Monday, 19 March 2012

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes



As I am the only "girl" in the house, I don't get to play with pink sprinkles very often. Most of the time my cakes are for the gorgeous boys in my life and their friends, who are generally male. I'm allowed to use chocolate buttons, chocolate shavings,  M&M's, blue spinkles, green spangles, mostly boy-things in brown, blue, black, orange, red, green and yellow (borderline, but sometimes permitted), football/soccer/volleyball motifs... Today I baked these cupcakes for some lady friends and I went hog wild with the pink bling - can you blame me?

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes
from Joy the Baker
Makes 24

For the Cupcakes:
3 cups plain flour
1/4 cup cornflour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons bi-carb soda
1 teaspoon salt
170g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

For the Frosting:
115g unsalted butter, softened
225g cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup dulce de leche
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 cups icing sugar

Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 180 degrees C. Line two cupcake pans with paper or foil liners. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornflour, baking powder, bi-carb and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed until fluffy and pale brown, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add one egg. Beat on medium for one minute. Add the remaining eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute between each addition. Stop the bowl and scrape down the sides as necessary. Beat in vanilla extract.

Add half of the flour mixture to the egg and butter mixture. Beat on low speed and slowly drizzle in the buttermilk. Beat until just incorporated. Stop the mixer, scrape down the bowl and add the rest of the dry ingredients. Beat on low speed until just incorporated. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and finish incorporating with a spatula. Try not to over mix the mixture.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake pans, filling each liner about two thirds full. I use an old fashioned ice cream scoop to make it easy to divide the batter evenly (and it also come off the scoop easier than a spoon). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of one of the cakes comes out clean. Let rest in the cupcake pans before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Cupcakes should be completely cooled before frosting.

To make the frosting:
Place cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds, until very soft and pliable. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the butter and dulce de leche. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Stop the mixer and add the salt and icing sugar. Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy and lighter in color. Generously spoon frosting on top of cupcakes, or use a large frosting tip to pipe on frosting.

For garnish, top the cupcakes with a few PINK sprinkles (if you're allowed). Add a teeny pinch of fine sea salt if you like. Store the cupcakes in the fridge for an hour to chill the frosting slightly.

Eat within two days of preparing them (they probably won't last that long though). Wrap and refrigerate them because of the cream cheese in the frosting. Let come close to room temperature before serving.

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