Layla says: "I will have one of those, please, with milk!"
Who can resist a maple cupcake the the early fall? Not me and not Layla! These cupcakes have 2 cups of pure maple syrup in them...very maple-ee...Then there's there's the maple frosting with another two cups in that...my Martha Stewart Cupcakes book smells like maple as I sit here writing this!
I did have one minor glitch while making the buttercream frosting: I used a pan that was too small for the maple syrup and it by the time I realized that it was too small, it had started to boil over....trust me, it was extreme stress! So, better to use a pot that may seem too big!
Maple Cupcakes Recipe (page 240 in book)
Ingredients for Cupcakes
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
2 cups pure maple syrup,, preferably Grade B
3 large eggs, room temp
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard or mini muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. With an electric mixer on medum-high speed, cream butter until smooth. Add the maple syrup, and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture, and beat well to combine. Beat in milk and vanilla until combined.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until glden and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes for standard, 10 to 13 minutes for minis. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
4. To finish, use an offset spatula to spread each cupcake with maple buttercream. top with marzipan leaves. Decorated cupcakes can be strored up to 1 day at room temperature in airtight containers.
Ingredients for Maple Buttercream Frosting (page 309 in book)
Martha says: "Before adding the maple syrup to the beaten eggs, it should be heated to 240 degrees F. If you don't have a candy thermometer, you can test by adding a drop of syrup to cold water; it should immediately form a soft ball. Be sure to buy only pure maple syrup, not a brand labeled "pancake" or "maple-flavored syrup," which is actually corn syrup flavored with maple extract. Pure maple syrup is graded according to color and flavor; grade B has a robust flavor that works well in baking and other recipes."
6 large egg yolks
2 cups pure maple syrup, preferably grade B
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into tablespoons
1. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix egg yolks on high speed until pale and thick, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, bring maple syrup to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Cook until syrup registers 240 degrees F, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. with mixer on medium speed, carefully pour syrup in a slow, steady stream down the side of the bowl until it is completely combined, about 1-1/2 minutes. continue mixing until the bottom of the bowl is only slightly warm to the touch, 5-6 minutes.
4. Add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, mixing until completely incorporated after each addition. Once all the butter has been added, scrape down the sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until buttercream is fluffy, about 4 minutes more. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and whisk on low speed until fluffy again, about 5 minutes.
Marzipan Maple Leaves
Divide 5 ounces of marzipan into thirds, and tint with red, orange, and brown gel-paste food colors. Knead all pieces together briefly until colors are streaky. Using a rolling pin, roll out marzipan to 1/8 inch thick on a work surface lightly dusted with cornstarch. Cut out 24 leaves using a 2-1/4-inch leaf-shaped cookie cutter (I found mine at Michaels) for standard cupcakes or 66 leaving using a 1-3/4-inch cutter for minis. Marzipan leaves can be stored up to 1 day at room temperature in an airtight container, between layers of parchment paper.
Have a great week...CQ
Posted by Cupcake Queen at Sunday, September 27, 2009
For those of you in the know: This is my 13th cupcake in my 175 Martha Stewart Cupcake ideas self challenge. According to Martha Stewart: "Salted caramel's, including chocolate varieties, have become quite popular in recent years; a touch of salt draws out caramel's buttery taste and highlights the sweetness. This cupcake created with the candy's popularity in mind, serves as an excellent incentive to try your hand at making caramel at home. The soft caramel centers hide under a piped peak of satiny chocolate frosting. Fleur de sel, a type of sea salt prized for its distinctive flavor, in available at specialty stores; if you can't find it, you may substitute another sea salt, such as Maldon."
With this recipe you get to make the cupcakes, the caramel that goes into the cupcakes, and the dark chocolate frosting. I did these cupcakes over two days. First I made the cupcakes,which was fairly easy. While the recipe called for makeing 56 mini cupcakes, I really didn't think that I could handle that, so I opted out for the 18 regular cupcakes instead.
Then, last night I made the caramel and I thought it was pretty easy. It seemed to take longer than I thought it would to turn amber, but eventually, it did! And, was it ever good! I can picture making caramels for the holidays with this recipe. It's the first one that's worked for me.
Today, I made the frosting. I was blown away at how easy it was. And, I was surprised at how with such little confectioner's sugar, it help up to the pastry bag. This recipe called for 4-1/2 sticks of butter! You could probably use it as moisterizer! The recipe has just a few ingredients, but has awesome flavor.
