These past few days have been filled with fun and excitement around here. I was invited about a month ago to come and be a guest on a local news station to share some holiday treats. As we discussed what I was going to make, the producer narrowed it down to “frostings to help you get through your holiday baking”. So I decided to share some fun, new frostings to update the standard cupcake frostings. Here’s the link for the video from the show.
Ok so, this was my first ever on air doing a food demo. I was so nervous, yet excited at the same time. There were no retakes, do overs or anything. It was all live. I was so grateful for the opportunity. I love doing new things and overcoming my fears and taking on new challenges. Did I mention that I loved every single minute of it? It was just so much fun.
Since I had such great response from the show and so many of you asking for the actual cupcake recipes, I decided to do a poll and see which one was the favorite. And Crême Bruleé was by far, the fan favorite. So I’m sharing the recipe with you today!
For many people, the idea of making Crème Brûlée seems so daunting. But it really is pretty simple. The components for this Crème Brûlée cupcake includes a decadent, and quite perfectly dense vanilla bean cupcake. I like to add actual vanilla bean to my vanilla cupcakes for that perfect vanilla flavor. I’ve topped the cupcake off with pastry creme, which usually isn’t an actual “frosting” but it works magically for this cupcake. Then, we add a sugar coating to the top that is torched with a kitchen torch until it is nice and caramelized and hardens to create that perfect bruleéd topping. My mouth is watering! These are soo good! A few key points to remeber for this cupcake, the pastry cream ideally needs to be made a day in advance to let it fully set for a good frosting consistency. Also, these are best when eaten almost immediately to enjoy the crunchy topping. However, it is still quite delicious after it has been refrigerated. Let’s go ahead and get this recipe started.
Prepare and measure out the ingredients. Have a medium bowl ready for cooling the pastry creme with a fine mesh sieve resting on the rim. Pour the 2 cups whole milk into a heavy saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and use the tip of a sharp knife to scrape the seeds from the pods.
Place seeds into the milk. Add the 1/4 tsp fine kosher salt a place pan over medium-high heat and bring to just under a boil. Using a whisk, stir mixture occasionally to make sure the milk isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the 4 T cornstarch and the 1/2 cup plus 1 T of granulated sugar. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth.
When the milk has come to just under a bowl, ladle out about 1/3 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the hot milk and continue whisking over medium heat until the custard is as thick as lightly whipped cream.
As a side note, in order for the cornstarch to cook and fully thicken, the mixture must come to just the boiling point. You’ll want to see a few slow bubbles. But, if the mixture boils to much, it will cause the pastry cream to curdle. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour into the fine-mesh sieve into the bowl.
Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to release the heat. Add the butter 1 T at a time, whisking until smooth before adding the next tablespoon.
To cool the cream, cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly on top of the cream. This will prevent a skin forming on the surface.
Let cool preferably overnight. Or, at least 4 hours. Now onto the cupcakes.
Pre-heat your oven to 350º. Line cupcake pan with liners and set aside. Measure out all ingredients and have them ready to go. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, fine kosher salt and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla paste, or vanilla and mix well.
Add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mixing until just combined after each addition. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, making sure there are no streaks of flour.
Using a 2 inch scoop, divide the batter evenly among the liners, filling each about 2/3 full. The recipe makes exactly 12 cupcakes. Bake in the over for 20-22 minutes until the tops springs back when lightly touched. Place on a wire rack and let cool for a few minutes. Then take cupcakes out of the pan and let cool completely.
To frost the cupcakes, use a 1 1/2 inch scoop or piping bag, and place on top of the cupcakes. Using an off-set spatula, spread cream evenly on cupcakes.
Add about 1/2 tsp granulated sugar to the top of the cupcake,shake the sugar around to cover evenly over the cupcake.
Using a kitchen torch, begin to lightly torch about 3 inches away from the cupcake until the sugar bubbles and creates a golden, crackly top.
And enjoy this deliciously amazing Crème Brûlée cupcake!!