Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Burnt Sugar Cupcakes

I realized I love Burnt Sugar Cake but it's probably because I love caramel. I'm pretty sure I've talked about that slight obsession previously. Anyway, I created this recipe when I had a hankering for some sweet cupcakes that were a little different than the average vanilla. If I ever did open a bakery then I wanted to use this for my "vanilla" cake recipe. This is a small recipe that only makes 6 cupcakes because I couldn't keep making dozens of cupcakes at a time. Although I would have made lots and lots of friends it would not have been good for the waistline you see. Lots of baking, only two of us, only so many co-workers, yes yes you see. Six cupcakes is also a lovely treat. I use the Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste that you can find at specialty stores because I love the flavor it brings to a dessert and the look of the beans. It is a little more expensive but you don't need much.
Burnt Sugar Cake

-1/2 cup sugar
-1/4 cup butter
-1 whole egg
-1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
-3/4 cup flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Cream together butter and sugar. Add in egg and mix.
3. Add in vanilla bean paste, then flour and baking powder, mix.
4. Add in milk, stir.
5. Divide between 6 cupcake cups. Bake about 21 minutes.

Vanilla Frosting

-1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
-1/4 cup cornstarch
-1/2 cup vegetable shortening or butter
-4 tablespoons water
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
-sanding sugar (optional)

1. Mix all ingredients together except sanding sugar, if using, and beat on high speed of mixer for 5 minutes until fluffy. If desired, mix in some sanding sugar to taste to add crunch.

Sugar Shards

Spread granulated sugar in small circles on a silpat or parchment paper in even layers. Bake at 400F until melted and golden, about 5-6 minutes. Watch very closely because it will burn if it's in the oven 10 seconds to long. When you think it's almost done you can pull it out and let it finish setting up out of the oven because the sugar will continue to bake. Cool completely, break into pieces for decoration.




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