Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Carmel Apple Cupcakes

My favorite recipe that I created while a professional baker was the Caramel Apple Cupcakes! I created an apple cake recipe then used a carmel frosting on top.  Very simple, but a fun and festive treat for fall.

I am going to add my comments about different techniques I recommend regarding baking.  The little * indicates my tips!

Apple Cupcakes 
*  Pull out your ingredients before baking!  This way you don’t realize halfway through that you are out of eggs.  Also, when the ingredients come together in a short period of time, they seem to blend better. 

4 egg whites
3/4 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp apple pie spice
2 chopped Granny Smith apples
1 cup milk
2 3/4 cup flour

1. Beat egg whites to a stiff consistency.  They should form soft peaks, and fall off of your tool without leaving any residue. 

2. Place egg whites in another bowl and clean out mixing bowl.

3. Cream softened butter, sugar, and vanilla together in mixer.
*A major mistake that most bakers make is in the order of adding ingredients.  After working with hundreds and hundreds of cakes, I rarely even look at the recipe instructions anymore, only the ingredients.  There are certain rules that you learn to follow, and a good one is wet ingredients with wet (butter, eggs), then sugars, then flour. This recipe is a little different because you add the egg whites later, but the general rule is the same.

4. Add chopped apples and apple pie spice to wet ingredients. Mix to blend.

5. Sift flour.
* You may think to yourself, “I don’t need to sift my flour, that’s a whole 30 seconds I could save”.  You are wrong, novice baker. You ALWAYS sift flour for cakes because it really makes the finished texture smooth, also preventing any unwanted chunky lumps.  You can choose whether or not you want to sift for cookies or other baked goods, but as a rule I always sift. 

6. Add flour to wet ingredients in ½ cup amounts, alternating with milk. Blend it up just until mixed. The recipe will look too thick, but do not over mix!

7. Fold in the egg whites to mixture.  
*How to fold in egg whites properly:
Put the egg whites on top of the wet ingredients.  Take a long wooden spoon or spatula and slowly mix upwards folding the over the egg whites. Do not crush or mix in the egg whites, as you defeat the purpose and will ruin the cupcakes.

8. Spoon until 3/4 full into cupcake pan; place into 325 degree oven.  

9. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until center just bounces back and fork comes out clean.

10. Let cool before frosting. 

Caramel Creme Frosting
adapted from Kitchen Aid Book

1/2 cup butter

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 cup miniature marshmallows (I used regular marshmallows and chopped them up)

2 cups powdered sugar, plus more if consistency is off

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 tbsp shortening if needed to smooth consistency

1. Melt butter in sauce pan, then add brown sugar and milk. Stir until blended. 

2. Heat to boiling - cook 1 minute stirring constantly. 
3. Remove from heat, add marshmallows & constantly stir until melted & mixture is smooth.

4. Add all ingredients to mixing bowl / stand mixer and blend generously until desired consistency.

5. Keep chilled until ready to frost or eat!  It will be stiff, if so, let sit at room temperature until desired consistency.

6. Frost your cupcakes and enjoy!

Everyone has raved over these cupcakes.  They melt in your mouth and make you smile that fall is finally here!

The Lewis Dots

Do you have any baking questions? Add as a comment and I will address all your baking qualms!

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