Tuesday, February 15, 2011

warning: softest, most decadent cupcake recipe

before i was overcome by the bubonic plague, i had a typical anna moment. the kind where i try to study or be productive...and bake instead. it's been a lifelong problem. and not one i am willing to deal with any time soon.

the result : ginger pear cupcakes with salted caramel (adapted from this )

for the cupcakes (recipe said it only made 12 but i had 12 GINORMOUS ones and about 7 small - so if you go the small route, i'd say you could get 24 pretty easily!)

3/4 cup butter ( i use salted)

1.5 cups sugar

3 eggs

1.5 cups cake flour

1/2 cup whole milk (i used half and half)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp ginger (or more if you want them very gingery)

1 ripe pear cut into 1/4 cubes (here is where i strayed, i only had firm pears so i chopped one up and sauteed it in butter and cinnamon to make them soft!)

- cream butter and sugar
- beat in eggs, one at a time
- beat in flour, alternating with milk (starting and ending with flour)
- add vanilla and ginger and beat for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl
- fold in pears
- pour into muffin tins (with wrappers!)
- bake at 350 for 15-18 and let cool in tins for about 10, outside of the tins for 20 before topping with caramel

as you'll see in some of my photos, i have some blossoming cupcakes and little short stacks that barely reach the top of the muffin cup. i say fill the cups 1/2- 3/4 full and stick with smaller cupcakes so your salted caramel doesn't spill out over the sides. also, don't be afraid to let the little guys brown a bit - it provides a nice little crunch to the top of the cupcake to contrast with soft delicate cake underneath.

salted caramel

Lordy, is this stuff good. ideally, i would have had red miso to put in for some flare...but of course, texas grocery stores don't carry that...

1 cup sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tbs sea salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream

- combine sugar and syrup in a medium sized pan over high heat, whisking constantly for 6-8 minutes or until desired browning occurs. keep in mind that sugar keeps cooking even when removed from heat, so it is best to remove once it just barely goes beyond the deep golden color. it will continue to brown off of the heat! better too early than too late with caramel! here is the color we are looking for!
- cool for one minute
- whisk in salt, vanilla and sour cream until combined
- set aside until room temp!

once both components have cooled, it's time for MARRIAGE!