Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

Well, they weren’t great.  Things got off to a rough start when the 2nd batch that went into the oven came out a little more done than I would’ve liked (mistake #1).  Just a little crunchy on the edges of the top.  The frosting was another story.

I thought, it can’t be that hard to make your own caramel buttercream frosting.  I was mistaken.  I didn’t like any of the recipes I found, so I decided to create my own (mistake #2).  I used water and sugar on the stove to make the caramel, which was ok for the first batch, but I didn’t make enough, so I had to make more.  I was planning on filling the cupcakes when they were warm (as the ever reliable internet told me to do), but because my frosting wasn’t “carmely enough”, I needed to wait to add more caramel.  I just added caramel to traditional buttercream frosting, which was ok, but I think way too sweet.  Luckily, my chocolate cupcakes weren’t too sweet, so it wasn’t terrible. 

When I tried to fill the cupcakes, using my Wilton cake decorating kit (mistake #3), it just wouldn’t quite work.  I still have no idea why the frosting wouldn’t just go into the cupcake.  Perhaps they needed to be warmer (I thought microwaving my cupcakes to make them warm was a little excessive), or perhaps I just needed a different tool (however, again, the ever reliable internet assured me this was an easy way to fill the cupcake). 

After the cupcakes were all filled (or attempted to be filled), I decided to try to frost them with a big swirl (a la Georgetown Cupcakes) (mistake #4).  Once again, this can probably be blamed on my instence that the internet wouldn’t trick me and my Wilton decorating kit would work perfectly.  I have no idea which decorating tip they used online, but apparently I don’t have it.  I ended up using no tip and just relying on the bag.  It sort of worked, as the cupcakes ended up looking like caramel rolls (see the picture).  Then, about halfway done frosting, I realized I do not have enough frosting to finish the batch.  So, I decided to just “wing” a recipe (mistake #4), and started by making more caramel.  Because it was rapidly approaching 9:30 (and my bedtime), I turned the caramel on high (mistake #5), and left it to start the rest of the buttercream.  Apparently, I should have believed the internet when it told me to heat the caramel mixture slowly, because I ended up burning this batch, which just added to my late-night work load.  Eventually, I ended up with some decent looking caramel buttercream, but my decorating bags were struggling, so I just slopped some frosting on (a la my usual look), and left it.  Also, it was not even close to the same shade (as my family pointed out), but the taste wasn’t too far off.

So, basically, my first attempt and creating my own recipe for cupcakes and frosting didn’t work out terrifically, but ended up with some ok tasting cupcakes.  At least that is what people at work said after I brought them in today!

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