Monday, February 23, 2009

Creme Brulee Cupcakes

From I Heart Cuppycakes.

This made 24 easily for me. The burnt sugar topping is a MUST, in my opinion. I tried it with the icing, due to a short hunt for the misplaced-in-the-move kitchen torch, but it's really better with the burnt sugar. Otherwise, it tastes like a brown sugar/caramel type cupcake. Never a bad thing, but the burnt sugar kicks it up a notch.

Probably a bit more work than actual Creme Brulee, but it was fun to make at least once!

For the cupcakes:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (plus a pinch for egg whites)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
3 tbsp caramel syrup (like ice cream topping or whatever)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix flour, salt, and baking powder together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately beat in dry ingredients and milk.

Add caramel syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.

In a separate bowl (I wish I had had two KitchenAid bowls for this!), beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff (and not dry). Gently fold into batter. Pour into cups, about 3/4 full, and bake for 15-20 mins.

Frosting/Filling (dubbed by the blog, "Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream")

1 cup brown sugar
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter

Put sugar, egg whites and salt on top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water.

Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees, if you care to check).

Pour mixture into bowl of electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 mins.

Switch to paddle attachment and with mixer on med-low speed, add butter slowly, about 2 tbsp at a time. Increase speed to med-high and beat until thick (about 3 mins).

Reduce speed to low and beat 1 min to reduce air bubbles.

To assemble cupcakes:

Cone the middle, fill with frosting. Push it down with a spoon if you remember. I forgot to do this on half of them, so they had dome tops. Sprinkle with white, brown, or raw sugar, and torch away!

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