About Olive Juice

This is a journal of sorts of our ideas (as the design goddesses that we are) that don't necessarily get executed and instead just live in our heads. Punctuated of course with things we just plain love, covet, or if you will..."Olive Juice".

Monday, May 3, 2010

Caramel Cupcakes

As previously mentioned, I don’t bake. I respect bakers immensely. I am way too impatient for the exact timing and precise measurements that baking entails. I do however LOVE the decorating part of baking (probably the designer in me). I usually buy the break-n-bake or cake mix in a box varieties since it get me through the baking phase and into the decorating phase much quicker…and have less room for error.

A few months ago, my bookclub read Kathryn Stockett’s The Help about African-American maids working in Mississippi in 1962. I worshiped this book and highly recommend (make sure you block out a day or two before starting it as you most definitely won’t be able to put it down!). The book is packed full of baked Southern delicacies. I started thinking that if these women can whip up a pie every afternoon while holding a child on their hip, polishing the silver, cleaning an entire house, and roasting whatever type of meat is going to be served for “supper”, then I can certainly make a simple cake or something.

I chose Martha Stewart’s Caramel Cake recipe and called off my entire afternoon. I opted to make cupcakes instead because I simply thought that they would look cuter on the cake stand. It took a LONG time and I had to remake the caramel syrup* three times, but boy, were they good!

{snapshots of baking}

{on cake stand with spring flowers}

* I tried the caramel syrup in Martha’s recipe twice and it kept coming out way too watery. Finally, I busted out an old cookbook and found a new way that worked much better: Start with one cup of sugar in the pan and cook over burner until it becomes a golden liquid. Add 1/2c of boiling water. It turns out much thicker than MS’s.

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