Friday, May 7, 2010

Cranky, time for cake

Have you ever had one of those days, weeks, months? Well today I had all of them combined. My day was actually good, just my body was achey and I don't feel well. I need comfort food. Sometimes it is the only thing that will do. I follow a cute blog I had yet to ever make one of her recipes. So I decided today was the day. I know I have to eat other things besides cake or I would end up feeling worse. My husband spent $90 on olive oil and balsamic vinegar last week at the farmers market. So I made some italian bread from scratch... good enough! But anyway, back to the cake... I adapted this recipe from the above blog. As always I changed it up. But the base idea is from her. Her cakes/cookies etc.. always look so amazing. So here is my attempt at her "cupcake that almost made her cry"... but my version of it of course.

First use:
1 (14-ounce) can NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Sweetened Condensed Milk
Pour sweetened condensed milk into top of double-boiler pan; cover. Place over boiling water. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 60 to 75 minutes, or until thick and light caramel-colored. Remove from heat. Beat until smooth I added chocolate chips, no nuts, to make chocolate caramel.

Make Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup cooled, strong coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk and oil. Stir like crazy until smooth.. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 25 minutes. Cool

Caramel Ganache:

1 pkg. chewy Werthers caramels unwrapped and chopped into thirds
1 Cup cream
8 ounces dark chocolate chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
4 Tbsp. butter

Heat cream in medium heavy bottomed saucepan until boiling, turn heat to medium, add caramels and stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat, add chocolate and carefully stir until smooth, add butter in 4 additions stirring until smooth.

Vanilla Buttercream
1/2 lb. unsalted butter (softened)
1 stick salted butter (softened)
1/2 pkg. french vanilla instant pudding mix (a cheat, I know, but I was in a hurry and it rocks!)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (or more to suit your tastes) powdered sugar

In mixer set on medium speed, beat the butter until smooth and silky. Turn the speed to low and add the pudding mix, when it is all incorporated, slowly add the cream, a little at a time. When fully incorporated bring speed up to high and beat for 5-7 minutes. Turn speed back down to low and add powdered sugar, continue beating until fluffy.

To assemble, you cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake. Then fill it with the chocolate caramel. I topped with a chocolate chip.

Then I topped the cupcakes with the buttercream and the caramel chocolate ganache.

According to Taylor, the best cupcake she ever had.

Taylor and Kelsey had 2.

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