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Vanilla cupcakes with chocolate ganache and vanilla buttercream frosting topped with caramel sauce
Monday, 17 October 2011 | posted by Simply bakes


What comes to your mind first when you hear the word cupcake? Cute, easy and dead convenient. Thats how i feel. It is something you can give out to your friends and colleagues and make their day instantaneously.

The bake for today would be Vanilla cupcakes with chocolate ganache and vanilla buttercream frosting topped with caramel sauce.I was really getting tired of chocolate and heavy flavours so i was really craving for something like a classic simple and neat vanilla cupcake. After reading Mybakingaddiction's blog post on vanilla bean cupcakes, i was truly inspired. She mentioned about how often we tend to forget the most basic of flavours and how vanilla can be good on its own too. Thus, i decided to bake some vanilla cupcakes for my family.

Unfortunately, i did not have vanilla beans or vanilla sugar on hand because vanilla beans are very expensive and not easily available in supermarkets here in Singapore. Note: If you are looking for some vanilla beans, you can try Phoon Huat or your own baking supply stores. So i decided to do a little twist to these fabulous vanilla cupcakes. I substituted 1/3 of granulated white sugar with brown sugar and added 1 teaspoon of rum into the batter. Brown sugar gives the cupcakes a honey flavour and a sweetness that i cant really put my finger to it. Have you ever opened a packet of packed brown sugar and experienced the strong sweet smell of it hit you? It is a wonderful naturally sweet experience. :) That 1 teaspoon if rum givers it a really nice fragrance and heightens your sense of smell.
About the the frosting,Without the vanilla beans, it was just plain old buttercream. Plus to make it less sweet for my parents, i added in less sugar which made the buttercream really bland and tasteless. So, i whipped up some caramel sauce and chocolate ganache in order to save my frosting. Looks like i cant really call it a plain vanilla cupcake anymore eh? haha.

The cake is very good, the best vanilla cupcake as quoted by my family members. It does not consist of egg yolks, only egg whites. It is called a 'white cake'. Egg whites become really aerated and increases in volume after you beat it. Thus, the cupcake is really light and does not make you feel terribly full after eating it. The cupcake is incredibly soft and moist but light . There is this sweetness which lingers in your mouth after you eat it. The taste of this cupcake is great, i promise. This cupcake bakes a little longer than normal. So make sure the they are nicely puffed up into a dome shape and a toothpick comes out clean before you take them out of the oven. Remember to also use ingredients at room temperature or else the batter with curdle:D



 Ingredients: 
Cake and Frosting inspired by http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/vanilla-bean-cupcakes-recipe/
Cake
- 2 1/4 cup cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups milk at room temperature
- 4 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons, 113.4g) butter
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (Try and use pure vanilla because it giver the cupcakes a much intense vanilla flavour)
- 1 teaspoon rum

Buttercream
- 1 1/2 sticks softened butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

Caramel sauce 
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon water
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream

Chocolate ganache
- 80 grams bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- i tablespoon brandy (optional)

Directions:
Cake
1) Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl together
2) With an electric stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the egg whites and milk together
3) Beat the butter and both sugars together until light and creamy and pale in colour
4) Add in the vanilla and rum extract. Then, beating at low speed, add in 1/3 of the flour mixture then alternate with the same amount of wet ingredients. Finish up with the last of the dry ingredients. After all the ingredients are beat together until smooth and thoroughly incorporated, beat the batter for a full 2 minutes to make sure that the batter is well aerated.
5) Using a big ice cream scoop or three tablespoons, fill your cupcake pans until 2/3 full.
6) place your cupcakes into a preheated oven and bake them for 18-24 minutes at 350 degree F until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean.
7) Leave the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack.

Buttercream
1) In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth and light and creamy. Then, on low speed, slowly add in the icing sugar and blend until smooth.
2) add in vanilla and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream to moisten it.
3) Continue adding subsequent amounts of whipping cream until you have reached the right consistency
4) Beat at high speed until the frosting is smooth and fluffy

Caramel sauce
1) Place brown sugar in a heavy pan on a medium-low fire. Then, add in the water and stir the sugar water mixture. Stir occasionally. The mixture will bubble. Leave the mixture for about 1 minute and stir in the butter. Leave it to boil for a little while and bring it off the heat. Add in the heavy cream and stir it.
2) Let the mixture cool down abit so that the caramel would thicken slightly.

Chocolate ganache
1) Chop up the chocolate finely and place it in a glass bowl.
2) Heat the cream and butter in a pan and leave it till it boils.
3) Quickly pour the hot cream mixture into the finely chopped up chocolate and leave it untouched for 1 minute.
4) Then, stir the chocolate ganache until all the chocolate has melted and it turns shiny.
5) Let it cool for abit.

To assemble 
1) Use an apple corer to dig out a hole in the cupcakes. Then, fill the holes with chocolate ganache.
2) Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes
3) Drizzle the caramel sauce over the cupcakes in a zig zag pattern
4) Sprinkle the cupcakes over with some coarsely chopped peanuts.





Cant wait for your success stories!
With Love, Simply Bakes

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IAmABaker
I am a 16 year old living in Singapore. This blog is to document my entire baking endeavor and to share with you guys out there recipes and my baking experience. Feel free to ask me any questions, just click 'comment' below each post. Looking forward to the holidays!

Love, SimplyBakes

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