Since I started baking, I've devoted hours upon hours... no, make that days upon days studying recipes, techniques, flavor pairings, and the like. Nearly every free moment I get is directed toward some sort of education about pastry arts and baking.
So on weeks when I don't have much planned by way of baking, I try to create something that is new and different and that requires a technique that I'm looking to perfect. Last week I decided to plunge into caramels - butterscotch, in particular. It was timely since I was visiting a friend,who happens to love butterscotch, to celebrate her birthday. Recently I've been into creating cakes and cupcakes with different flavor combinations so I made chocolate cupcakes with butterscotch buttercream and a butterscotch drizzle over the top.
Making the butterscotch was fun... and dangerous - no parent wants their children playing or running around near a pot of boiling sugar.. So I managed to keep the kids at bay for what seemed like an eternity of waiting for the sugar to caramelize. Finally it did and the result, after adding some cream and of course, butter was a decadent, syrupy, glistening butterscotch.
The butterscotch buttercream paired nicely with the chocolatey cupcake base and the drizzle on the top was the crowning glory! I was glad for the sake of my own health and waistline that I was delivering them to my friend and her family. As any baker will tell you, the only setback to this job is having a plate full of fresh, pretty homemade goodies sitting on your kitchen counter beckoning you to eat them.