Not cooked caramel.
Not cooked confectioner’s sugar.
Not cooked white sugar.
Not cooked brown sugar.
Not cooked vanilla.
None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. They’re a failure in my kitchen. It’s not my fault, really. I follow the directions, I use the appropriate utensils and equipment, and I simply don’t get the desired results in the claimed time frame. Eff that, I don’t get the desired results in ANY time frame. I’ve gotten scorched, overcooked, crumbly, drippy, soupy, watery, crusty, oily, flat… really anything other than fluffy and/or spreadable or dip-able.
I’ve tried the same recipe twice now in less than a week because today is Gracie’s tenth birthday and the girl loves caramel. She wants caramel cake. The cake part, well, I have that down pat. But the icing? Yeah. NO. It looks lovely, but no where near fluffy after following all of the directions. It cooled before it could get anywhere near “fluffy.” So I heated it up again. Same results, so this time I just poured it over the cake.
Now I have caramel candy topping the cake. Whatevs, dudes. I choose to believe that cooked icings exist in the same realm as Bigfoot, Atlantis, mermaids, and fairies. I’m not thrilled about a candy topped cake because now I can’t put candles in her cake now. I’m not even sure I can cut it.
I should say that Gracie is THRILLED that there are little chunks of drizzled caramel candy around the cake, and big chunks that I scraped off of the spoon I used for stirring after it cooled. She doesn’t even care that it’s crunching. It’s CARAMEL. I hope she enjoys the cake as much.
This is the icing recipe I used. I’ll leave the link, but I did NOT use the caramel cake recipe where the link leads.
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into a few chunks
1/4 teaspoon salt, generous
1/4 cup milk (Jessica used lactose-free milk)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Put the dark brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium saucepan, and melt them together over medium heat, stirring often. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the milk and vanilla. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dump in the confectioners’ sugar all at once and beat with a wooden spoon until the icing is thickened and smooth. Quickly ice the cupcakes by holding each by the base and dipping the tops in the hot icing, rolling them slightly to coat evenly. Turn them quickly upright so the icing will even out while it’s still warm and will set smoothly. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.