Apple Spice Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
2 T light molasses
6 large eggs
3 cups cake flour
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. kosher salt
2 T ground cinnamon
2 t. ground allspice
1 t. ground nutmeg
1 t. ground ginger
1 c. sour cream
3 tart baking apples (Jonathan, Macintosh, Granny Smith), peeled and shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 T vanilla
1 T grated fresh ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with paper liners (approx. 18 medium sized cupcakes).
Cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down bowl and add molasses. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt and ground spices to blend.
Add the flour mixture and sour cream alternately to the batter, starting and ending with the flour mixture. This can be done on low speed and beat just until the ingredients are combined. Stir in the grated apple, vanilla and ginger.
Spoon the batter into muffin pans lined with paper cups, 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes until cupcakes spring back lightly and toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool.
When cool, ice with a basic vanilla buttercream icing.
Salted Caramel Sauce
1/4 c water
1 cup plus 1 T sugar, divided
2 T glucose syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed to 100 degrees F
1/4 c cream fraiche or sour cream
1/2 t. fresh lemon juice
1/2 t. kosher salt
Combine water, 1 c. sugar and glucose syrup in a medium saucepan over high heat, being careful not to get any of the mixture on the sides of the pot. Once the mixture boils, stop stirring. The caramel with be very bubbly and VERY hot, so be careful. When the temperature of the mixture reaches 300 degrees (use a candy thermometer), lower the heat to medium and continue cooking until temperature reaches 350 degrees. Remove pan from heat. Mixture should be a golden brown. Let rest for 1 minute. Add the warmed cream to the caramel. It will bubble up vigorously.
Quickly wisk the creme fraiche, 1 T sugar, lemon juice, and salt into the caramel. Cool to room temperature and drizzle iced cupcakes generously with caramel.
A little work, but the results are intoxicating!
Thanks to our Pasty Chef, Anne Croy, for sharing this amazing celebration of the season.