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Big Black Dog: Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes and the WINNERS!

February 25, 2010

Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes and the WINNERS!


We have our two winners of Marty Embry's Coney Sauce Spice Mix!

And the first name drawn out of the hat is...

Jewel of The Tiny Jewel Box

And the second name is...

Bonnie of City Home/County Home

Please send me your full name and home address so Marty and I can get your Jar of Coney Sauce Spice Mix in the mail ASAP!

If you are interested in ordering the Coney Sauce Spice please visit From the Court to the Kitchen Spices and Apparel. And if you're interested in any of Marty's cookbooks, poetry or artwork you can find a listing at Marty Embry's Storefront.





I've been tweeting, watching the Olympics and mentally writing this post all night. And I thought it was time I sat down and started typing. Which reminds me I found the most wonderful blog today, Gail Carson Levine, with fabulous information and ideas on How to Write. And with just reading that last sentence, you can tell I need all the help I can get!

I've often wondered if enough of my own personality comes across in my blog? Should I reveal more about my life as a teacher, an artist, a wife? I do write of dear, sweet Mr. Tastebuds and his escapades in the kitchen. Although he does not read my blog, he thinks I stretch the truth about him..honey please with you I don't need to embellish, not one iota! I know I'm not an open person like Ree Drummon of The Pioneer Woman who has such an exciting, idyllic life and writes about every aspect of it for all the world to read. Hats off to Ree but I'm not sure if I could go quite that far. But oh my, the stories I could tell.....

But I digress and need to get back to my cupcakes which were truly delicious! I used my very favorite Chocolate Cupcake Recipe and made a new frosting by adding browned butter mixed with brown sugar and heavy cream to a traditional Cream Cheese Frosting. Now doesn't that just sound scrumptious! I love Cream Cheese Frosting but after tasting the Browned-butter Caramel Frosting, I'm not sure if I could make plain Cream Cheese Frosting again!


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Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe developed by BigBlackDog

Makes 12-13 regular sized cupcakes

7/8 c all-purpose flour
1 c sugar
1/2 good cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 TBL Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 c buttermilk
1/4 c EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1 egg, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.

In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

NOTE: This cupcake batter is thin but it bakes beautifully. I use my 1 cup glass Pyrex liquid measure and just pour it into the cupcake liners.



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Browned-Butter Caramel Frosting
Recipe adapted from MyRecipes

1/4 c brown sugar
4 TBL Butter
6 TBL butter, cold but not firm
1/3 c heavy whipping cream
8 oz cream cheese, cold and firm
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Dash of salt
3 c powdered sugar

Place brown sugar and 4 TBL butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. As soon as it comes to boil remove from heat and whisk in cream, blending well. Pour into a small bowl and cool, stirring occasionally to incorporate butter.

Place remaining 6 TBL butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer until smooth. Since the butter and cream cheese is cold, it can take some time to blend so make sure to hold onto the edge of the bowl as you beat. Beat in vanilla and salt. With the mixer running, slowly pour in cooled brown sugar mixture and beat until smooth. Continue beating and add 1/2 c. powdered sugar at a time, beating well after each addition until completely smooth. Chill for 20 minutes.

NOTE: I used a small tip in my pastry bag and although the cupcakes look loaded with frosting, I was surprised to discover that I used about half the amount of frosting I would have with one of the larger tips. So I had quite a bit of leftover frosting. But Cream Cheese Frosting will keep in the refrigerator or I've had very good luck with freezing it. When needed, just thaw, whip it with a fork and it's good to go.



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36 Comments:

Blogger Nancy said...

I remember browned butter frosting!

Writing is challenging. I read Copyblogger, Seth Godin, and probably should look into adding this one. Amazingly enough, I am working on my "copy".

Thanks for the tip!

February 25, 2010 at 5:03 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

I typically spend a lot of time thinking about how to start my posts as well..and then what usually happens is that I wake up at 6AM and then throw everythign I've thought about to the wind. And just start doing a stream-of-consciousness kind of thing. Maybe the key is to be half asleep when you try to blog.

These cupcakes look amazing! I'm going to have to try that cream cheese frosting.

