Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dulce de Leche Cupcake

I love making cupcakes. I feel it is so much easier to decorate each one of them instead of just dolloping the frosting onto one whole cake. This cake's are made with Dulce de Leche milk.  Dulce de leche is very similar to caramel.  It’s sweetened condensed milk that has been cooked down until the sugars have darkened to a rich caramel.  It’s sweet and thick and perfectly acceptable to bathe in. The aroma and smell is totally awesome.

Some people make their own dulce de leche by boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk…. literally, in the can.  While many have had success with this technique, I’m convinced that I would both injure an eye and burn my house down… so I just buy my dulce de leche.  I got this particular can at the local grocery store in the aisle where the regular condensed milk are. I have to try the one sold at Whole Foods. This brand of Dulce de Leche is kinda bit thick , probably need to try other brands.

The cake themselves are a buttermilk and brown sugar combo. The cake's are more of a pound cake consistency and not too much of a fluffy cake mix cupcake. The frosting is the best part of this cake, its made with cream cheese, butter and Dulce de leche.
Ingredients For Cupcake 
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
For the Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup dulce de leche, plus more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper or foil liners.  Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add butter and sugars.  Beat on medium speed until fluffy and pale brown, about 3 minutes.   Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add one egg.  Beat on medium for one minute.  Add the remaining eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute between each addition.  Stop the bowl and scrape down the sides as necessary. Beat in vanilla extract.
Add half of the flour mixture to the egg and butter mixture.  Beat on low speed and slowly drizzle in the buttermilk.  Beat until just incorporated.  Stop the mixer, scrape down the bowl and add the rest of the dry ingredients.  Beat on low speed until just incorporated.  Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and finish incorporating with a spatula.  Try not to over mix the mixture.
Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake pans, filling each liner about two thirds full.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.  Let rest in the cupcake pans before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Cupcakes should be completely cooled before frosting.
To make the frosting:
Place cream cheese in the bowl of an electric stand mixer.  Beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds, until very soft and pliable.  Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the butter and dulce de leche.  Beat on medium speed until well incorporated.  Stop the mixer and add the salt and powdered sugar.  Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy and lighter in color.  Generously spoon frosting on top of cupcakes, or use a large frosting tip to pipe on frosting.

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