Archive for the 'Caramel' Category

Salted Caramel Cupcakes


I recently ate at a vegan chocolate truffle shop in New York City. One of my favorite flavors, although not incredibly original like their other choices, was their salted caramel truffle. Messy, sticky, gooey, it was a perfect combination of sweet, salty, and dark chocolate. I had to recreate it in cupcake form when I returned from my vacation.

This is what my friends thought about the cupcakes:

Becca: Yum yum yum

Zoe: Intense rich chocolate flavor

Both Zoe and Becca: The caramel was to die for!

Rosa and Rachel thought these were the best cupcakes they’d ever eaten, hands down.

Julie: The caramel was like taffy and perfect. The chocolate cupcake was intense and not too sweet. A nice chocolatey-ness. The caramel was gooey and chewy and I couldn’t stop eating it!

Just thinking about these cupcakes again made all of us hungry, and we had to make a snack!


Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
4 Tblsp. very dark, or black, cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup caramel (recipe below)

Caramel Ingredients:
1 cup Earth Balance margarine
1 cup brown sugar
¼ almond milk

Note: Make the Caramel before you make the cupcake batter.

To make the caramel:
Melt the Earth Balance margarine in a saucepan over a medium flame. Add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Allow the caramel to begin boiling and bubbling, and stir intermittently until it thickens considerably. Meanwhile, heat the almond milk in a small pot until warm or hot to the touch. When the caramel is as caramelized as you would like, add the heated milk and stir rapidly until fully combined. Turn off the burner but allow pot to sit over the heated stove and preheating oven while you prepare cupcake batter.

To make the cupcakes:
Preheat your oven to 350º F. Line a twelve-muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powders, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixing bowl combine the almond milk, oil, maple syrup, sugar, vinegar, and vanilla. Beat this wet combination until fully combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two batches, mixing as you go. Beat until there are no lumps.
Fill your cupcake tins just under ¾ of the way full. Now it is time to spoon about a tablespoon of caramel onto the top of each cupcake. Dollop the caramel in, and let it rest on the top of the cupcake.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes sit in the pan for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Caramel Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening (Earth Balance brand is good)
1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup caramel, or to taste (see recipe above)
3 pinches of rock salt, or to taste, to put on top of your finished cupcakes

Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy.
Add 2 cups of sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Don’t add the third cup of sugar yet, until after you add the caramel when you can decide if you want the frosting to be sweeter or fluffier.
Add the vanilla and the caramel, and beat for another 5-7 minutes until fluffy. If the frosting has a weird lumpy consistency because of adding a warm caramel to the cold margarine and shortening, then you can mix everything together and then refrigerate for about a half hour. Take out of the fridge, and whip using an electric mixer until you have a fluffy consistency. Add more sugar if you want a thicker frosting, but be careful to not make it too sweet since the caramel already has a good amount of sugar in it. Pipe onto the tops of your cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle rock salt over the tops, and enjoy!

You Know It’s Been A Successful “Love and Justice”-Filled Passover When…

  • You’ve had Dayenu stuck in your head all day
  • You spent the whole day cooking…or thinking and talking about cooking…
  • You’ve discussed so many different ideas for how to go through the Haggadah, cutting and pasting from here and there, including what’s important for each family member and each guest, and trying to incorporate as many radical ideas as possible. And after the seder, you realize that what’s most important was the people there being all together around the table, celebrating liberation, freedom, justice, resistance, and thinking about oppression – mostly through consumption of various foods
  • You have matzo coming out of your ears
  • You’ve discussed the social implications of including Ladino and Judeo-Arabic text in your readings
  • You have 4 half-empty bottles of Manischewitz wine on your counter – each a different flavor (did you know they made Cherry? And Blackberry?)
  • You made it through the whole night without breaking any wine glasses! (Even with KROK here, so it’s pretty much a Passover miracle).
  • You waited impatiently for hours during the Maggid (the telling of the Passover Story), asking yourself questions such as: Why is there an orange on the seder plate? Why are there olives? Why is there a baked sweet potato on it too? (Okay, clearly this was not the most traditional of seders…). Is it totally violating my vegan-ethics and morals to eat a matzo ball? As Jews, what is our commitment to social justice? How can I embody these anti-racist, politically progressive, humor- and reflection-filled values in my everyday life? Do I use the feminine or masculine form of this prayer? How does the feminine version go – and what does it mean that I don’t know it off the top of my head, like I know the masculine version? How many more cups of wine do I get to drink? Where did my mom hide that afikomen? She hasn’t even stood up from the table yet but it’s nowhere in sight!
  • You’ve stuffed yourself full (and perhaps eaten double your entire body’s weight) of:

