked noodles and toss to coat. Serve topped with Parmesan and bread crumbs.

Fontina Rigatoni, makes enough to serve 4-5
 

 

Tiramisu Cupcakes –

Tiramisu is hands down one of my (Krystal) all time favorite desserts! Anytime I go to an Italian restaurant it’s the dessert that calls my name. The coffee infused cake and the creamy mascarpone cheese filling, and cocoa lightly dusted on top makes for a little piece of heaven. Cecily and I attempted to make our own homemade Tiramisu at Christmastime last year….but sadly it just wasn’t quite up to par. So we were really excited when we found a less complicated but equally as tasty sounding Tiramisu recipe; enter Tiramisu Cupcakes! Come on, isn’t that the best combo? The only thing better than Tiramisu is cupcakes!  🙂

We just made these yummy cupcakes and they were a hit! The recipe may sound complicated but trust me, it’s so simple. A light, airy sponge cake infused with an espresso syrup, and a fluffy mascarpone cheese frosting makes for the perfect Tiramisu taste. Just to note; when we made them we put a little extra espresso syrup into the cupcakes, and we left the marsala wine out of the frosting. Also, we didn’t have any cocoa powder or chocolate shavings for the top so we improvised and sprinkled a few chocolate chips on top instead. If you love Tiramisu but find it to be too complicated to make at home; these delectable Tiramisu Cupcakes are for you!

Cupcake:
6 eggs, separated (separate when cold; allow to come to room temp)
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar, divided
3 tablespoon water, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sifted, all-purpose flour (measure after sifted)

In large mixing bowl at high speed, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add half of the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are glossy and stand in soft peaks. Rub just a bit of meringue between thumb and forefinger to feel if sugar has dissolved. 

In small mixing bowl at high speed, beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, water, vanilla and salt (if desired) until blended.  With a sifter or sprinkle flour with a sieve over whites. Add beaten yolk mixture. Gently, but thoroughly, fold yolk mixture and flour into whites. 

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 min or until done.

Espresso Syrup:
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
2/3 cup water
5 teaspoons espresso powder

In a small, heavy saucepan over high heat, combine the water, the remaining 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar and the espresso or coffee powder. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.

Use a fork to poke a few holes into cupcakes so that they will absorb liquid. Pour approximately ½-1 teaspoon of syrup onto each cupcake.

Frosting:
3 c mascarpone
1 c confectioner’s sugar
¼ c marsala wine
¾ c heavy cream, chilled

In a medium bowl using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together the mascarpone cheese, confectioner’s sugar and marsala until well blended. Add the cream and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Frost cupcakes with mascarpone/whipped cream mixture. Dust tops with cocoa powder (I used unsweetened) and then sprinkle with dark chocolate shavings.

(This recipe was adapted from the recipes “Classic Sponge Cake” and
“Espresso Tiramisu”, both found on www.baking911.com.)

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2 Responses to Valentines Menu ~ Fontina Rigatoni & Tiramisu Cupcakes

  1. Part Time Sleuth says:

    Well, I believe the Italians know what “love” is all about 🙂 – sounds delicious!

  2. Ha! Yes they do! Thanks! 🙂

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