Salted Caramel Conundrum

Last week, my friends Katie and Lauren invited me to a Premier Designs Jewelry Party. If you ever have a chance to attend one of these events, I highly recommend it. Their living room had been turned into a boutique complete with knowledgeable Premier representative, Brittany, who showed us how to pair and repurpose many of the pieces in fun, new ways. I had a blast and get to spend a few hours out of the house with some fun individuals.

IMG_2995 Also, shiny things. I like shiny things.

Anyway, the day before the party I thought to myself, “I should bake something… It should have caramel.”

I really hate to admit this, but I have been trying very unsuccessfully to make caramel for the last few months. It seems that no matter what I do, I always end up with a brittle, hard candy. Not the gooey treat I was hoping to make.  

I took to the internet to see if I could find the solution to my caramel conundrum. After a few minutes of research, there it was looking me in the face. Temperature.

Temperature is everything when making caramel. If my failed attempts taught me anything, this is it. I was pouring my cream right out of the fridge and causing the caramel to seize. It’s very, very important that your butter and cream be at room temperature when making caramel. Learn from my mistakes here. Don’t let caramel scare you. 

Now that I know what I’ve been doing wrong, I have a feeling there will be more caramel desserts finding their way to my table… much like these salted caramel cupcakes.

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If you don’t want to take the plunge into caramel making, you can turn your favorite store-bought caramel sauce into salted caramel sauce by heating it up and adding about a teaspoon of salt to a cup of caramel.

I used a simple vanilla cupcake for the base. Nothing too fancy, I wanted the caramel to be the star here. I also only filled the cupcake liners about 1/3 full because I didn’t want to show up with huge cupcakes.

To assemble, core the cupcakes by inserting the non-decorative end of a piping tip into the center and twisting. I find that this makes the perfect size hole for filled cupcakes. If you don’t have any piping tips, core the cupcakes with a butter knife. Feel free to eat the centers, they don’t have calories.  

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Next, fill the holes with 1 teaspoon of caramel and frost with the buttercream. That’s it.

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If you’re feeling really decadent, make chocolate cupcakes instead of vanilla. Go on, I dare you.

Salted Caramel
Soft, gooey salted caramel
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Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cups sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  3. 1/6 cup water
  4. 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
  5. 1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  6. 1 teaspoons coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine the sugar, the corn syrup, and water in a small saucepan. Stir with a wooden spoon and bring to a simmer over medium heat. DO NOT WALK AWAY.
  2. Once the sugar mixture has reached a deep amber color, add the butter and stir with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated. The mixture will bubble up.
  3. Remove from the pan from heat. Stir in the heavy cream. Add the coarse salt. Cool completely.
Notes
  1. This recipe makes enough caramel for on dozen cupcakes.
Carissa Designs http://carissadesigns.com/
Salted Caramel Buttercream
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Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cups unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  2. 2 ounces cream cheese, cubed and chilled
  3. 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  4. 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce
Instructions
  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and beat until smooth.
  2. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth.
  3. Add the caramel sauce to the buttercream mixture.
  4. Reduce the speed and add the powdered sugar a little at a time. Mix until fully incorporated.
Notes
  1. This recipe makes enough caramel for on dozen cupcakes.
Carissa Designs http://carissadesigns.com/
 

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