Iron Cupcake Earth: Cheese

I almost opted out of this month’s Iron Cupcake Earth challenge because of the bizarre ingredient. True, I could have just used cream cheese, but that wouldn’t have been quite so challenging. I wanted a cheese in both the cupcake and frosting, but I knew I didn’t want the average cream cheese… and well, I knew I didn’t want to make a savory cupcake. Hence, this was born…

Iron Cupcake Earth: Cheese

A chocolate cupcake with a cherry ricotta center and frosted with mascarpone frosting. A dusting of cocoa powder sits on top, accompanied by a cherry. I can’t believe that it actually tastes quite nice! It’s the first time I’ve ever eaten a sweet ricotta, as well as the first time I’ve ever tasted mascarpone.

I’m quite proud of this cupcake, much more so than my entry last month for the basil challenge.

This month, the prizes for winning Iron Cupcake Earth are from Etsy artist Art On The Menu, Etsy artist Lots of Sprinkles, Bakelove Bakewear, Fiesta Products, Hello, Cupcake, Jessie Steele Aprons, Cupcake Courier and Taste of Home. Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers.

Here are the recipes…

Martha Stewart’s One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
-recipe cut into thirds

Cherry Ricotta Filling

1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 heaping tablespoons cherry pie filling (without cherries)
2 heaping tablespoons cherry pie filling cherries, chopped

Drain ricotta cheese if watery through a cheesecloth for 30-60 minutes. Mix ricotta, sugar, vanilla, cherry pie filling and cherries with a spoon until combined. Refrigerate about 30 minutes.
When cupcakes are completely cool, fill them with cherry ricotta filling using the cone method.

Mascarpone Frosting

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Then mix in cold mascarpone cheese until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes.

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