Thursday, May 22, 2014

Salted Caramel Cake and 103 other cupcakes for a Wedding

This weekend I truly realized how old I am...I was 100% completely exhausted by 2:00 pm Saturday after a day and half on me feet baking.  Like it was difficult to finish washing the necessary dishes on in I was hunched over the sink washing in Sunday I took a two hour nap when we got home.  But I had to rally on Saturday, finish washing the dishes, get cleaned up myself and pack up all the cupcakes, plus the cake, because (A) there was a very important wedding to go to and (B) the cake and cupcakes weren't going to deliver themselves.  Don't get me wrong it was totally worth it, but I do think I want one of those fancy padded kitchen mats now.  The cupcakes for the wedding were chosen by the bride...salted caramel (her favorite and the flavor of the cake), champagne raspberry and "Biscoff" cookie.  I have made each of these cupcakes in either cupcake or cake form before but I had to blog about it because the cake came out so freaking the bride and groom ate the entire piece they cut.  We served the rest of the cake because who really wants year old frozen cake, and I had to try a piece myself.  Take three layers of vanilla cake with salted caramel and caramel drizzle into between each layer and what more can you ask for?  I almost didn't have a piece because even after showering I still felt like I was covered in sugar, but boy am I glad I did.  I will be making this one again!

First to start the wedding weekend out right at the rehearsal dinner there was a pig cake...a huge surprise for the groom who had been requesting it.  This was one rich cake...3 layers of devils food cake with Oreo filling and ganache on top.  Plus I has a lot of fun getting to make the pigs! (more to come on this cake)

I run out of room quickly in my little condo, so cupcakes end up on the mantle.

First full set of cupcakes done...well I still had to put the cookies on mostly done.

I can't wait to see how the professionals pictures come out!  As Charles put it...this was Whisking Through Life's first photo shoot...

bounce card and all!

Hopefully their pictures come out better than mine...the lighting was terrible in there.  The salted caramel cupcakes are carefully placed in the center here.

Biscoff Cookie cupcakes finished!  Browned butter vanilla bean cupcakes with cookie butter frosting, topped with Biscoff cookie pieces.

And then the champagne raspberry cupcakes.  Champagne cupcakes with raspberry filling and champagne frosting topped with a fresh raspberry.  Hadn't made this many of them since James and Melissa's wedding last April!

Salted Caramel Cake:
4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line three 9" cake pans with parchment paper on the bottom and spray the sides with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt

3. In another large bowl, cream together softened butter and sugar

4. Add in eggs one at a time to the butter-sugar mixture, mixing well between each addition.  Then whisk in the vanilla.

5. Add dry ingredients and buttermilk to the wet ingredients, alternating between the dry ingredients and buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.

6. Pour the batter evenly between the three pans, and give them each a quick knock on the counter to remove the air bubbles. 

7. Bake for 24-28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to completely cool on cooling racks.  While the cakes are baking, prepare the caramel sauce.

Almost Burnt Salted Caramel Sauce: (recipe courtesy of Joy the Baker adapted to make a smaller quantity)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
3 tablespoons good-quality salted butter
1⁄4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.  Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
Add the sugar, water, and corn syrup to the warming pan. Whisk the sugar occasionally as it begins to heat, to ensure that the sugar cooks evenly.

2.  Cook the sugar to a nice dark copper color. The sugar will go from golden to dark copper fairly quickly. To help control the sugar, turn off the heat and move the pot to a cool burner just before you reach the dark color you’d like. The bottom of the pan will still be hot enough to continue to cook the sugar.

3.  Over low heat, whisk butter, all at once, into the copper-colored sugar. When butter is melted, pour in the cream. The mixture will bubble and froth, but keep mixing. When bubbling subsides, add vanilla extract. Stir. The caramel might feel too loose. Don’t worry; it will thicken as it cools.  While cakes 

4.  Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To thin, warm in the microwave for a few seconds until you reach the desired consistency.  While cakes are cooling prepare the frosting.  It can be made a day before.

Salted Caramel Buttercream: 
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups powdered sugar

1. In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth.  Let caramel cool about 20 - 30 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.

2. With a hand mixer, beat softened butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.

3. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed. Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

To assemble the cake cut off the top of the bottom layer so that it is flat and place on cake plate.  Top the cake with a light layer of frosting, then drizzle with the caramel sauce.  Next cut the middle layer so that it will lay flat and place on top of the bottom layer.  Repeat frosting and caramel sauce then top with remaining layer.  Frost with remaining frosting.  If you really care about how it looks you can lightly frost with a "crumb layer" first.  Then place the cake in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, so the icing will harden and not pick up more crumbs when you frost with the remaining frosting.  Serve and store at room temperature and Enjoy!

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