Finally! I've been meaning to post about these cupcakes since I visited St. Louis... in August. Oops.
I loved these! They're so... different yet delicious. My friend Jess ate it with her eyes closed and her face scrunched up for about 10 seconds. I thought she hated it but she said she actually loved it so much she was savoring it... I made it at the same time I made chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes, and I thought those would overshadow these. But I don't think they did. They're just two entirely different flavors.
I didn't get time to take photos of those, so I had to wait till I made them again. I found the occasion when I found out my bff Cici was visiting me from China! That girl loves anything salty and/or sweet. I've got more of a sweet tooth than salty. I can't finish a bag of potato chips but leaving chocolate chip cookies around me is highly dangerous.
These were a perfect balance. In the process, I learned how to make caramel at home and it tastes so good! We used them on the crepes, and Cici spent the night at my house just occasionally sniffing the bottle. It's a pain the bum since the caramel hardens so fast in the saucepan and you have to be quick, but it's totally worth it. I made extra and stored it away for future use.
The recipes relies entirely on the amazing salted caramel frosting. It's basically salted butter, sugar, and homemade caramel sauce.... genius! I paired it with a simple vanilla cupcake that had a hint of almond.
For Cici's cupcakes, I thought I'd try playing with fondant. I use the Ace of Cake's guy's fondant and it's a little better than the usual stuff. Since neither I nor most of my friends can stomach the taste of it, I put only a few leaves on top of each in honor of the beautiful autumn we've been having. Thanks to my sister's leaf presses, I was able to make these cute leaves that no one wanted to eat but were pretty to look at :)
1/2 stick butter
3/4 cups sugar
1 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
Beat the butter (should be at room temp) with the sugar until it becomes fluffy. Add in everything but the egg whites and beat until it's mixed well. Beat the egg whites separately to soft peaks and fold it into the bowl.
Pour into the cupcake pan, and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp water
1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature or slightly warm
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 sticks salted butter (softened)
1 cups powdered sugar
Put the water and the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. I would go ahead and measure out the cream and the vanilla since the sugar crystallizes so quickly. Keep an eye over the water/sugar mixture and keep stirring. As soon as it turns golden, take it off the heat. Some people wait till it turns brown but it tastes too burnt to me by that point, so I would stop after it's been golden for a few seconds. Slowly (it will splatter) add the cream and vanilla and keep stirring with a spoon over and over until it's fully incorporated. Then pour into a jar and let it cool.
This caramel sauce recipe makes 2 servings for the frosting, so only use half of it for the frosting above.
Beat the butter and the sugar until it becomes fluffy and pour in 1/2 the amount of caramel sauce you made, to taste.
I've been told about the salted caramel hot chocolate at Starbucks and I'm waiting for it to get colder outside so i can try it! I've never been a huge fan of caramel, but having it salted is pretty amazing.
PS. This is my 100th post! Yay! And it's nearing my 1 year anniversary of the blog as well :)