Thursday, June 16, 2011

milk dud cupcakes.

For the past week and a half now I have been craving Milk Dud's. I know some people can't stand the  fake,waxy chocolate outside, but I love em'. I've made pit stops to a few local Walgreen's along with 3 gas stations [pathetic, I know, but I'm a girl] and NO ONE has had them. I mean, did they stop making these or what?

With Milk Dud's on the brain, I thought this was PERFECT for this weeks cupcake:

3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup cake flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F & line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the cocoa powder and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water to form a paste, set aside
In another bowl, sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl, while using an electric mix, mix the brown sugar with the butter on medium speed until they are well combined and you can see no pieces of butter visible.
Add the cocoa paste and mix well.
Once the mixture is well combined, add the egg and egg yolk.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula & in three sessions, add the buttermilk and vanilla extract, alternating with the flour mixture.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tin, filling them 3/4 full.
Bake, while rotating the tins halfway through, until the cupcakes spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out mostly clean. Approx. 20-25 minutes.
Transfer the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool, and let cool completely!

Frosting Ingredients:
3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened and cut into 6-8 chunks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup caramel filling [recipe to follow below]

Frosting Directions: 
Combine the egg whites and sugar in a small heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering (but not touching) water.
Whisking occasionally, heat the mixture until the sugar is melted and it is hot to the touch.
Scape into a bowl large enough for use with an electric mixer.
Whip on medium-high speed until the mixture transforms into a meringue.
Keep mixing until the meringue is cool to the touch.
Turn down the speed to low and add in the butter a chunk at a time, then turn the speed back up to medium and mix until the butter is thoroughly incorporated.
The mixture may look like its curdled at first, but keep mixing and the buttercream will transform into what it shall-buttercream.
Add in the caramel until thoroughly combined.

Filling Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Filling compliments of Flour
by Joanne Chang
Filling Directions:
Place the sugar in the bottom of a medium saucepan and slowly pour in the water.
Stir gently to moisten the sugar.
If any sugar crystals are clinging to the sides of the pan, brush them down with a pastry brush dipped in water. Place the pan over high heat and leave it undisturbed until the mixture comes to a rolling boil. (You want to avoid crystallization of the syrup, which can happen if the pan is disturbed before the sugar starts to color.) Then continue to boil rapidly without moving the pan until the sugar syrup starts to caramelize-3-4 min.
The sugar syrup will continue to boil rapidly and will slow down once it begins to thicken.
You will see some of the syrup starting to color and darken around the edge of the pan.

When you start to see color in the pan, gently swirl it in a circular motion so the sugar caramelizes evenly.
The syrup will start to turn golden brown, and as you swirl the pan, the syrup will continue to get a bit darker. You are going for a deep amber brown color.
The moment the caramel becomes the right color, slowly add the cream and reduce the heat to low.
Let the caramel and cream sit for a few seconds until the mixture settles down, and then whisk to combine. Whisk in the butter, salt and vanilla.
Remove from the heat.

If your using for the frosting, set aside what you need, and refrigerate the rest for the filling or garnish.

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