Is it wrong to J-walk into church? …. because I do it just about every Sunday.
Is it wrong to curse at people on the road while driving to church? Cause… maybe that’s happened once or twice.
On a scale of one to total jerk… how jerky is it for me to blatantly roll my eyes at the lady on the spin bike next to me who is flirting with the obviously married man on the other side of me? Do I really need to be in the middle of this interaction? It’s 7 in the morning! Come on. Please.
Oh! And while we’re on the subject… if you take your shirt off during spin class and decide to just ride it out in your sports bra…. I’m going to try very very very hard not to label you as an attention-seeking-lady-exerciser. Do not like. We’re all hot and sweating lady…. keep you shirt on. There should be a rule. There’s gotta be a rule.
Also… exactly how much of this batter can I spoon in my mouth after spin class and before rushing off to J-walk into church? That’s the real issue. The answer? About two cupcakes worth of batter… which may or may not lead to a belly ache. Don’t do what I do… J-walk, curse, or roll your eyes at attention seeking, inappropriately flirty strangerladies. Be a nice person instead.
I happen to love making cupcakes exactly 47 times better than I like to actually eat cupcakes (cupcake batter excluded). Making individual cake treats is cathartic. They all looks the same with slight differences and imperfections. I love to line them up and take in their differences…. then cover them in frosting.
These cakes themselves are a brown sugar and buttermilk cake. The addition of brown sugar mocks the dulce de leche flavors just slightly. The cakes are more of a pound cake consistency and not so much a fluffy cake mix cupcake. The frosting is a combination of three fine fats: butter, cream cheese and dulce de leche. Only the hideous addition of sardines could make this frosting something other than delicious.
Wait… do you know what Dulde de leche is? Dulce de leche is very similar to caramel. It’s sweetened condensed milk that has been cooked down until the sugars have darkened to a rich caramel. It’s sweet and thick and perfectly acceptable to bathe in.
Some people make their own dulce de leche by boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk…. literally, in the can. While many have had success with this technique, I’m convinced that I would both injure an eye and burn my house down… so I just buy my dulce de leche. I also really like the consistency of this particular caramel product. It’s thick but still spreadable and works really well in my frosting. ((I got this particular dulce de leche at Whole Foods… but you can totally find this La Salamandra product on Amazon))
I’m not saying you shouldn’t make your own… you look perfectly capable. I’ve just never done it… so I’ll leave you to google and experiment with that whole thing on your own. Go with God. … and I love you.
Cake with cream cheese and caramel. Please don’t make me twist your arm… just get on this.
You might also like to know that I made these Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies. If you’re going to get the jar… you might as well go hog wild.
Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes (a few more if you don’t eat a bunch of cupcake batter like I did)
adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
For the Cupcakes:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
For the Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup dulce de leche, plus more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with paper or foil liners. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand 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. 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 stand 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 powdered 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, I heated a few spoonfuls of dulce de leche of a low flame until just pourable. Then I drizzled it over the cupcakes and topped with a few sprinkles. Add a few sprinkles of fine sea salt if you’re feeling fancy. I stored the cupcakes in the fridge for an hour to chill the frosting slightly.
I like to enjoy my cupcakes within two days of preparing them. Feel free to wrap and refrigerate them because of the cream cheese in the frosting. Let come close to room temperature before serving.