Posts Tagged ‘caramel

19
Jun
10

transitions

A friend asked me to make some cupcakes for her brother’s graduation a few weeks ago.  I made chocolate cupcakes topped with peanut butter cream cheese frosting and whipped caramel ganache.  H and I ate the extras and they were delicious.  I think I finally have a few recipes down that I can rely on every time.  It’s kind of scary to think how fast the time is flying by these days; another round of graduations come and gone.  Graduation…one of those major life transitions where I thought, “What now?”.  Well, another one of those major life transitions is coming up for me again in a few weeks and the same question keeps popping up in my head.  I just keep reminding myself that it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.  It’s for not being stressed out and tired all the time.  It’s for hopes of finally expanding our little family.  It’s for an opportunity to do what I’ve always been passionate about.  It’s for the best.

13
Mar
10

cupcakes and mini bundt cakes

Here are some photos of recent cupcakes and mini bundt cakes.

These are some cupcakes that H and I got at Joan’s on Third in LA.  I think the one up front is the snickers cupcake and the one in the back is the cream filled chocolate cupcake.  I didn’t get to try the snickers cupcake; H probably finished it off in 3 or less bites.  The cream filled cupcake was ok; the filling was very sweet.

Joan’s on Third cupcakes

I brought red velvet cupcakes to work the week before Valentine’s Day.   They had cream cheese frosting and were sprinkled with lip-shaped sprinkles.

red velvet with lips sprinkles

The banana bundt cake I posted before has become one of my favorites.   I’m one of those people who will only eat bananas with very few or no spots.  Once they become spotty, I just leave them alone on the counter and let them get uglier and more rotten looking.  Ugly bananas don’t go to waste in this house.  The uglier they get, the more I look forward to baking something with them.  H knows that I will only eat bananas with very few spots, so when he sees me buying a big bunch of bananas, he knows that I have an ulterior motive.

I finally decided to try out my mini bundt pan that I received as a wedding gift (almost 4 years ago!).  I registered for the pan, but never knew what I should make in it.  Go figure.  I wasn’t sure how much batter to put in each mini bundt and ended up slightly overfilling each one.  I was shocked when I checked on them at the halfway point and saw cupcakes!

they look like cupcakes…

…but they’re not!

Fortunately, their little bottoms weren’t so puffed out that they couldn’t stand on their own.  A nice thing about overfilling them slightly was that instead of having a hole in the middle of each bundt for the lemon icing to run through, there was a small cavity to hold it all in.

drizzled with lemon icing

I recently made chocolate cupcakes for a friend’s birthday.  I made a last minute decision to make the caramel ganache frosting from the book Baked.  I really liked the caramel ganache and it was so easy to make!  I also got to use the Valrhona chocolate pearls that I recently bought at a restaurant supply store in LA.  I was having trouble piping nice round swirls and was too lazy to squeeze out all my frosting just to change tips so I ended up just piping out small mounds of frosting.  It’s not the prettiest because the frosting wasn’t smooth enough; next time I’ll use a star tip.

chocolate cupcakes w/ caramel ganache frosting and crunchy chocolate pearls

24
Mar
09

salted caramel

I’ve been wanting to make salted caramel cupcakes ever since I saw this recipe on cupcakeblog.  This past Christmas one of my friends gave me a jar of fleur de sel so I made some salted caramels and salted caramel cupcakes for her birthday.

salted caramel gift

I originally planned to make the salted caramels in Chocolate Obsession which are covered in tempered chocolate and splinkled with fleur de sel.  Then I saw this recipe for chocolate salted caramels on Gourmet.  These had the chocolate mixed into the caramel and I could avoid trying to temper chocolate for now.  I read through a lot of the reviews, trying to make sure I didn’t end up with caramels that were too soft or too hard.

making caramelIt seemed like most of the reviewers had different temperatures that worked for them so I decided not to rely on temperature alone.  In addition to temperature, I also spooned small amounts of the caramel mixture into an ice water bath to see how it set up.  I’m glad I did it this way because the temperature at which I stopped the caramel was different from the temperature in the recipe.  The caramels were perfect but then hardened a few days later so I had to put a warning on my gift tag that the caramels needed to be microwaved for a few seconds.

salted caramels I ended up with an extra treat after making the salted chocolate caramels.  Instead of filling the caramel covered pot with water to get all the gooey caramel off, I filled it with milk and enjoyed a salted caramel hot chocolate.  I couldn’t waste all that good stuff!

When it was time to make the cupcakes, I couldn’t decide on what kind of chocolate cupcakes I wanted to pair with the salted caramel frosting so I made 2 batches: one batch of the chocolate cupcakes from cupcakeblog and another batch from a different recipe.

chocolate cupakes

In the end, I decided to go with the darker, more delicate chocolate cupcakes.

salted caramel cupcakes

I froze and cut up some of the extra salted caramel to place on top of the cupcakes just like chockylit had but after a few minutes it was melted and runny.  I didn’t want to leave it like that so I cut up some of the chocolate salted caramels and stuck them on.  These cupcakes were really good – I can’t wait to make them again!