Post Vacation Vacation Post.
I'm back! Finally right? Have you ever had one of those vacations where you need another vacation just to recover from it? Yeah, that was me.
I had all these lofty ideas to post updates for you about how the visit was going salt and peppered with cute shots of chocolate daisy toppers, polka dot baking cups and an army of cupcakes. That didn't happen. That was a stupid idea. I'm stupid.
I barely had time to sleep let alone have the energy to post devilishly clever blog posts or keep my eyes open for Photoshop. The week was a whirlwind of events from a little firearm education with dad to lions and tigers and bears at the zoo. Manicures and pedicures with the ladies to Sandbanks with mom. A little Indonesian cuisine with the family to girly movies and giggling with my best friend. Curling, speeches, tours, appointments, photos, new friends, old friends... Cupcakes and lots of 'em!
I thought it would be too soon if I never saw another cupcake in my life. After a full day of baking twelve dozen cupcakes, filling twelve dozen cupcakes, frosting twelve dozen cupcakes, topping twelve dozen cupcakes and packing twelve dozen cupcakes I wasn't interested in eating even one. The three flavours were a hit at the wedding and they were nearly devoured before the photographer could snap the traditional cutting the cake photo. It was a beautiful wedding and Lisa and Jamie were the sweetest couple!
I was really excited about this particular cupcake because I personally considered it the signature flavour being that it was a fall wedding. Since I never tried it, or posted anything about the wedding like a good blogger would do, I decided just one batch wouldn't kill me. This time I took my time and planned ahead. Unlike last time when I forgot the jam entirely and accidentally bought a kilogram of whole wheat flour. This time there was no hair pulling, no exploding piping bags, no mountains of tupperware, no assembly line, no late night trips to my brother's new refrigerator. Just a little Ani DiFranco and a lot of love.
Caramel Apple Cupcakes Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes.
Source: My imagination.
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 2 cup granulated sugar 4 eggs 1 vanilla bean 3 1/2 cup flour 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tbsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup milk 1/4 cup oil
1 cup apple jam/jelly
1/2 cup granulated sugar 4 tbsp water 1 vanilla bean 1/4 cup heavy cream 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 3 – 4 cup powdered sugar Printer-Friendly Version
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line 2 muffin tins with baking cups and set them aside.
In a large bowl an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy. Blend in the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated. Split open the vanilla bean then scrape out all the seeds and add them to the bowl.
Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt then add it in thirds alternating between the milk and oil.
Divide the batter between the prepared muffin tins then bake them for 20 – 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer them to a cooling rack and let them cool completely before filling and frosting.
To fill the cupcakes, use a sharp knife or tiny circle cookie cutter to cut a hole for the jam. Take your cake cylinder and lop off the bottom. Fill a small pastry bag fitted with a round tip with the apple jam and pipe it into the hole in the cake. Return the little cake hat to the top of the cake.
To make the Caramel Buttercream, combine the granulated sugar and water in a small sauce pan on medium high heat. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 6 – 7 minutes or until it turns a dark amber brown. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the beans and whisk them into the cream.
Remove it from the heat then very gradually add the cream and vanilla. Be careful not to add the cream too quickly as it will likely splatter or bubble. Set it aside until it's cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat the butter until it's fluffy and the colour is lightened. Mix in the powdered sugar then add the cooled caramel and blend it until it's smooth.
Scoop the frosting into a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and generously frost each cupcake. To make roses start a spiral of frosting from the middle working your way to the outside. Enjoy!