Monday, December 1, 2008

DB:Caramel Cupcakes w/caramelized butter frosting



Well, I'm late on posting November's Challenage. I actually made these last week for my husband's teacher friends, but since I was away this weekend I couldn't post till today!

I was really excited about November's Challenage, which was Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting. The Caramel Cake Recipe Courtesy of Shuna Fish Lydon. The recipe is published from Bay Area Bites. The Hosts/Co-Hosts for this month's challenge are as follows:
1. Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity
2. Alex of Blondie and Brownie
3. Jenny of Foray into Food
4. Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go

I LOVE caramel!!! The thought of making an entire cake, though, was not appealing to me. So, I decided to make cupcakes instead. After reading what others had posted on the message board, I decided to add a dark chocolate ganche to my cupcakes as well. Despite what most people said, I didn't find these little beauties to overly sweet. I loved the combination of sweet and saltly, too. If you ever had a Dark Chocolate Seasalt Caramel from Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, then you can see this is what I was going for when I added the dark chocolate ganche. Everyone at the school LOVED them. They were moist and flavorful and not that hard to make.

With the leftover batter I took my super mini muffin tin and made 100 calorie size cupcakes.

Has anyone ever tried the Hostess 100 Calorie Cupcake Pack? There I was...on a diet...and desperate for something that actually tasted good. I was thrilled to find a healthy cupcake. Image my horror and my anger when I opened the package to find three bite size cupcakes!!! It was that day that I decided that I would rather be fat and happy than skinny and hungry!!!

I burn the sugar the first time and the butter, too!

I didn't have a seieve, so when I came time to put the browned butter through one, I just used poured the butter through a fork and that seemed to get most of the flecks out. But besides that it went pretty smoothly. The frosting was AMAZING! I used the leftover frosting for my Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns


and even my mom (who doesn't like anything) loved them. My husband fell in love with the frosting too and wants me to use it as a staple from now on. It differently has an unique flavor.

And now…THE RECIPE:

CARAMEL CAKE (or cupcakes)
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperaturesplash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan. (or cupcake pan)
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. (I used a handmixer)
4. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.
5. Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl.
6. Scrape down bowl and increase speed.
7. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.
8. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.
9. Sift flour and baking powder.
10. Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}
11. Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.
12. Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it. Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator. (If making cupcakes, I found that 15-20 mintues was the best time. I only had one cupcake pan, so I didn't rotate it).

CARAMEL SYRUP
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelization process)

1. In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush.
2. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.
3. When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.
4. Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}

Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.

CARAMELIZED BUTTER FROSTING
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste

1. Cook butter until brown.
2. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.
3. Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.
4. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner's sugar a little at a time.
5. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner's sugar has been incorporated.
6. Add salt to taste.

Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light.

Dark Chocolate Ganche

7 oz Dark Chocolate, broken up into pieces (Good quality...Hershey is CRAP!!!)
1/4 C Whipping Cream

1. Melt whipping cream and dark chocolate in a double boiler until melted.
2. Let cool slightly.
3. Pour over cupcakes BEFORE added the frosting.

ASSEMBLING:

The assembly follows this simple order:

Cake(cupcake)
Ganche
Frosting

ENJOY!!!!




4 comments:

Claire said...

I thought the icing was fantastic as well...love your use of the spoon! I bet it was delicious on the cinnamon rolls. Great job!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Oooohh, now there's an idea...this frosting on cinnamon rolls. Delicious sounding!

Cristine said...

Glad you liked them! And mini's sound great! I love bite-sized things!

BC said...

There was a lot of burnt sugar in the air this month! The icing was very sweet but oddly very addictive.