Monday, August 27, 2007

Another Cupcake Imposter Success Story

If you grew up near the Philly or DC area, you probably had at least one tastykake as a kid. We lived on the other end of PA, but spent many weekends and vacations in Philly, visiting my mom's family and our many cousins. Compared to our tiny and rural hometown of approximately 12,000, Philadelphia was a mecca of gourmet food options. I could write many fond paragraphs in an ode to a cheesesteak, (melted white american cheese, lite onions, NO sauce, mmmm....already drooling). But I can't take the mouthwatering pain of deprivation so I will spare us all. Of course we (my four sibs and I) noshed more than our fair share of giant 'dirty pretzels'; so called because of their street cart transactions. I learned how to like yellow mustard by putting small polka-dots of mustard in a nice design around the copious crust of kosher salt - I can still taste the bitter burn of that mustard and salt on my tongue before it was mashed into the doughy pretzel. Bassetts vanilla bean ice cream was a regular treat, but it was the boxes of butterscotch krimpets that we would bring home with us that would linger long past the fleeting flavors of Philly. My mom bought natural peanut butter in a town where most kids lived on velveeta. She fed us vitamins with breakfast (which never involved sugared cereal unless we were on vacation), rarely allowed us soda, and never ever ever bought twinkies or hohos. So don't even think for a minute that butterscotch krimpets are of the same ilke.
Also, I think Mom couldn't resist her own childhood treat when faced with the choice of deprivation or sharing.
Ahem. Back to the important details. Cupcakes. I am not too adventurous with flavors, nor am I committed to having a portfolio of flavors like 'banana-ginger-lime curd cupcakes'.
So I prefer to work on perfecting the three basic flavors I like to make: Triple Vanilla, Pumpkin w/Cream cheese buttercream, and Devils Food with vanilla bean filling and chocolate ganache.
But this weekend, in preparation for child-friendly food contributions to the kindergarten orientation lunch (which the first grade parents provide), I decided to try something NEW!
Inspired by some flavorful memories and my fixation with making foods look deceptive or fun, I decided to try something reminiscent of butterscotch krimpets.
Yellow cake with butterscotch buttercream.
I found a pretty good yellow cake recipe, but could not find a butterscotch buttercream, so I just made one up. The cake was pretty good, a bit dense - I think I will use cake flour next time (always better when making vanilla cakes) and perhaps beat the egg whites separately and fold in to make it lighter.
I made the butterscotch frosting by making a homemade caramel (what is the difference between caramel and butterscotch when making from scratch?) with unsalted butter, brown sugar (boiled to soft-ball stage), then beat in some heavy cream and let it cool. I made a regular buttercream frosting with a bit less powdered sugar than usual, then added the cooled caramel, some more cream, and whipped the hell out of it. The results were yummy. And rather ecru.

The best part? I dropped some off with dearsweetdave at Jen's house without an explanation for the flavor inspiration. She emailed me later to thank me, and said they reminded her of....butterscotch krimpets!


mamadaisy said...

those are so obviously not betty crocker. they look delicious. do you ship to florida?

Jennie-Lynn said...

Even though I'm in Pittsburgh, I can still get Butterscoth Krimpets! I'm adding them to the list since I'm too far from the Kindergarten class today in Bonny Doon!!! Yummie!!!

A great walk down memory lane!


Daisy said...

We don't get butterscotch krimpets in my neck of the woods, but I've tried them in Chicago. I'll bet these mini-cupcakes were wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love these! They look fabulous and probably taste that way too.

I love your blog, your writing is fantastic. It keeps this mama entertained at naptime. :) love it!