Vanilla Mini Cupcakes
adapted from Cupcake Project
Yields 21 mini cupcakes
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt, I use non-fat
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Add the sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Split open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds with a paring knife. Smush the vanilla seeds in the sugar and set aside while you gather all of the other ingredients.
- Sift together the flour, soda, powder, and salt over the sugar. Mix together on low speed.
- Add the butter and beat for several minutes until the mixture becomes nice and crumbly.
- While the mixer is mixing, whisk together the sour cream, oil, milk, and vanilla. Pour this in the mixer and combine. Beat until well combined, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Using a medium sized scoop, pour into lined cupcake pans. Bake 10-12 minutes until a toothpick in a center cupcake comes out clean. Cool on cooling rack.
Adapted from Baking Illustrated, page 120
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
8-10 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon corn syrup
- In a medium saucepan heat the sugar and water together. Cover and let the mixture boil until it reaches 300 F. Do not stir, just let it boil.
- Meanwhile bring 8 tablespoons of heavy cream, butter, vanilla, salt, and corn syrup to a simmer in a small saucepan.
- Remove the lid from the sugar and let it continue to boil until it reaches 350 F and browns. Add in a little bit of the cream mixture and leave it alone to bubble.
- Slowly add the rest of the cream mixture as you whisk the caramel sauce. Whisk until smooth.
- Pour into a different bowl. Add more cream as needed to get the consistency you want. This is not supposed to be a hard caramel. Drop some on the counter and as it cools see what it does. If the caramel becomes solid, add more cream one tablespoon at a time. Place the fridge to cool as you make the frosting.
Adapted from Can You Stay for Dinner
3/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons caramel sauce
- Heat the milk and the flour in a medium saucepan. Keep whisking the entire time. Whisk until the mixture is thick like pudding.
- Pull the milk mixture off the heat and whisk in the vanilla and the caramel sauce. Let cool completely.
- Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until pale yellow and there is no longer a gritty texture, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the in the milk mixture and beat for several minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy and there is no longer any grittiness.
- Do NOT refrigerate! Trust me, it changes the texture.
15 ounces dark chocolate
coarse finishing salt
- Melt the chocolate in the bowl of a double boiler above simmering water. Melt the chocolate slowly.
- Meanwhile, fill a small piping bag with the cooled caramel and a filling tip. Push the tip into the cupcakes and pull up so you are not pushing the filling to the bottom. Squeeze in the caramel.
- Dip the top of each cupcake in a little bit of chocolate. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes or until the chocolate sets.
- Frost each cupcake with caramel frosting, I used a spatula for this. Place in the freezer for another 10 minutes.
- Tilt the bowl of melted chocolate so most of the chocolate is pooled together. Dip the top in the chocolate and shake off any excess.
- Sprinkle with a few grains of coarse salt.
- Enjoy the moment!