Friday, August 31, 2012

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting



Ingredients:


2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved (or 1 tablespoonvanilla extract)
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature

Salted Caramel Frosting, see recipe below


Directions:

Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line 2 (12-well) muffin pans with paper liners. Alternatively, coat the wells with butter; set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.

Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until very light in color, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla seeds (if you’re using vanilla extract instead, you’ll add it later), and continue beating until the mixture is airy, about 3 minutes.

Scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl, turn the mixer to medium speed, and add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the milk (and vanilla extract, if you’re using it in place of seeds) and mix until combined (the mixture will look curdled, but it’s not). Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the speed to low, add the reserved flour mixture, and mix until just combined, about 15 seconds.

Fill the muffin wells about halfway and bake until the cupcakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Set the pans on a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting.

Salted Caramel Frosting

Ingredients:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.

Combine butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.

Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes, before using.

Recipe shared from: www.chow.com