I'm going to do something I never do...I'm going to post these two posts as today and yesterday even though I cooked them weeks ago. Why? (I'm editing these to show that they were made weeks ago--I hate falsifying blog posts!). After I spent the whole day cooking (the dishes in these two posts) I started feeling absolutely terrible. And that is how I've been since and how I feel still. I have had more tests and specialist appointments in the last two and a half weeks then you could imagine. Apparently, it's either my kidneys or my gallbladder but the problem isn't solved yet and I can't stand for long enough to cook (and I was doing so well!). How am I going to do Thanksgiving? That's something for Percoset and I to worry about but it WILL happen. Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays for a LOT of TJOC recipes to get knocked out!
I decided to make cupcakes and thought I would try TJOC's baking recipes out again. As many of you know, I typically love baking, but I don't love baking at high altitude.
Looking over the cupcakes I decided to make Caramel Cupcakes (p. 738) which means that I have also made the Quick Caramel Cake (p. 722) because it's the exact same recipe (remember, sometimes TJOC reads like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novel). Compounding this is the fact that the QCC tells you to make the Lightning Cake (p. 722) using brown sugar instead of white sugar and add nuts. So really, by making the one recipe, you have cooked through three of the recipes.
Everything should be at room temperature, so I set out the milk, eggs, and butter, and let them warm to room temperature.
This is a one-bowl cake so the dry ingredients (cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) are added and then the eggs, milk, and vanilla are added to the same bowl.
I don't know why I wasn't using my Kitchenaide but I used a hand mixer for the recipe. Next, the butter is mixed in. I adjusted everything in this recipe--I used more flour and milk and less sugar and baking powder, although it's still a bit of a crapshoot when it comes to adjusting for altitude.
The batter is beat for a while.
I folded in some chopped pecans at this point.
And the batter is dolloped into the cupcake pans!
On to the icing...the recipe recommends Caramel Icing (p. 792). Reading the recipe I realized that this is pretty much candy, so bring out the candy thermometer!
First step, combine brown sugar and heavy cream and stir, over heat, until dissolved. Cook until about 240 degrees. It already looked like caramel to me!
It goes from this:
Angry! As always with candy, DON'T STIR IT!
Remove it from the heat and float butter on the top. Then cool until 110 degrees.
This takes forever, so be prepared.
Eventually, it's cool enough. Add some vanilla and beat until cool, thick, and creamy (very vague, I hate directions like this). I beat it until it looked like this:
At this point, the butter was not soaking in at all. I've never made caramel's...is it normal for the butter to just leak around the candy? And if so, what's the point of adding it?
And the cupcakes are frosted!
How were they? First off, ugly. These cupcakes are not attractive, so don't make them for the annual bakesale. The cake part tasted like a fat cookie and the icing was more or less candy. So if you like big cookies frosted with candy, these are TOTALLY the cupcakes for you.