Matzo Brittle! This is the batch from this year. Here’s the batch from last year, and here is lovely Hannah’s recipe for this delicious and addicting Kosher-for-Passover treat.

*Also, if you’re looking for a fabulous progressive, inspiring, interesting, “choose your own adventure”-type Haggadah, you can download the Love and Justice in Times of War Haggadah here for free. It is a great resource, moving, and very important and very inclusive.

Caramel Pecan Bars

IMG_0043

I recently made these Caramel Pecan Bars that I had been drooling over for the last few months. I saw them on Kristen’s site and just couldn’t get over how delicious they looked. They have a pecan cookie bottom with a thick gooey caramel layer over it, and crushed pecans sprinkled over the sticky top. I drizzled lots of chocolate on top of my bars, because I happen to think that caramel and chocolate are best when paired together. These were great bars, and I whole-heartedly recommend the recipe! The only thing is, when it came time to cut my bars into pieces, the caramel was very difficult to cut through; they were too sticky and hard, so while I didn’t get a nice even cut the way Kristen did, I certainly got an arm workout! Perhaps I cooked the caramel too long so it got too high in it’s “firm ball” range and closer to the “hardball” stage? I was trying to be very careful with temperatures, but it’s possible that this was the problem. In any case, the bars were rich and tasty, and the soft cookie bottom was a great contrast with the chewy caramel and crunchy pecans.

IMG_0032

Candy Bars

IMG_9690Vegan candy bars are often hard to find. Tara and I really wanted to make something that would fulfill our sweet/salty/chocolate/chewy/crunchy needs, so we thought a lot about how to create those flavors all in one candy confection. Though small, these candy bars packed a punch, and definitely were worth all the work we went through to put them together! Next time, I will try to find a mold in the shape of a rectangular chocolate bar, so that our finished product looks more smooth and precise. However, the handmade shapes we created were fun and original, even if somewhat gloopy.

We made two types of candy bars. We had gone through all combinations of flavors, and drawn out diagrams of how each candy bar would be built. Some were simple, others were incredibly complex with layers and layers of wafery-thin cookies and balls of peanut butter and some sort of vegan nougat that we never quite figured out how to make. Eventually we abandoned these complex plans and decided to fulfill our intense Snickers needs…One of our candy bars started this way, and so it had a home-made shortbread cookie bottom with gooey caramel and salty peanut filling layered on top. We covered the whole thing in dark chocolate. After the chocolate set and hardened, it had a great crispy outside shell and the caramel was nicely stringy and chewy. The salty-caramel combination was devine!

Our second type of bar was also delicious. We sandwiched layers of almond marzipan, dried cranberries, and pistachios between two thin shortbread cookies, and covered the entire sandwich with rice-milk based white chocolate. Drizzled with dark chocolate and sprinkled with pistachio pieces, this was a sweet confection that blew my taste buds, and was very pretty! Each bite made me want more.IMG_9700

Piña Colada Ice Cream Cupcake

IMG_2501#2

I made these cupcakes a few weeks ago, but somehow haven’t gotten around to posting them till now…They were AMAZING. My friend Julie gave me the idea to make pineapple upside down cupcakes (way cuter than the traditional larger cake size! Each cupcake had it’s own round pineapple slice topper, and when flipped over, the cone shape of the cupcake is unusual and very appealing).