February 25, 2010 at 6:16 AM  
Blogger Joanna said...

That frosting sounds amazing! I'm bookmarking it!

February 25, 2010 at 6:50 AM  
Blogger George Gaston said...

Congratulations to Jewel & Bonnie!

Michelle, the infusion of Balsamic Vinegar and strong brewed coffee puts your Chocolate Cupcakes in a league of their own. And your frosting just puts them out of this world.

I definitely need to try your recipes. Thanks...

February 25, 2010 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Allie and Pattie said...

I love your writing! I'llbe making these for my chocoholic hubby. By the way, I always use my pastry tips for cupcakes- especially for school parties. I concentrate on the center of the cupcake and leave a little unfrosted "rim". Makes it easier for little fingers to hold without getting frosting all over themselves- teachers tend to appreciate that :)
xoxo Pattie

February 25, 2010 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger Clarice said...

Goodness gracious, these look amazing! I love the way you photographed them.

I know what you mean about the writing. I'm not sure I've found my "voice", yet.

February 25, 2010 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

that frosting sounds awesome!

i'm assuming the cupcake recipe is 1/2 CUP of buttermilk?

February 25, 2010 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Natalie,

Oops..thanks so much for catching my mistake!

Yes, it's 1/2 c. buttermilk (love using buttermilk in recipes)

Recipe is now fixed!

Michelle

February 25, 2010 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Beautiful photos.

February 25, 2010 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bakes said...

Such pretty cupcakes! The frosting sounds like a must try!

February 25, 2010 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Lori E said...

Okay busy lady these are worth waiting for. I love balsamic and could drink it from the bottle so anything that I add it into could only be improved.
We were just talking about browned butter at coffee yesterday morning.
Congrats to the winners.
Michele, you are fine the way you are. Don't go changin'.

February 25, 2010 at 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Jessica @ How Sweet said...

Oh goodness do these look amazing. I am loving the olive oil in the cupcakes and then frosting...I have no words. You are genius!

February 25, 2010 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Love this recipe! The wonder of balsamic! I wouldn't have thought of adding it to cupcakes but it seems a natural in these! Itching to get back to baking...just another day or so to get rid of this viral infection and I'll be good to go! Will have to make these first!

February 25, 2010 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Fresh Local and Best said...

Michelle, I'd love to learn more about you from your blog. You strike me as a very sweet and lovable person. Thanks for the link to the writing tips, I certainly will be reading it.

These chocolate caramel cupcake look fantastic! And the frosting- heavenly!

February 25, 2010 at 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Elle said...

Browned butter makes everything better, doesn't it? These look so good--I love a good chocolate cupcake.

You're right, writing--and opening up like Ree does is hard. I'm not one to share every detail of my life. I'll check out that site, though!

February 25, 2010 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger ARUNA said...

Gorgeous clicks, frosting on the cupcakes sounds amazing!

February 25, 2010 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

I usually put coffee in my chocolate cake, but not balsamic vinegar. I can't wait to try these that just sound fantastic.
btw The pattern on my cookies came from the bottom of my grandmothers sugar bowl.
Mimi

February 25, 2010 at 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Kayte said...

Turn your head, don't look, b/c I am going to eat the frosting off the top of that chocolate cupcake...it looks and sounds just delicious! Very pretty, I swear you have sprinkles for every occasion. I gravitate toward blogs that I read on a daily basis, or thereabouts, to ones that are personable, but not too too personal. There's a fine line, LOL. You are nowhere close to that line, btw. Always enjoy your posts.

February 25, 2010 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger Sook said...

Congrats to the winners!

The cupcakes look so delicious. I want one! :)

February 25, 2010 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger teresa said...

these are gorgeous, i'll take ten to go! i love that you use balsamic vinegar!

February 25, 2010 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger The Muse said...

finding you on twitter...fabulous lol...
i tend to twitter, in a meandering fashion...very muse like (surprise) lol...

blogging...(writing) appears to be, with me, very mood based. sometimes it flows...other days i am entrenched!

my battle is with photography. my beloved is the cook and the photographer...so unless he has done the shot, i feel very wary about posting my sad images.

so although i have a lot or remodel and new design work...for me to post my images...does not pay homage to the work.

your imagery is always so vibrant and your blogs are always so enthusiastic...i relish that!

http://adivashammer.com/archives/1143

February 25, 2010 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

What wonderful cupcakes Michelle! These look superb!

