Monday, April 15, 2013
antique caramel cupcakes.
Fellow sugar lovers, comrades in carb crime, synced minds of the sweet. Have you all seen this? The piping is just simply adorably fantastic. As you can imagine, I fell in love with it. I wanted to imitate it. I tried to copy it. But I failed.
I tried out that piping technique on these cupcakes here and my flowers look nothing like the ones on her blog. I do think that one or two flowers were at least not painful to look at but my first one was atrocious.
Okay. I need to chill. It was my first attempt after all.
Anyway, I think these cupcakes could do better in fulfilling the concept of caramel cupcakes. The cake portion itself wasn't particularly flavorful, but then again, the main focus could have been the frosting. So let's talk frosting. The frosting was pretty good, but there could have been a deeper caramel flavour to it. I find that the cream cheese was competing with the caramel, hence slightly muting caramel-iness of the frosting. Of course, it may be perfect in others' opinions- many friends gave rave reviews, in fact- but if it's a caramel frosting, I would like it to scream caramel.
I say caramel but it is actually made from butter and brown sugar. I often see this kind of "caramel" used to refer to caramel, but shouldn't caramel be made from just sugar and perhaps a splash of water? What are your views?
By the way, sprinkle coarse sea salt on top of the cupcakes after you frost them. It makes a world of difference.
Antique Caramel Cupcakes
adapted from Baked Elements
For the cake:
1 stick butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
pinch of salt
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp white vinegar
For the caramel frosting:
1 1/4 stick butter, divided
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, cold
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
Beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugars and salt and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, until combined. Add the flour in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour.
In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in vinegar and stir into the batter until just combined.
Divide batter amongst the cupcake liners and bake for about 12 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out mostly clean, with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.
Make the frosting: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir the brown sugar and 1/2 stick butter until melted and combined. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove from heat and whisk in cream. Transfer to a bowl to cool completely. To speed up the cooling process, I placed the bowl in the fridge. You can also make this before you bake the cupcakes to save on waiting time.
Cream the remaining butter until smooth. Add the cream cheese and salt and beat until mixture is smooth and combined. Stream in the caramel mixture and beat until incorporated. Add the icing sugar and beat until smooth. At this point, if the frosting is too soft, refrigerate until it is firm enough to use. Then, frost away!