Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Macarons

IMG_20170704_130933_124.jpgMonday I wrote about making cupcakes for my cousin’s wedding this upcoming weekend. Last week I made some samples for the 4th. I was a little bit nervous and super excited. Nervous because I’ve never made a cake or cupcakes for a wedding (actually the only things I’ve made for a wedding, were the 9 cheesecakes I made for our wedding reception). Excited to make something for a wedding. nervous because I kept repeating to myself to be delicate and patient while making them. Delicate, graceful. These are not often words I associate with myself. In the kitchen I would describe myself as a beast. I work quickly and efficiently, usually because I have to crank out a bunch of work in not a lot of time. I flow from one thing to the next. So I kept the word delicate in mind. And tomorrow when I make these again I will repeatedly keep telling myself to slow down and take my time.

I wasn’t sure what kind of cupcakes I wanted to make for the wedding. Chocolate was a guarantee, they’re my grandpa’s favorite and they are serving regular chocolate cupcakes at the reception. They’re also serving vanilla and red velvet. My initial idea was to do vanilla but a cupcake with a twist. I just don’t understand the rave for red velvet, it’s chocolate cake with a bunch of food coloring, or at least that’s my perception. And to make one’s that I was satisfied I would have to use beet juice, since I don’t use food coloring, so I vetoed the gluten-free red velvet (sorry).

I searched and searched my Pinterest for some flavor inspiration. I finally settled on salted caramel. I personally love caramel. I love it in my ice cream. I enjoy putting it on or in my pies. I like it in cookies. The list of what I’ll do with caramel is lengthy.

Initially it was a no-brainer to fill the cupcakes with caramel and drizzle some over the icing. It then popped into my mind to make little caramel filled macaron’s for the top. It wasn’t special enough, so I gave myself a big task. Macaron’s are pretty tricky and technical to make. I made them at a bake house I worked at in Champaign. And I was going to make them at home with out molds for them, just free piping them on parchment. They turned out delicious and the groom told me they were the best thing. I mean all the flavor and texture were there, but I felt I maybe over-beat the meringue, as I did not obtain the desired feet. I took note on this and will change it tomorrow.  I am determined to make beautiful little macaron’s.

Again these aren’t Paleo because I am feeding a larger more general audience, I used organic powdered sugar for the macaron’s and the frosting, fill free to change the frosting. I have yet to make a French macaron without the powdered sugar  that I was completely happy with (I’ll put it on my list, I’ve tried with maple sugar and they were ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS, just not technically sound).

These were all gone first and relatively fast once I showed up, so I actually cut the vanilla cupcakes and decided to focus on the Salted Caramel and chocolate. The base is just a vanilla cake though, so you can just forget the caramel and cookies and make plain vanilla cupcakes. Or try another flavored frosting. I really wanted to do a vanilla cupcake filled with lemon curd, topped with blueberry frosting. I didn’t think this would fit everyone’s taste buds, and the other options would be more of a crowd pleaser.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Caramel Macarons Continue reading “Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Macarons”