Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Caramel Is My Pal

I've kind of avoided making caramel for the past while because of how much I actually love caramel. When I was an office temp a number of years ago, sitting there dreaming of future careers, at lunch time I would have a granny smith green apple and a bunch of wrapped square caramels and I would take a bite out of the apple and then pop a caramel into my mouth. Oh delicious. Oh boy. Oh geez. Caramel is actually wonderfully easy to make, provided that you don't leave your caramel on the burner and go check your email. Sometimes when this happens you hear a horrible bubbling over and singed stovetop sound and there is a big cloud of smoke and you go running back into the kitchen to a burning caramel explosion on your stove top!!! OOOPS!

Heh heh. So I was "fourth time's the charm" on my recent caramel batch-- I tried crazy Martha's caramel method in the back of her Baking Book, but because there was no suggested times or candy thermometer readings in her recipe I got three versions of a bit of a soupy caramel, each just a little thicker than the next batch. Super delicious of course but not the right consistency I was looking for! Kind of more for pouring over a giant bowl of ice cream which I basically did, and ate, without the ice cream part. HELLO!

Then I found this wonderful article at the great website Smitten Kitchen! This caramel turned a little harder than I was hoping, but it worked well for my flourless pure Dutch Bensdorp cocoa powder caramel-filled birthday brownies I made for my cousin in law Heather! I topped the caramel off with dark chocolate ganache and more crunchy salty pecans for a super decadent birthday brownie cupcake surprise.

I also made caramel vanilla buttermilk cupcakes for my sister's niece Serena for her birthday-- with a pretty little pink buttercream hat and some matching pink sprinkles!

Oh caramel. You're so evilly delicious. But you are my new pal.


Jennywenny said...

I always have a batch of caramel sauce handy for my cakes! I tend to make it runny, I add it to vanilla and chocolate buttercream, I drizzle it on peanut cupcakes, or banana cupcakes, and I drizzle it in between cake layers. MMM

I did have a disaster with it last time as it takes forever for the first stage to work, then its suddenly burned!

apparentlyjessy said...

Oooh these are some very decadent looking cupcakes Lyndsay! I am encouraged to try caramel now too!

Mini Baker said...

Yumm! I love caramel too. Its SO very addicting!
Happy Baking :)
-Mini Baker

Coco Cake Land said...

--jenny, mmm drizzle...

--thanks jessy!! :)

--mini baker, thank you for the comment-- i love how you sign your name mini baker-- what is your real name? or maybe it's Minnie?

Chez Le Pouppe said...

Would it make any difference if one used packaged caramels in your recipes??I prefer using these