February 25, 2010 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

I think you do a wonderful job posting, but I know that writing is certainly challenging. I also have a hard time getting my point across sometimes and will check out your link to the writing tips.
The cupcakes, however, speak for themselves. They are gorgeous!

February 25, 2010 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger TeaLady said...

Love the cuppys. Chocolate with caramel = perfect.

I guess maybe 1/2 between Ree and no personality would be a good mix. I enjoy your blog. Not always easy to remain objective with just a little attitude. Keep up the good work.

February 25, 2010 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Mama Peck said...

Oh, Michelle, that frosting looks good enough to lick off the screen! YUM And, I love the way you frosted the cupcakes.. looks so cool! (But, how do you eat them without getting it all over your face?.. not that I'm going to mind! LOL) Love your blog!

February 25, 2010 at 6:53 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

Michelle,

Thank you for the Coney Sauce! I'll share what I make with it on my blog. And, I love the way you blog. There's room for many different personalities in blogging, and Your blog is "just Right".

February 25, 2010 at 8:46 PM  
OpenID biz319 said...

You had me at browned butter - holy cow, I never would have thought of that!

Definitely insulin worthy! Happy Friday - hopefully all the snow is behind us!

February 26, 2010 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Skip to Malou said...

i got here through Christine's tweet... reading your posts is engaging... I was supposed to go back to my bed (i'm in socal) but lo and behold this site kept me awake.
and yeah... the reason why i got up early was the itch to write/revise my next post haha!

btw, my name is malou and im glad to be here...

February 27, 2010 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

These sound unique and lovely. I enjoyed your blog. I had stopped by just to say hello and stayed much longer than I planned playing catch up with your offerings. I'll be back often

February 27, 2010 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Sophie said...

Hello Michelle!!

What a georgous & cute cupcake this is!!!

I love it!!
I am going to make them today!!
Lovely & apart topping too!

February 28, 2010 at 2:16 AM  
Blogger SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Your cupcakes sound amazing with such a unique blend of ingredients! When I lose my 'vacation' weight I'd love to try these with that wonderful frosting recipe. Great photos and writing!

February 28, 2010 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger Danielle said...

Im not sure which I'm drawn to the most....I mean usually it's either the cupcake recipe or the frosting but this is BOTH!!! The balsamic addition and the coffee flavor in the cupcakes...YUM!...but then you have that lovely icing with the cream cheese, browned butter and heavy whipping cream WOW!

February 28, 2010 at 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Jamie said...

Balsamic vinegar and olive oil? I'll bet these cupcakes are fantastic! I'm always looking for great chocolate cupcake recipes and this one is calling me to try it! Excellent! And as far as blog writing goes, just be yourself and write from the heart. You never need "to do" something just cause others do it.

February 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger Chow and Chatter said...

stunning brownies your hubby has good taste in food

February 28, 2010 at 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Marty Embry said...

Hey Michelle,
hopefully, you and the winners have received the spices! I look forward to the response after tasting them!

This is a comment on your cupcakes! Amazing! I also made an additional batch and added a few ingredients. You would be proud of me! :) I also added Bourbon to both the frosting and cupcake, but I added vanilla mocha coffee to the batter! I also divided the batter and added two tablespoons to part of the frosting (which I also divided). My family was quite pleased with both and I'm sure that I ate half of each batch that I prepared! lol

It's a curse! Me and food....food and me....a serious love affair! Thank you again for sharing your recipe!

I hope that you enjoy the seasoning salt as well Michelle.

All the best!

March 2, 2010 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Oh how I love browned butter. I'll bookmark this for the next frosting adventure. Thanks for the writing link, I need all the help I can get.
AND you take the best pictures! I could use picture tips too!!! (hint hint) :)

March 4, 2010 at 9:23 AM  

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