Monday, August 20, 2012

Caramel Cupcakes: A Milestone Celebration

Caramel Cupcakes: A Milestone Celebration

Caramel Cupcakes: A Milestone Celebration

Hi everybody :)

I'd like to talk about accomplishments for a little bit. When I think of the word "accomplishment," it means something completed successfully, an achievement. So when I look up the word "achievement," it means something accomplished successfully, especially by means of exertion, skill, practice, or perseverance. So with those two words in mind, I'd like to introduce you to a very special young man in my life, my son, Pernell.

He exerts himself to overcome obstacles daily. You see, at 17, a few days after his brithday, a point when a young man's life is really just beginning, my son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. The blow hit us really hard. For me, it was a double whammy, because around that same time my mom's breast cancer was back.

My son accomplished his goal to graduate high school, despite the fact that I was told by a DOCTOR, that he would never finish. And he went on to face several challenges. So don't let anybody put limits on what you can do! My mom lost her battle years ago, but she was a fighter to the end.

Pernell turned 26 this month, so this marks a milestone for him. He's doing great. In honor of Pernell's accomplishments and achievements, at his request, I made these caramel cupcakes.

Rich and Tender Yellow Layer Cake adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Serves 10 to 12
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (7 ounces) cake flour
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces and softened

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9 inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, grease parchment, and flour pans. Whisk milk, eggs, and vanilla together in small bowl.
Mlik Mixture

2.Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until only pea-size pieces remain, about 1 minute.

3. Add all but 1/2 cup milk mixture, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium low, add remaining 1/2 cup milk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds (batter may look slightly curdled). Give batter final stir by hand.

4. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops with rubber spatula. Bake cake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out with few crumbs attached. 20 to 25 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discard parchment, and let cool completely, about 2 hours, before frosting. (Cooled cakes can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for up to 1 day. Wrapped tightly in plastic, then aluminum foil, cakes can be frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost cakes at room temperature before unwrapping and frosting.)
Uncooked Cupcakes

For Cupcakes  adapted from here

Batter enough for a 2-layer cake makes about 24 regular-sized cupcakes or 60 mini-cupcakes.

Line cupcake cups or muffin tin with paper liners. Lines can be found in various colors and seasonal designs. 

Fill liners 2/3 full of batter (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup regular sized and 2 tablespoons for mini cups). For a larger cupcake, add more batter. Remember that the batter may spread over the edges of the pan. Be sure to lightly grease pan edges when making large cupcakes.  

Bake cupcakes in a 350 degrees F. oven. It takes about 21 to 26 minutes for regular-sized cupcakes and about 10 minutes for mini-cupcakes. Be sure to read the recipe for exact instructions as the batter density may vary.
Cooked Cupcakes

Caramel Frosting V adapted from All Recipes  with Teresa 's tips

1 pound light brown sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter
Powdered Sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional) 

Set aside 2-3 tbs. heavy whipping cream.  In a medium, heavy saucepan, bring the brown sugar and cream to a rolling boil; boil 1 minute. Add baking soda; boil 1 more minute. 
Frosting Boiling

 Remove from heat. Add butter, but DO NOT STIR. Let the mixture cool COMPLETELY in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.  

It will look like a thick, gooey, paste. 

Remove from fridge, and mix with mixer. Add the 2-3 tbs reserved heavy whipping cream alternately with powdered sugar until desired consistency. Beat well. 

Stir in pecans if desire. I recommend making this frosting before you make the cake. Yield 3 cups or 12 servings.

What I Did:
For the cupcakes: I used 2 jumbo muffin/cupcake pans, jumbo-size muffin liners and nonstick cooking spray. I baked them at 350 F for 27 minutes. I halved the frosting, and followed the tip. The cupcakes were THE BEST. We love them, so this will be my new go-to-cake recipe for a yellow cake. I love the frosting too.

BTW, Pernell is the reason I'm able to blog. He did the set-up for me, with some help from my daughter. I don't know where I would be without them.... They taught me EVERYTHING I know about computers.

Way to go Pernell.  KEEP DOING IT, BABY...this is for you!

ENJOY! Come again.....

Linked  to: 
Flour Me With Love: Mix it up Monday! 
Cupcakes Link Party 

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