Stop what you’re doing. Make this. Eat it. All. Resume what you were doing.
Every now and then something comes out of the kitchen that is just too tasty to be kept to itself for long. (On the flipside, there are other things which really don’t that will never be made public…).
Yes it’s a Sunday afternoon and most people are making roast dinners, mowing lawns…, well I’m making cupcakes, and I don’t care who knows it!
I’d made the cupcakes last night (post to follow later this week) and wanted a frosting to complement them. I toyed between sticky caramel, and fluffy cream cheese. A thought occured that wait, maybe I could combine the two! But my online search failed to bring anything good up for “low fat caramel cream cheese frosting”. Low fat cakes with high fat frosting. Check. Caramel cakes with cream cheese frosting. Check. Using tinned or ice-cream topping caramel. Check. Making it yourself from scratch? FAIL!
So – I tried it out for myself. I promise you won’t be disappointed; it’s super easy and super yummy. So yummy that I’d recommend making this just after lunch, dinner etc, so you’re not tempted to eat too much of it. Really. But if you do, it’s low-fat, so not the end of the world!
It uses only simple ingredients (and no cream!) that you probably already have in the fridge/cupboard, and sets quickly into a crunchy outside, with a soft, creamy inside. A sugary, sweet caramel flavour, balanced with the creaminess of the cheese.
Ingredients (ices approx 8 cupcakes, generously, or fills one eight-inch round cake. Double to fill and cover the cake)
1 teaspoon low fat spread (e.g. flora light)
25ml skimmed milk
60g light brown sugar
60g extra light cream cheese
200g icing sugar (+ a bit more for consistency)
I didn’t say it was low sugar!
In a non-stick saucepan, mix the spread, milk and brown sugar. Turn up to a high heat, stirring as the butter melts to combine everything together.
Once it’s all mixed, take your spoon out and let the mixture start to boil. It should quickly start to bubble round the edges, before boiling up into a gorgeous gooey mess. Let it boil and bubble for about 30 seconds, stirring once or twice.
After 30 seconds, take the pan off the heat, and give it another quick stir. Leave to rest.
In a mixing bowl, first put in the cream cheese, then cover with the sieved icing sugar. Drizzle half of the caramel on top and start stirring. The key is not to pour the caramel straight on the cream cheese, it’ll make it melt.
Keep stirring and add the rest of the caramel, before mixing really well until everything is combined. The consistency will depend on how thick your caramel was, so if you need to add more icing sugar to thicken it up (e.g. for piping), then add a tablespoon or so at a time.
And that’s it! I promised it was easy!
Do your non-stick pan a favour and fill it up straight after you’ve finished with warm water. The caramel should dissolve right off – but if you leave it you’ll have a bit more of a challenge getting it clean.
As it uses liquid caramel, it will start to harden on the outside pretty quickly. Keep it in the bowl and stir it occasionally, and work quickly to ice your creations.
I used it to ice my cupcakes – it pipes like a dream:
But also works really well spread and smoothed with a knife:
The possibilities are endless – carrot cake and caramel, chocolate, banana and caramel, apple, cinnamon and caramel… I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a bowl to lick out…