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.