Monday, March 21, 2011

Dulce de Leche and Vanilla Bean...

wow... I tried out a new cupcake this weekend. Two, actually, but let me talk about this vanilla bean first!

It was soo good... First off, I made the most simple Dulce de Leche imaginable. I saw some posts on many other websites about a crock pot, fix it and forget it dulce de leche. It can't get any easier than this.

One can of sweetened condensed milk (label removed) in a crock pot with water covering by an inch. Turn on low and leave for 8 hours.. That's it!! When the can cools, open it and you have a can of Dulce de Leche. Very tasty..

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

1 ¼ Cups All Purpose Flour
½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ Teaspoon Salt2 Large Eggs (room temperature)
1 Cup Sugar*
½ Cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
Seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean Pod
½ Cup Sour Cream

Dulce de Leche Frosting
3 to 4 Cups Confectioners Sugar (sifted)
½ Cup Unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 to 3 Tablespoons Dulce de Leche
about a Tblspn Vanilla extract as needed to thin out (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°degrees and place paper liners in pans.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a standing mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until light and creamy for about 2 minutes. Add the butter, vanilla bean seeds, and vanilla extract. Mix until well incorporated. Slowly add the dry ingredients until well blended. Fold in sour cream until smooth and well incorporated.
Fill each lined cup ½ to 2/3 full. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the cupcake bounces back, rotating halfway between baking time.
Cool completely in pans on top of a wire rack.
While cupcakes are cooling, prepare frosting. In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the confectioners sugar until the butter becomes thicker and stiff. Add the Dulce de Leche and whip until combined. I ended up adding about a Tblspn of water to thin it out but it was still a little too thick and gritty from the sugar so I added a little vanilla extract to thin it some more. (Not quite a tblspn.) This made it perfect for my liking but definitely try it first before adding any extra liquid.
When cupcakes are thoroughly cooled, fill a piping bag with a small tip and the Dulce de Leche. Carefully insert the tip into the cupcake and slowly fill each cake with desired amount.
Fill another piping bag with the prepared Dulce de Leche frosting. Frost and decorate the cupcakes. I used a wilton star tip to make little stars all over the top and the shape held very well.

*instead of throwing away the pod of my vanilla bean, I added it to about 2 cups of sugar and will let it flavor the sugar to use next time. I plan on making these again very soon.

Next time i make these, i'm going to make them into a mini cupcake because they are so sweet!!

thank you to for the idea!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cupcake Kisses

So, I have become a little obsessed with cupcakes as of late and have compiled a list of cupcakes that I want to try for one reason or another.

My question to you is:

What kind of flavor combinations would you like to try in a cupcake? Maybe a Red Vine and Cherry Coke cupcake? Maybe just a classic Vanilla Bean and Strawberry?

Give me your ideas and I will work my magic...