January 27, 2015

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

My husband walked into the kitchen while I was making the dulce de leche for these cupcakes, immediately noticed my pan of simmering water and questioned, "What are you doing? Is that can opened? Why are you boiling a can?" followed by, "It could explode!" He was quite dubious, but I told him I had done my research, and there should be no explosion provided I maintained the proper water level.

He remained a bit skeptical but made no further comments. After his reaction, given that he's a rather educated engineer, I was a bit more paranoid about maintaining the water level. Thankfully, my sweetened condensed milk became delicious dulce de leche without incident.

These cupcakes are pretty delicious. I'm not sold on the actual chocolate cupcake from Sweetopia because I had issues with them not rising beautifully and rather spilling over and seeming not baked quite enough but ending up a bit dry. I would repeat the concept but use another chocolate cupcake as the base. The frosting and dulce de leche filling were excellent!

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup milk
2 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup dulce de leche (homemade or storebought)
3/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup dulce de leche

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake tins with cupcake liners.

Sift cocoa into a medium bowl. Slowly stir in the boiling water until smooth, and then gradually whisk in milk. Set aside to cool.

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl, and set aside.  In an electric mixer, beat butter until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in the vanilla.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add flour mixture and reserved cocoa mixture a little at a time in alternate batches, starting and ending with the flour. Beat until just combined.

Divide batter into the cupcake liners, about 1/4 cup for each liner. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes or longer - until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean. Time will vary according to your oven. Cool cupcakes in tins for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove from pans to cool completely on wire racks.

Make a small hole in each cupcake (I used a cupcake corer) or use a bismark piping tip to fill cupcakes with dulce de leche.

To make frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Gradually add in powdered sugar. Beat in dulce de leche until smooth and creamy. Frosting may be too soft to pipe without chilling for 30 minutes or so in the refrigerator. Pipe on frosting, and chill until ready to serve. Bring to room temperature for best flavor, though, immediately prior to serving. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Note: I used an entire can of dulce de leche made from sweetened condensed milk for these cupcakes, divvying up the goods between the cupcakes and the frosting.

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