Salted Caramel Cupcakes, Tres Leches Cupcakes, Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes...oh my! Now, I'm the kind of gal who likes to show those hardworking folks like Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker and the Pillsbury Dough Boy some love by using those cake mixes and frosting they so painstakingly...make that... lovingly assembled just for our convenience. I'm more of a pie type of gal, but I do like a good cake or cupcake now and again. Every once in a while I will make one from scratch. It was quite the exception for me to make 3 kinds (all in the course of a couple of days) and the frosting all from scratch. It was pretty fun...and they all turned out pretty tasty if I do say so myself. And I do. Whipped Cream frosting is more up my alley...and I'd say most everybody knows how to make it (whip the cream and add some sweetness). This was only the oh, maybe 3rd or 4th time I actually made Butter cream from scratch, so I'll share the recipe from this book with you.
Basic Butter cream
makes about 2 c.
3 large egg white, at room temp.
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces, at room temp.
(after the basics, you can add flavorings of your choice if desired)
In a large, clean heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch (about 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer), about 2 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg white mixture until it is fluffy, cooled to room temperature, and holds stiff peaks (the mixture should not look dry), about 6 minutes.
With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the salt and the butter, a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition. If the frosting appears to separate or is very liquid after all the butter is added, continue to beat on high speed until it is smooth and creamy, 3-5 minutes more.
Add the flavorings of choice and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Use right away. (Or make in advance and refrigerate in a airtight container for up to 5 days. Bring to room temp. and beat on medium-low until smooth before using).
I know this is already becoming a long post, so I'm not going to post the recipes for all 3 kinds of cupcakes...I'm just going to show you the highlights of each type of cupcake...
I chose the Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes because I love Mexican Chocolate, and I just happened to have a few tabs around the kitchen. HOMEMADE Mexican Chocolate that a friend of mines mother brings up from Mexico when she comes to visit. She and her sister actually make it and it is still kind of soft when I get it. I really want to know how to make it one day! If you've ever bought Mexican Chocolate from the store, you know that the tabs are pretty hard and crumbly and taste best when made into something. Well, not these! I mean yes, they taste great made into something, but I also have a major self-control issue with them...I have to control myself from just eating them as is. They are amazing. So, some grated Mexican chocolate goes into these cupcakes and is sprinkled over the frosting before serving, also.The thing that drew me to the Salted Caramel Cupcakes was...well, the salted caramel garnish! Salt and caramel are such an awesome combo for the salty-sweet lovers out there! My Farmer's Market has a great little shop which has been a firm fixture there since the time it opened (I believe that's what they said) and they make the most delicious, soft caramels! I melted some chocolate and dipped the bottoms, then before serving, cut them in half and placed them on top of the frosting (butter cream w/ cajeta...Mexican Goat's Milk Caramel...swirled in), then sprinkled them with big flakes of Sea Salt. The third type I chose to make were Tres Leches Cupcakes. It's hard for any birthday to pass by in my family without a Tres Leches Cake, and these mini-versions actually turned out to be my favorite of all the types I made. The cake portion is airy and spongy...pricked with holes...then drenched in the "3 Milks" mixture. It's simplicity at its finest...and topped simply with sweetened whipped cream. Ahhhh. And now you say... But girli! I don't have that cookbook and I MUST make those cupcakes! Never fear my friends, this is where my wonderful planning and insight comes into play. To celebrate my 101st post, I'm having a giveaway! Yay...a brand new copy of this book Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski could be yours. And that's not all! Two friends of mine have generously donated some fun things to sweeten the pot. First off is the loverly, creative, wacky and silly Lady P of Madly Creative. If you've never read of her crazy, law-evading knit-up adventures, I insist you go over for a good laugh immediately! Once upon a time, I saw her knitting up some cupcakes and knew I must have one for myself...so I did get one for myself AND she threw in one for my giveaway (plus some fun cupcake cards...not pictured)! Another friend of mine, Charmane from SALT has given me a delicious package of Fleur de Sel (Organic French Grey Sea Salt) to add to the fun! If you know me at all, you know I have a slight addiction to all types of sea salts...this one is pure, unadulterated goodness and the one I used in the baking of all of these cupcakes! Plus, I found some cute cupcake liners and decided...why not throw those in, too!
Now for the details...I only ask 1 thing of the winner...please bake something from this book after you receive it with a link back to girlichef! That's it. I mean, you were probably going to try at least 1 recipe from the book anyway, right!?
Please have all entries in by Midnight on Saturday, July 11 (Eastern time). I will announce the winner on Monday July 13.
**Remember...in order to actually win, I need to know how to contact you! If you are a follower, I can just follow that back to you. If you are not a follower, please make sure I have a way of letting you know!**