We had another Elf Night this week, and the theme was CAKE! (Elf Night is when all of the Loopy Elves get together at one of our houses for food and knitting. It happens about every other month, and there is always a food theme. But last night we met at Loopy due to illness!) I think we decided on the Cake theme as a kind of thumbing-the-nose at January dieting. Or we were being ornery when we came up with it. At any rate, it was delicious.
We had three pumpkin spice cakes (all different, all delicious), two chocolate-y cakes, a lemon cake, a marmalade cake, and these Salted Caramel Cheesecake Cupcakes that I made. (Is cheesecake really considered cake? I figure the word “cake” was in the title twice, so it should work.)
Salted Caramel Cheesecake Cupcakes (via Pinterest and the Cooking Classy blog)
2 cups crushed graham crackers (you can buy them already crushed, or buy the crackers)
3 Tbl. sugar
7 Tbl. salted butter (melted)
4 (8 oz) pcks. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbl. flour
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salted Caramel Sauce (or use ready-made caramel sauce)
Preheat over to 350 degrees and add 24 paper cupcake liners to muffin tins.
Mix crushed graham crackers, 3 Tbl. sugar and 7 Tbl. melted butter. Add a heaping tablespoon to each cupcake liner and press down evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Whisk together 1 1/2 cups sugar and 3 Tbl. flour. Add softened cream cheese to a mixing bowl and pour the sugar mixture over the top of it. Blend on low speed until smooth. Mix in the eggs one at a time (scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl) and mix each until just combined. Add in the vanilla, sour cream and heavy cream.
After this has been mixed. tap the mixing bowl against the counter 30 or 40 times to release some of the extra air bubbles. Divide the mixture into the 24 cups and bake for 18-23 minutes (until center jiggles slightly. If they start to crack, they are getting overbaked.)
Remove pans from the oven and cool for 1 hour at room temperature. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and cool 2 more hours in the refrigerator.
When ready to serve, add a spoonful of caramel sauce and a pinch of sea salt to each top.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbl. water
6 Tbl. salted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
In a 3 quart pan, heat the sugar and water over moderately high hit, whisking constantly. When the mixture reaches a boil, stop whisking and allow the mixture to boil until it reaches a dark amber color (swirling the pan occasionally). Once the desired color, add in the butter and whisk until melted. Remove from heat, wait a few seconds, and then pour in the cream and mix to combine. Allow the caramel to cool for 10-15 minutes and then pour into a glass jar to cool further.
Add a spoonful of caramel and a light sprinkle of sea salt to each cupcake just prior to serving.
Have a great weekend!