I sliced each cupcake in half horizontally and put a thick layer of Toasted Coconut ice cream in the middle, like a sandwich. I used a coconut milk-based vegan ice cream that came from Maggie Mudd, which has been my favorite vegan ice cream brand that I’ve found so far (and it’s local!); I also like it because there’s no soy (or dairy, of course) involved and it is still rich and creamy and delicious.

To make it really taste like a Piña Colada, this cupcake definitely needed some rum! So I whipped up a rum-caramel glaze and poured it over the cupcakes. The warm glaze was delicious and complimented the cold ice cream, although it started melting the ice cream right away and so my picture is a bit melty-looking. The combination was great though, and the whole cupcake had a distinctly tropical flavor. To give it more of a cocktail look, we stuck an umbrella-toothpick in the top and a maraschino cherry for good measure.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups flour (I used 1 cup white and 1/4 whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. brown sugar + extra for sprinkling on pineapple
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 bottle of maraschino cherries
1 20 oz. can pineapple slices in unsweetened pineapple juice
1 cup pineapple juice reserved from can of slices
1/4 cup rum
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tblsp. apple cider vinegar
non-stick spray
*You will also need coconut flavored ice cream, brand of your choice!

Rum Caramel Sauce:
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 Tblsp. rum (or to taste)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray cupcake pan with non-stick spray, making sure to cover the sides.
Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and set aside.
In separate bowl, mix pineapple juice, rum, applesauce, and vinegar.
Lay pineapple rounds on the bottom of the pan, one in each cupcake spot (you may have to cut the rounds and place cut edges back together to make smaller circles, to make them fit. At this point, you could also choose to take cherries and stick one in each of the pineapple holes, but we chose to add the cherries after baking. Sprinkle pineapple and cherries evenly with a little bit of brown sugar.
Quickly mix the wet ingredients with the dry. Batter will foam up nicely.
Pour into pan immediately and bake for about 18-22 minutes, or till center is firm and tops spring back when touched lightly. Leave cakes in the pan for 5 minutes to firm up, and then remove before the bottoms caramelize and stick too much to the pan.

When cupcakes have cooled completely, cut them in half horizontally and spread ice cream in between the layers (it helps to have softened the ice cream out of the freezer just a bit before spreading).

To make the sauce, cook all ingredients in a small saucepan till boiling. Cook for only 1-2 minutes after boiling, and then remove from heat. Let it cool slightly, but not too much or it will become too thick (you can always heat it up again quickly and it will thin out). Drizzle over the top of the cupcakes, and place an additional cherry on top. Eat immediately!

icecreamcupcakes2009I’m entering these cupcakes in the Ice Cream Cupcakes contest hosted by Cupcake Project and Scoopalicious! Make sure to check back there in the first week of June for a roundup of ice cream cupcakes. And when it’s time to vote on the best cupcakes, please vote for me! I’ll put up a reminder post here, so you can make sure to go vote when the times comes! Thanks!

Chocolate Matzo Toffee

Honestly, I had never heard of this decadent treat before, but it is my friend Julie’s Passover family tradition, so we made it together. It is incredibly addictive and I had to make a second batch because I ate too much of it before the Seder! Here are some photos of the process.

Matzo spread out on the pan, waiting the caramel and chocolate to be spread on top:

img_7656

Caramel bubbling on the stove:

img_7735

Caramel and chocolate chips:

img_7672

The finished product:

img_7781

img_7772

The recipe is very easy, it’s just a matter of making sure you spread the caramel when it’s at just the right consistency, before it cooks too long and burns! Hannah Kaminsky has a good version of the recipe on her blog, which can be seen here.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 69 other followers

My Flickr Photos

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Maple Raspberry Cake

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Maple Raspberry Cake

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Maple Raspberry Cake

More Photos
October 2014
M T W T F S S
« Feb    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Creative Commons License

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. Photos, Original Recipes & Text ©cookiesandcandids 2008-2010 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. If you repost any material from this blog, please give credit by including a link back to me. Thank you!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 69 other followers