The one thing I was having a problem figuring out was how to melt both the chocolate chips in the microwave, and/or boiling the water for the dry chocolate. I ended up doing it at the same time. It was a little harried but eventutally worked out just right!
Finally, we got to the part where we photograph the the lovely Layla with the cupcakes...She was very attracted to the chocolate aroma. But, regally hung in there and earned her special treat of a nice salmon doggy biscuit.
Below are the three recipes...have a great week...CQ and Layla!
Martha Stewart's Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup warm water
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line mini muffin tin with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add eggs, buttermilk, oil, extract, and the water; beat until smooth and combined.
Spoon the batter into liners about two-thirds full. Bake approximately 15 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Transfer tins to wire racks and allow to cool for 10 minutes; turn cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 1 month in air tight containers.
To finish, use a paring knife to cut a cone-shaped piece (about 1/2 inch deep) from the center of each cupcake and throw away the pieces. Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons warm Salted Caramel Filling into each hollowed-out cupcake. You will notice the caramel will sink into the cupcake a little, just fill it up a bit more. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over filling.
Use a pastry bag with a medium open-star tip (I used Wilton #1M) and pipe Dark Chocolate Frosting onto each cupcake, swirling tip and releasing as you pull up to form a peak. Garnish each cupcake with a pinch of sea salt. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are filled and frosted. Store at room temperature in airtight containers - do NOT refrigerate. Enjoy!
Salted Caramel Filling
2 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, preferably fleur de sel
Heat sugar with the water and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan over high, stirring occasionally, until syrup is clear; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan and stop stirring.
Cook until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush as needed. Boil, gently swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is caramelized and just reaches 360°F. Remove rom heat and slowly pour in cream; stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in sea salt.
Use immediately; if caramel begins to harden reheat gently until pourable.
Dark Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds best-quality semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Combine cocoa and boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved.
With electric mixer on medium-high, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.
Frosting can be refrigerated up to 5 days, or frozen up to 1 month in an air tight container. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat on low speed until smooth again.
Buy the book: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
I never thought I'd say this, but the real challenge here was trying get the grass to stand up like it does in Martha's photo in the book. I can't tell you how I struggled with this one, folks. My grass, green though it is, was...how should I put this? Well, limp!
Needless to say, I was mortified that I could not get my grass to stand up. And then, there were those ladybugs to make. Hmmmmm....well, the first two or three of those babies were okay, actually pretty fun...by the seventh and the eight I had begun watchin' the clock...and I'm thinking...hmmmm...this could take an hour or more...so I stopped at ten. Whew! If you make these, those little tiny black marzipan dots are the worst to try to pick up.
Layla hung out with me the entire time hoping that I'd drop a little something here and there...and you know, I never knew that dogs liked marzipan!
Have a great week! CQ and Layla
Here are the recipes:
Make Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add yolks, and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Beat in vanilla.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
2. Next, make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Makes about 5 cups
5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.
(Optional) To tint buttercream (or royal icing), reserve some for toning down the color, if necessary. Add gel-paste food color, a drop at a time (or use the toothpick or skewer to add food color a dab at a time) to the remaining buttercream. You can use a single shade of food color or experiment by mixing two or more. Blend after each addition with the mixer (use a paddle attachment) or a flexible spatula, until desired shade is achieved. Avoid adding too much food color too soon, as the hue will intensify with continued stirring; if necessary, you can tone down the shade by mixing in some reserved untinted buttercream.
3. Finally, put the Ladybugs together:
Green, red, and black gel-paste food colors
7 ounces marzipan
Cornstarch, for work surface
Tint buttercream green with gel-paste food color. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a small multi-opening tip (#233). Starting at the center and moving outward, pipe rows of grass on top of cupcakes: With tip on surface of cupcake, squeeze bag, then release while quickly pulling up to form 1/4-inch-long blades, making some slightly longer than others.
Form ladybugs: Divide marzipan in half. Working on a surface lightly dusted with cornstarch, tint one portion red and the other black with gel-paste food colors. Form a 1/2-inch ball of red marzipan for each ladybug body, and a 1/4-inch ball of black marzipan for each head.
Flatten the red ball slightly into an oval shape, and press the head onto the body. Pinch off black marzipan to make tiny balls for the spots, and press onto the body. Repeat to make additional ladybugs with remaining marzipan. Place one or two ladybugs on top of each frosted cupcake, gently pressing them into the buttercream grass.
Refrigerate 30 minutes to allow frosting to set. Cupcakes are best served the same day they are decorated; keep at room temperature.