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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dulce de Leche Filled Salted Caramel Cupcakes

It's been a long sweet, sweet week. A week full of massive amounts of sugar, multiple pounds of butter,  bowls of frosting, and too many licked spoon. Needless to say, I think its been a success and I officially feel like my birthday has properly been celebrated. How do we end a deliciously sugary week? With somewhat of a bitter sweet note. You can't end the sweetest week of the year on something too sweet, it's got to leave a taste in your mouth that makes you want MORE. For that reason we are ending the to-be-annual cupcake week with Salted Caramel Cupcakes. YUM. Also for this recipe, I made homemade dulce de leche. Its basically a thick spreadable caramel that is absolutely insane. A brown sugar cupcake gets filled with a homemade creamy dulce de leche, topped with a caramel infused frosting, drizzled with more caramel, and sprinkled with flecks of sea salt. The salt is just the right finishing touch the cake needs to bring all the flavors together and highlight the beautiful richness of the caramel. Plus the sweet and salty contrast is 2D4. And as much as picking favorites of my recipes is like picking children, I have to say these are my favorite. And with this last cupcake, our week is officially over. I hope you enjoyed my birthday as much as I did.

Dulce de Leche Filled Salted Caramel Cupcakes

1 egg
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
4 tbs melted butter
3/4 cup flour
1 pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup dulce de leche (store bought or homemade)
for homemade: 1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 stick softened butter
1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs milk
3 tbs dulce de leche, cooled

Recipe: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the egg and sugar together. Whisk in the milk and vanilla until well combined. Then pour in the melted butter and mix in well. Gradually whisk in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Make sure to scrape the sides and get all the dry bits on the side incorporated. Slowly mix in the milk. Fill greased cupcake holders or cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 15 minutes until the top is golden brown or a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool.

If making homemade Dulce de Leche...
Turn the oven to 450 degrees. Open the condensed milk and pour it into a pie or cake pan. Cover this tightly with tin foil. Set this pan in a water bath (a larger pan filled with warm water) so the water comes up about 1/2 around the pie pan's edge. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until golden brown. Stir once removed from the oven and then stick in the freezer to chill. 
For the frosting: In a bowl fitted with an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Then add the vanilla and milk. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and dulce de leche and beat on high for about 5 minutes, until light and extremely fluffy. 

Assembly: Using a knife, cut a small hole in the top of the cupcakes and remove the cupcake filling. 
Fill with dulce de leche.
Put the top back on.
Pipe a massive mound of frosting on top. Using a spoon, drizzle dulce de leche on top, then sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
 I'm out of descriptive words. Just enjoy.

cupcakes out.

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