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03 December 2008

Caramel Cupcakes of Goodness

Its that time of the month again! Challenge time!!!!

Firstly I must apologise for being late. I had them baked, iced and even eaten by the due date but, with all the hectic rushing around I completely forgot to post! So here I am 4 days late. But hey, better late then never right?

This months challenge was Caramel Cake with Caramelised Butter icing from Shauna Fish Lyndon of Eggbeater. It was chosen by our lovely hosts Dolores, Alex and Jenny.

I decided to make mine gluten free and in cupcake form as they are easier to eat and hold their shape better sans gluten. If you wish to make these using wheat flour, just substitute the gf flour for g flour. These ones came out quite dense which everyone loved. Once of our coeliacs took one home to her sister, who then proceeded to lick the icing off in front of their mum, who was quite jealous.

Many other Daring Bakers said that the icing was way too sweet for them. As I'm really not a big fan of super sweet icings I started with the lower amount of caramel and added more cream for consistency. So I probably ended up with 30ml of Caramel and closer to 90ml of cream. Mine were possibly quite dense because I did everything except the icing by hand. Using electric beaters for the cake would have resulted in a lighter texture.

Still tasted pretty damn good though!

What to do with all that left over syrup.......


CARAMEL CAKE WITH CARAMELIZED BUTTER FROSTING

142g unsalted butter at room temperature
280g granulated sugar
½ tsp/2.5 ml kosher salt
80ml Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
286g gluten free all-purpose flour (my preferred mix is store bought)
1/2 teaspoon/2.5ml baking powder
240ml milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F/176c/gas mark 4

Butter one tall (5-6/2 – 2.5 inch deep) 23cm/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.

CARAMEL SYRUP

450g cups sugar
120ml cup water
240ml cup water (for "stopping")
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.

CARAMELIZED BUTTER FROSTING

12 tablespoons unsalted butter
454g confectioner’s sugar/icing sugar, sifted
60-90 ml heavy/double cream
10ml vanilla extract
30-60 ml 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