Posts Tagged ‘Caramel’

The Shower

September 25, 2010

My sister Michel’s wedding shower was last Sunday, and it was a success! We had a lot going on, but everything came together, no one was hurt, and we all made it to work on Monday morning mostly unscathed.

My Dad grilled chicken. My Ma & I made this barley salad recipe. We made a lot of this recipe. We should have made more, but I don’t think we had a big enough pot. It was so hearty and tasty.

My aunts and cousins made salads and appetizers and pretty jello molds.

My grandmother made a billion cookies. By the time we were cleaning up my Aunt’s place post-party, they were all gone. She’s a pretty great baker.

We made chocolate caramel cupcakes. A bit of a frosting mishap, but still super good.

I made nectarine sorbet and served it with a drizzle of red wine and strawberries.

Too much food!

I wish I took more pictures.

But it was busy!

Anyway, if you have cute pics from Michel’s big day, please email them my way. And… here’s the cupcake recipe…

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

makes 20 cupcakes

3 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
2 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (half cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup milk, room temperature

1 stick (half cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
sea salt for garnish

For the cupcakes:

Preheat your oven to 350° F and prep your cupcake tins with paper liners.

On low power nuke the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl.  Stop the microwave to stir every thirty seconds until chocolate is smooth and melted.  Set aside and cool to room temperature.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

Using a hand mixer, cream 1 stick of butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla and eggs, then the cooled chocolate.

Add the flour mixture to the batter in four parts, alternating with the addition of the milk.  Beat until just combined.

Pour batter into cupcake pans.  Bake 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the cupcake center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.

For the frosting:

In a heavy-bottomed 2 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Stir in brown sugar and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to low but maintain boil for 2 minutes and continue to stir the caramel.

Carefully add 1/2 cup of the milk to the caramel.  Return to a boil, and then remove from heat.  Cool for 30 minutes until caramel is lukewarm.

Transfer cooled caramel to a mixing bowl.  With a hand mixer, gradually incorporate the powdered sugar and milk.  Beat 3-4 minutes.  Chill frosting in fridge until ready to frost cupcakes, at least 1-2 hours.

Whip frosting with mixer to a spreadable consistency.  Add sugar or milk if necessary.  Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with sea salt.


Ice Cream Makes it Better

October 26, 2009

Today was a long Monday. It was dreary and cold and… Monday. Sitting at work, all I could think about was getting back in my warm bed with my brand new pillows (they’re so fluffy and ammmazing!), eating ice cream, and watching Ghostbusters on repeat. Doesn’t that sound lovely?

Anyway, by the time I was home, I was mostly cured of my monday funk. But! I still needed ice cream. Homemade ice cream. Homemade Caramel Apple Ice Cream. Who doesn’t need Homemade Caramel Apple Ice Cream?

By the way, don’t trust anyone who tells you they don’t like ice cream–it’s just not natural.

And yeah, it’s getting chilly out, but I could eat ice cream in the middle of a blizzard. I have braved snow storms for frozen yogurt, chocolate malts, and ice cream sandwiches. But this winter I won’t have to. I have done something terrible… I have bought an ice cream maker.

Cue the scary Halloween music.

Even worse, I bought it with David Lebovitz’sThe Perfect Scoop, and it’s filled with a ton of AMAZING recipes, including all kinds of fall & winter inspired deliciousness. Really, I want to make everything. But I started with Caramel Apple Ice Cream. You were wondering what I was doing with all those apples from the family trip to the orchard, weren’t you? Well, um… here’s what I did with two of them…

Caramel Apple Ice Cream

Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Pear-Caramel Ice Cream in The Perfect Scoop

This recipe has a rich fruit flavor. The caramel adds depth, but it’s not like a traditional caramel apple. For that I think some sort of caramel sauce would need to be involved. But this recipe showcases the apples perfectly. Make sure you give the mixture a good blending to smooth any apple bits.

2 large apples, peeled and cored (I used JonaGolds)
3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Chop your apples into small, 1/4” pieces and set aside.

Spread the sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium heat. The sugar will start to liquify and brown. Gently stir the mixture to melt all of the sugar and heat to a deep amber. Constantly stirring at this point to keep the caramel from seizing, stir in the apple. Cook for 10 minutes. If you have any hard pieces of caramel, don’t worry, we’ll strain them out later.

Remove the caramel apple mixture from the heat and stir in the cream. Mix in the pinch of salt and squeeze in a bit of lemon.

Let the mixture cool, and then puree in a blender or food processor. Pour through a strainer to remove any pieces of caramel or apple. Chill mixture in the fridge, and then process using your ice cream machine.

Now time to watch Ghostbusters