I just have to deal with the fact that I am not a great baker.
I’ll still try to do it, but wow I need to have a little more patience with myself.
Since I bought the Martha Stewart Cupcakes book earlier this year, I’ve been wanting to make the Salted Caramel chocolate cupcakes. They looked like everything I like about food – sweet, rich, salty and chocolatey. I finally decided to make them to bring to Hallowe’en movie night.
I managed to mess something up at each stage.
D’oh #1 – Footless Cupcakes
The cupcakes stuck to the baking tin, and lost some chunks when I pulled them out. I didn’t have mini cupcake liners, but it wasn’t a problem last time. I just oiled it up and went ahead. Needless to say, I was not happy. Some of them wouldn’t stand on their own because of their injuries. On the other hand, they were really tasty and I decided it wasn’t too big of an issue.
D’oh #2 – Crazy Caramel (Corn?)
I messed this up twice, basically. The caramel sauce ended up being the worst part of the whole thing – everything else sort of pulled together, except for this part. Instead of sauce inside, it’s like a piece of caramelly fudge, or like the texture of candy corn. Grrr. My problem revolved around my lack of a candy thermometer, and I couldn’t judge when it was cooked enough. I knew we had a thermometer and pulled it out – only to discover that it’s a meat thermometer and doesn’t measure a high enough temperature. Crap on a stick!
If you don’t have a candy thermometer, it helps to know the different stages to look for. I found this web page that describes the different stages, but I still messed it up. First, I pulled it off the heat too early because I thought it was cooked more than it was. I added the cream, and realized it was too light and oogy. I put it back on the heat, cooked until it browned and tasted better — but then after I poured the sauce into the cupcakes, it started to harden funny (the aforementioned candy corn texture). Ah well, not much to be done about that – and I was too lazy to start over by baking new cupcakes.
At least it still tasted good…
D’oh #3 – Mmmm, Chocolate Soup
Following the instructions, the dark chocolate icing ended up being the consistency of chocolate soup. I saved it by putting the bowl of icing ingredients into a larger bowl full of ice, and beating the crap out of it as it cooled. It turned out really really good. As a side note — I have no scale and had no idea what one pound of chocolate should look like. I guesstimated, and it worked. I don’t think my baking warrants getting a scale, either.
Oh yeah – and I forgot to add the decorative salt on top before I took pics. Hahaha!
While I screwed all sorts of things up, these turned out pretty tasty. I do eventually want to try the recipe again, to try to get it all perfect. First, I’ll tackle the caramel a couple more times and use it in other things. The chocolate frosting on this is really incredible – and it should be, considering the amount of butter that’s in it!!
They don’t have this recipe up on the Martha Stewart website, but I found it posted on this blog. Note that this blogger had no trouble with the caramel… so it’s obviously me.
UPDATE: I bought a candy thermometer. I am determined to make this work, because I really love caramel and I think I should be able to make it.