Sunday, February 27, 2011

CCC: Butterscotch cupcakes

I was excited when this month's Cooking Club Challenge was chosen to be Riccardo's Butterscotch cupcakes.  I was excited to have the opportunity to make real butterscotch from scratch, something I may not have tackled otherwise.  While I love chocolate cake and icing, it's something I naturally gravitate towards while baking, so this recipe gave me the chance to try something completely new.  Plus after the rich German Chocolate Cake I made last week, as much as I wasn't hankering for cupcakes, there was something about these little bites that I was excited to make.

Their gorgeous golden color made them the perfect treat to enjoy while watching tonight's Oscar Ceremony, one of my favorite TV events after the Superbowl.

Butterscotch Cupcakes
makes 10-12 cupcakes

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk

1. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Place paper or silicone liners in 9 or 12 muffin cups.
2. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar with the vanilla using an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until the mixture is smooth. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk. Divide the batter among the muffin cups.
3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly. Unmould and finish cooling on a rack.

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Scotch (or other whisky)
1/4 cup 35% cream, hot
2 tablespoons salted butter

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Cook until the mixture turns golden-brown. Off the heat, add the Scotch, the cream and butter. Continue stirring until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons 35% cream, hot

1. In a bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cream in a thin stream and continue beating until smooth. Set aside.

Using a apple corer or a melon baller, cut a pocket from the centre of each cupcake, removing about 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of cake without cutting through. Fill the pocket with 15 ml (1 tablespoon) butterscotch. Ice the cupcakes with the buttercream icing.

This recipe sounds really involved but was actually very easy.  I found the icing just a bit too sweet, but I think that's a preference thing and I usually use less sugar than any icing recipe calls for, so don't use that criticism as a reason not to make these.

Head on over to the Food Network Canada blog to see how everyone else's cuppies turned out.


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