I totally didn’t plan this.
One of the many benefits of having a teenage niece across the street are those times she decides she wants to bake – and wants your help. Here I was minding my own business, doing things that were probably productive, possibly healthy and definitely didn’t involve cupcakes, and then there she was, just-baked chocolate cupcakes in hand, wanting to make frosting together.
(She made red velvet cupcakes too, but that’s another story.)
Her goal: salted caramel on chocolate cupcakes. We made a brown sugar frosting, and the caramel was her idea – her plan was to run to the store to buy caramel sauce to dribble overtop, but I explained that caramel could be made easily out of the sugar we already had in probably less time than it would take to run to the store. We brought sugar to a simmer with a bit of water to help it along – and a drop of lemon juice, which helps caramel stay in its liquid state and not crystallize. We swirled the pan until it turned golden, then drizzled some in a thin stream into cold water to make it turn hard and crackly – fun kitchen science – then whisked in some cream (it foams and bubbles – more delicious science!) which turns it into a sauce you can drizzle over ice cream – or cupcakes.
Em: That’s it? We made caramel?
Em: It’s so good! And so much cheaper!
Look how lovely!
A piping bag with a star tip and some sugar and a pot, and these beauties can be yours.