burnt-butter brown-sugar cupcakes

What better way to spend a sunday afternoon then baking.
Shari and I were just settling in to watch 'the big game' when there
came a knock on the door, and heather appeared. Now I really was
inspired to bake something. I handed Shari 'How to be a Domestic Goddess' and asked her to pick out a cupcake recipe. She chose the 'burnt-butter brown-sugar cupcakes' , sounds very strange, but they taste really good.

1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup self-rising cake flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
5 Tablespoons light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
2-3 Tablespoons milk

12-cup muffin pan lines with 12 paper baking cups

Preheat the oven to 400F and then get on with burning your butter. Put it in a small saucepan on medium heat, stirring all the time until it turns dark golden color. Take the pan off the heat and strain the butter into a bowl or cup, as it will have made a sediment. In other words, this is like clarified butter, but with a smokey note. Let the butter solidify again but don't put it in the refrigerator; you need it to remain soft for the cupcakes. This shouldn't take long, except in hot weather, in which case leave the preheating of the oven till after the butter's been burnt.

When the butter is solid but still soft, put all the cake ingredients except the milk in a food processor and blitz to a smooth batter. As normal, add the milk down the funnel, pulsing sparingly to form a soft, dropping mixture.

Divide among the paper cups, and cook for 15-20 minutes. While the cupcakes are baking get on with the icing.

1/2 cups ples 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
12/3 to 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 Tablespoons milk

It's the same procedure for the butter-- burn, strain, solidify -- then beat it with half the sugar or enough to make it stiff. Add tablespoons of milk and the remaining sugar alternately to reach a good consistency, and finally the vanilla.

While the icing's still soft, smear messily over the cooled and waiting cupcakes.

I was unable to find cheese cloth to strain the butter but found that the sediment was not a big issue. Additionally, I had problems with the butter becoming solid again, so I just waited until it had cooled and then threw it in. I used my kitchen aid and not a food processor and all came out well. There was more icing then the little cakes could hold, but it was all really good.

A very unusual flavor but quite pleasing... The cake is very light, crisp on the edges and buttery... hmm maybe the remainders will be today's breakfast.

Posted by karine on January 27, 2003 | TrackBack
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