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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Joyeux Kitchen: Salted Caramel Buttercream

It shouldn't come as a surprise to any of you that I'm a frosting snob.  I'll just come out and say it: The canned stuff is yucky, and the film it leaves in your mouth is caused by the junk they put in it to make it 'shelf stable' (look at the ingredient list--I'm not lying).  Bleh.  Making your own is cheap and easy; even this recipe, which is more complex than most, hardly takes any time at all.  I put this particular buttercream on espresso cupcakes, creating what I like to think of as a "Caramel Macchiato on a plate".  You could also just serve it in a parfait dish, maybe, with a steaming espresso shooter. :) 

You'll need:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) salted butter, softened/room temp.
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
(Double this recipe if you like mounded frosting on your cupcakes, like I do.)  Stir together the granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium high heat.  Continue cooking, without stirring, until the mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6-7 minutes.

Remove from heat and slowly add the cream and vanilla (start with a tablespoon or two), stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth.  If the cream you added was too cold, the mixture will start to separate and you'll think all is lost!!  Don't despair, put it back on the still-hot stove top and stir until it comes back together, then remove from heat.  Set aside until cool to the touch, about 30 minutes. 

Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.  Turn off the mixer, then add the cool caramel.  Beat frosting on low to combine, and then increase to medium-high and beat until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes.  Refrigerate if not using immediately (or to harden the frosting a bit).

Salted Caramel Buttercream originally from Gimme Some Oven!

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