Sunday, 5 October 2008

Dulce de leche cupcakes

A midweek conversation with the CCM (Caked Crusader’s Ma) ran something like this:

CCM: What are you planning on baking this week?
Me: I’m not sure yet. Any ideas?
CCM: (response within a nanosecond) Cupcakes with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream...but I haven’t really thought about it.

So, having received my orders I then started to ponder how I could make these different to my previous vanilla buttercream cupcakes.

Dulce de leche is a sinfully delicious milk caramel sauce.

It is widely available in supermarkets but I bought mine, made by Argentineans living in London, from a stall in Borough Market. Suddenly, an idea announced itself into my brain...what if the cupcakes were flavoured with dulce de leche? Here is the prize ingredient:

I tweaked my standard cupcake recipe slightly to take into consideration that dulce de leche is made with milk. The cupcakes came out very well but I found they took a few minutes longer to cook than a plain cupcake mix.

The nude cupcakes are a beautiful caramel colour, the taste was subtle and left a hint of toffee/caramel in your mouth:

I realise I’m a bit late but here is my entry for the Turner Prize; I call it “Non vampiric cupcakes”:

My piping skills are definitely improving and I am very proud of my swirls:

For the cupcakes:
125g unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
125g self raising flour
3 tablespoons dulce de leche
1 tablespoons milk (whole or semi skimmed)

For the buttercream:
4 egg whites
250g caster sugar – I used vanilla infused caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan oven 170°C/375°F/Gas mark 5.
- Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.
- Start by making the cupcakes. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, flour, milk and dulce de leche to the bowl and beat until the mixture is well combined and smooth.
- Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Mine took 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. The cupcakes can be made a day in advance and stored, when cool, in an airtight container. I made the buttercream on the day I wanted it.
- Make the buttercream. Place the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water) and stir constantly to stop the egg from cooking.
- After 5-10 minutes the sugar should have dissolved. You will know whether this has happened by looking at the back of the spoon – if you can see any sugar crystals the mix needs more heating and stirring.
- When no crystals are visible, remove the bowl from the heat and whisk the meringue mixture until it has puffed up and cooled.
- Add the butter and vanilla to the meringue and continue to whisk. The mixture will collapse initially but don’t panic; keep whisking and it will form a smooth, fluffy buttercream.
- Pipe on to the cupcakes and decorate as you wish.
- The finished cupcakes will keep for a couple of days at room temperature. Not that they’ll have the chance!
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


anudivya said...

Oh boy! Am I on a serious sugar high after seeing this or what!
Looks so pretty.

Dee said...

Yes, your piping is getting pretty perfect. I'm jealous. Just learned that I should use a star nozzle for a large swirl or it'll just look like a large turd. Sad, but true.

Dee said...

By the way, dulce le leche is one of my all-time favourites :)

Margaret said...

Oh! not that naughty buttercream again!!!
The piping is wonderful.
Great post.

Rosie said...

Your piping is really wonderful on these cupcakes. Oh boy what a great hit of sugar count me in!!

Rosie x

Mike of Mike's Table said...

You always leave me amazed. I just made cupcakes this weekend and tried to make things pretty with the piping bag. My wife said it looked good, but really, I think it looked kind of silly. You have done great with the decorations here--I wish I'd looked at this a few days ago, lol! And flavor-wise, well really, what can I say, dulce de leche in cupcake form sounds sinful :o

Cakelaw said...

Lovin' these cupcakes - although I am pretty sure that I would scoff the jar of dulce de leche before it made it into anything.

Y said...

Those cupcakes are so beautiful! What I would do, to be able to get hold of a jar of that stuff :)

glamah16 said...

Oh man, I need to quite reading and go on a diet. Delicous as always. I noticed you stopped the what The Caked Crusader Bakes To posts. I liked those.

Maria said...

I read this post and just had to leave a comment. I've had cupcakes with dulce de leche on top of them before, but never included within the cake mix. Sounds like a wonderful idea. I have a recipe for making my own dulce de leche at home, it involves boiling a can of condensed milk for several hours. I think the cupcakes are worth the time invested.