Italian Plum Upside-Down Ricotta Cupcakes

Italian Plum Upside-Down Ricotta Cupcakes

These are very Italian cupcakes. The list of the ingredients speaks for this well. There are fresh ricotta cheese and cornmeal, ground pine nuts and Italian prune-plums. The upside-down idea is not an exclusive American invention either. Italians have been flipping their cakes for a long time (crostata invertina (for example, with rhubarb and anise) is a wonderful and well known Italian treat).

The cupcakes are incredibly tender, almost melt-in-your-mouth. Ricotta and ground pine nuts contribute to their richness and added cornmeal adds a light crunch. The cupcakes are not too sweet with just a hint of honey, and pleasant tartness from fresh Italian plums. I blogged before about my forever love to everything upside-down. I love the moistness and gooey caramel topping, as well as the using of fresh fruit. In this recipe I substitute commonly used light brown sugar for more flavorful Muscovado. It does improve already nice taste. The cupcakes are terrific warm from the oven, served with a generous dollop of mascarpone cheese. But even when completely cooled they are very, very good.

Since this month Sugar High Friday theme is “Cupcakes” I’m submitting this recipe as my entry for this event. Make sure to check Fanny’s blog who is this month SHF host. She’s already posted her own cupcake recipes which are very original and absolutely delicious.

I’m also submitting it to La Cucina Italiana event.

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Chocolate Banana Muffins

Banana and Chocolate Muffins

This is not a suggesting for getting rid of scary, dark-spotted, overripen bananas.

You might consider buying bananas exclusively for baking these muffins, they are sure worth it. I’m quite happy with the result of my experiments in achieving the texture and flavor I wanted.

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Raspberry-Laced Chocolate Cupcakes

Raspberry-Laced Chocolate Cupcakes

There is another dessert from my romantic menu.

This recipe is almost entirely based on Alice Medrich’s recipe from “Bittersweet”. I just made them a bit more raspberry-flavored by adding a thin layer of raspberry jam glaze underneath the chocolate coating and replacing brandy in the batter and water in the chocolate glaze by raspberry liqueur.

The overall flavor – to die for.

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Very Chocolate Mini Cupcakes

Very Chocolate Mini Cupcakes Inside

These cupcakes have so many wonderful qualities! First of all, they are very, very chocolaty, and moist, and so flavorful. And they don’t have any fat except the one coming from the chocolate. It means you can eat extra one or two… oh… they are mini cupcakes, have three more. And you won’t recognize the dates in the baked cupcakes. The dates make them moist but don’t give a fruitcake flavor. Please, don’t be penny-wise here; buy the best chocolate you can find and moist Medjool dates, and I guarantee these cupcakes will become your favorite too.

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Bran Surprise Muffins

Bran Surprise Muffins

This is a great recipe. It’s not just delicious and healthy but unlike the most of muffin recipes, the batter can be made up to a week before and kept in the refrigerator ensuring you have freshly baked muffins any time you want or need.

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Pumpkin Muffins

This is an adaptation of Dorie Greenspan’s muffins from her most recent book Baking: From My Home to Yours. I just made them a bit healthier replacing half of the flour with whole wheat and making them nut-free.

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