Young or not so young, cupcakes remain a firm favourite, and that definitely goes for me as well.

I love the fact that I can decorate a cupcake to my heart’s desire, with one being prettier than the other.

TIRAMISU CREAM CUPCAKES

Makes 24

5ml caramel essence

30ml instant coffee granules

75ml warm milk

180g butter, softened

220g castor sugar

4 eggs

300g self-raising flour

24 paper cupcake cases

MASCARPONE COFFEE CREAM

5ml caramel essence

5ml instant coffee granules

30ml warm milk

200ml fresh cream

1 tub mascarpone cheese, softened

DECORATING

honeycomb balls

cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Spray 2 muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray and place paper cupcake cases in muffin moulds.

In a cup, mix together essence, coffee and warm milk. Stir to dissolve and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric hand- mixer until creamy.

Add eggs and sift in flour.

Add coffee mixture and beat till combined and mixture is light, and forms a thick creamy batter.

Divide batter equally between cupcake cases and smooth surface of cupcakes.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until done.

Remove from oven and loosen cupcakes gently from cases; place on wire racks to cool.

Cut each cupcake in half through the centre. Spread the bottom half with cream and top with the other half to join the cake. Pipe with mascarpone coffee cream.

Lightly sift cocoa powder over cupcake and decorate with honeycomb balls.

MASCARPONE CREAM: Mix together caramel essence, coffee and milk then allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, whip cream till stiff. In a separate large bowl, beat mascarpone cheese and add coffee mixture.

Fold cream lightly into mascarpone cheese mixture. Keep in the fridge to chill.

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