Friday, September 30, 2011

Rich Caramel Icing {Recipe}

This icing is so rich and so yummy. It has a subtle caramel flavor that allows it to perfectly complement a cake like this apple cake or this chocolate cake.

What You Need:
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (at room temperature, divided)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (at room temperature)
 4 egg whites
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla



Make the caramel sauce before beginning the icing. You will need this to cool to room temperature before you can add it to the icing, or it will be a soupy mess.

Start with 1 cup of sugar. Place it over medium heat, and let it melt and turn golden.

When it turns caramel in color (mine took about 5-7 minutes)-- like this only without all of the chunks-- you'll add 4 Tbsp. of butter and a pinch of salt. Remove from the heat and add the 1/2 cup of whipping cream. Whisk until the sauce is creamy.

* Note: I did not do so well making this caramel sauce. So, there are no pictures of the process as it took me a few tries, and had to strain it to remove some chunks... so... do better than I did. ;-)

While your caramel sauce is cooling, start on the icing base. Separate the whites from 4 eggs.

Add 1 cup of brown sugar to the egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer, and place it over a pot of simmering water.

Whisk the sugar and eggs constantly until the mixture reaches 160-degrees on a candy thermometer.

Remove the bowl from the pot of water and, using the whisk attachment of your mixer, whisk the egg whites until a stiff peak forms.

This is what you want it to look like. Mine takes about 4 minutes on high.

Switch to the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla and the butter (cut into about 2-Tbsp. chunks). Then pour about 1/2-3/4 cup of the room-temperature caramel sauce into the mixture. (I reserve the remaining 1/4 cup of the sauce for drizzling on the cake.)

This will turn into icing soup. Mix again on medium-high speed for about 4-5 minutes until the icing again will hold a peak. It will not be as stiff as the peak was on your egg whites, but it will hold its shape.

*Note: If, by chance, you add the caramel sauce when it's still warm, your icing may not take its shape. (I know this from experience.) You need to put the bowl into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to cool it of a little, then you can mix it up again.

This is what the icing will look like when it's done. You can use this icing to cover a cake or on top of a cupcake, as well. It's very rich, and very tasty.

Click the Links Below to See:
Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe (in which I learn how to make caramel sauce for real)
Caramel Apple Cake
Caramel Apple Cupcakes
Other Icing/Frosting Recipes

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