Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes with Bakery Frosting.

Bakery Frosting?  What on earth am I talking about?  For the longest time I never knew what the exact name was for the light and fluffy frosting that came on cakes from the bakery and then one day I tried making some crazy concoction called Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  This was it!  This was Bakery Frosting!!!  I had unlocked a whole new level of baking.  Now, don’t assume I hate the classic buttercream. That definitely has a dear place in my heart, but for certain cakes its just too heavy and too sweet.  This post is going to cover assembling this magical cupcake and the instructions on making a classic Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Lets start with the frosting.

This frosting is going to take a couple more steps than just whipping together butter and confectioners sugar than its american counterpart. We need to start by separating some eggs.  Part of what gives this frosting its awesome texture is egg whites.  I have spent years trying to perfect that back and forth with your egg in the egg shell to try and get the egg yolks free, but honestly now I just pluck the egg yolks out with my fingers and just wash my hands when I am done, this takes half of the time.  Either toss your yolks or save them for another use. They will keep in your fridge for a couple of days.

I now need a place to put my egg whites.  I pop my mixing bowl from my stand mixer onto a pot with a couple of inches of water in it.

DSC_0140

I add my whites and my sugar to this bowl.

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I turn the heat to a medium high and whisk, not a crazy whisk but a constant stir.  Eventually the sugar will start to melt.DSC_0142

Once I have a smooth mixture and my sugar has lost that gritty feeling I transfer the bowl over to the stand mixer.  I attach the whisk attachment to the mixer and whisk, whisk, whisk.  I let the machine run for ten minutes while I go do other miscellaneous tasks about the kitchen.  Eventually I have a shiny beautiful meringue and my bowl is no longer hot.DSC_0147

I remove the whisk attachment and put the paddle onto my stand mixer.  I add my salt and vanilla, then start adding my butter. I love this pic, just tossing the butter in one bit at a time. This takes two to three minutes.DSC_0150

If you see that your buttercream is soupy just put it in the fridge for five minutes and then start mixing again.  Or, if you think it looks a little curdled, just keep mixing, it will come together.  Eventually after a whole bunch of mixing I have a beautiful, smooth, light frosting.DSC_0157

Now onto the cupcake!  I am using my Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake recipe.  I use the handle of a spoon to scoop out the middle of the cupcake.  You could use a knife or they even sell special cupcake scoops, but I like the handle of a spoon.

I fill that with Caramel.  You could use store bought, but I love homemade caramel.

I fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe on my frosting.  I start in the middle rotating to the edge and then rotate back inside.  I top that with a drizzle of caramel and crushed walnuts (pecans are awesome too)DSC_0012

I love biting into the gooey caramel!DSC_0163


 

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 5 Large Egg Whites
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1½ Cups Butter at room temp cut into small pieces
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Combine Eggs and Sugar in bowl of stand mixer and place over pot of simmering water, making sure that water does not touch bowl.  Gently and constantly whisk eggs and sugar until sugar dissolves completely.  Mixture should feel smooth to the touch.  Remove bowl from the pot and put into stand mixer.  Attach whisk and whisk for ten minutes or until bowl no longer feels warm.  Change attachment to paddle. Add Salt and Vanilla and then add butter one piece at a time until fully incorporated.

This should frost 2 Dozen Cupcakes

 

 

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