In my quest to develop my cupcake-making skills… I made some vanilla cupcakes topped with salted caramel popcorn this week.
Much to my children’s delight, I didn’t hold back with the sugar and butter.
I must say, they looked pretty amazing in the end!
I did a lot of careful research and chose a vanilla cupcake recipe, a salted caramel popcorn recipe and a caramel frosting recipe… from three different sources.
Unfortunately I’m not going to share the recipes with you, because I wasn’t 100% happy with any of them in the end. However, I completely accept that my technique and execution was probably a bit off too!
The cupcake recipe I used was much too sweet and a little bit dry. I want my cupcakes to be much more fluffy and moist. They turned out so plain (and boring) that I decided to scoop out the core of each cupcakes and fill it with a bit of caramel frosting.
The caramel frosting, while it had a lovely texture, it was just way too sweet!
The salted caramel for the popcorn wasn’t smooth. The sugar crystalised as the caramel cooled, so it looked grainy. Probably not enough butter? It also made the popcorn go a bit soggy. I’ve made delicious, crunchy caramel popcorn before, so I know I can do it – I just need to find the recipe.
In fact, it was ALL SO SWEET, that even my kids couldn’t eat a full cupcake each.
I pretty much used 1 cup of white sugar for the cupcakes, 3 cups of icing sugar for the frosting and 1 cup of brown sugar for the caramel.
Yikes! That’s a terrifying amount of sugar!
So now that I look at these cupcakes… even though they look absolutely stunning and much like the ones I see in the shops, I don’t think they are worth it. I don’t feel good about making something so unhealthy for my friends and family.
I’ll be looking for much healthier options and substitutes now.
But at the same time, I’m still hoping to make them look amazing.
My quest continues!