Saturday 29 November 2008

Daring Baker's Caramel Cupcakes

Once again, its time for a Daring Baker's challenge and after several rounds of savoury offerings, I was happy to see that this month's challenge was a sweet one! This time, the pick was a Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting by Shuna Fish Lyon.

As I often do, I turned this cake recipe into cupcakes as I always find that makes it easier to share with friends, and in keeping with holiday spirit of this season, I decorated them with some "bling". All of the components of this cake were easy to make and I managed to do them all within about 2 hours. If you are pressed for time, however, the frosting can be made ahead and kept in the fridge and I imagine the caramel sauce can be as well.

The results? Scrumptious, but extremely sweet. Definitely for caramel lovers only.

Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting
Recipe by Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater

For the cake:
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 temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.

Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.

Sift flour and baking powder.

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.}

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.

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.

For the caramel syrup:
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelization process)
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. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.

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.

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.

For the 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

Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.

Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner's sugar a little at a time. 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. 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

For original recipe source, Bay Area Bites, click here.
Daring Bakers hosts this month:
Dolores from Culinary Curiosity
Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go


Engineer Baker said...

So simple and pretty with the silver dragees! Definitely for the sugar lover, but still a wonderful recipe.

vibi said...

There is something about those little beads of silver that simply make my heart go "Wheeeeee", they make everything so girly, delicate and dainty. A very, very nice addition to your already oh! so cute minis! Bravo!

Jodie said...

I did cupcakes too! Yours are so cute!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Love the bling! Great job on these cupcakes!

Shelby said...

Love the cupcake and the silver "bling!"

Lynn said...

Well, your cupcake looks wonderful. I do love your "bling." I wish I had thought of something like that, I am a horrible cake decorator. Great job.

Sandra Le Petrin said...

I love the "bling" on your cupcake, it's so pretty!

We Are Not Martha said...

Oooh! I'm always up for a cupcake and this is one I haven't tried before. Sounds delicious and looks so pretty.


Dolores said...

Beautiful bling... a little silver amongst the golden caramel buttercream. Thanks for baking with us this month!

Unknown said...

I LOVE your little cupcake...the silver doo-dads are so cute!

Maryanna said...

Your cupcakes are precious!

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