March 28, 2011 § 10 Comments
I have a bit of nostalgia for oldentimes kitchen things. I love aprons, and antique cake pans, and most of all: handwritten recipe cards. In fact, I think this blog may have sprung from my love of recipe cards and the personal touch they carry; it’s a good substitute given my mediocre handwriting (I’m a child of the Internet age) and my propensity for losing things. Then recently I found a handful of passed-down recipe cards, and I leapt at the chance to recreate an oldentimes dessert.
However, I should have taken a cue from the cards themselves. The chocolate dream brownies called for no butter, only shortening. The rum balls were definitely a product of their time. Suspicious, I still decided to attempt the butterscotch bars, and here is the gooey mess that ensued:
yes, those are spoon marks. Don’t judge.
The bars stubbornly wouldn’t cook through, and were thus a bit of a failure. Even though the middle didn’t set, though, the edges did, and I ate them ALL (yes, I felt sick after), and they were insanely delicious. And ever since I’ve had butterscotch on the brain, and have been on the lookout for a better recipe. One that firms up with only moderate gooeyness, but without any crazy modern add-ins like coconut, or resorting to melting butterscotch chips. Since I am so unreasonably picky, I haven’t found one yet (let me know if you have suggestions!), but got my butterscotch fix in another form: cupcakes!
I was lured in by chocolate cupcakes with fleur de sel and butterscotch icing. Embarrassingly enough, this didn’t quite work either – I guess maybe the butterscotch issues are my fault and not that of the recipe card. But despite an icing that was more drippy than intended, these cupcakes were absolutely delicious and definitely worth sharing: a simple chocolate cupcake, hint of salt, and deeply flavoured butterscotch topping. No matter how gooey they may have been, I’ll take it as a success!
Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Butterscotch Frosting – adapted from Salty Sweets
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
5 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup water
1 large egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
fleur de sel
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line or grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugars, baking soda, and sea salt. In a small pot or in the microwave, heat together the butter, oil, and water, stirring until the butter is completely melted. Whisk butter mixture into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the egg, and then the buttermilk and vanilla.
Fill the cupcake liners with the batter and sprinkle a little fleur de sel over each. Bake until the tops are set and a cake tester comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
For icing, combine all the ingredients in a pot and heat over medium low, stirring until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved, 3-5 minutes.
Turn the heat to low and let simmer for 8 minutes (I needed more like 15 and it still wasn’t thick), until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool completely to thicken further. Spread cool icing over cooled cupcakes.