Sunday, April 17, 2011

Better Together

I have a love for peanut butter. I was one of those kids who would take to a jar of Kraft with a soup spoon, eating mountains of the spread at a time. I was also a pretty big fan of the Caramilk chocolate bars, and their thick, gooey-sweet centres. When I made these babies a few weeks back, I was left with a part jar of dulce de leche in the fridge, along with some heavy cream we didn't use for my mom's birthday dinner. Somehow or other over the course of looking for a recipe to make the aforementioned Chocolate-Caramel treats I happed across a recipe on Expat Cucina that was all dulce all the way. But I wanted more. Caramel is all well and good, but how would it pair with my favourite peanut butter?

Well, it turns out that caramel is like the grown up, slightly bitter sister of the super-sweet honey when it comes to marrying with peanuts. Using the muffin recipe as a base, I modified the heck out of it, adding PB, using all the caramel in the muffin and eschewing a filling, using up the cream from the fridge and adding a touch of cornstarch for a more "cake flour" like feel. I was not disappointed! 

They had a fine crumb and tender texture like any other cupcake. The slightly bitter caramelized milk and sugar in the dulce de leche along with the somewhat salty peanut butter helped temper what could have be an otherwise overwhelmingly cloying combination. With all that caramel, peanut butter and cream, they were rich enough that I didn't even have to add additional sugar or oil make them perfect for my dad!

Peanut Butter Caramel Cakelettes
Makes 6
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural-style)
3/4 cup dulce de leche
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 6-cup tin with liners.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the peanut butter, dulce de leche, egg, vanilla and cream until blended.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and stir just to combine and you see no streaks of flour.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, then cool in the pans 15 minutes before unmoulding onto a wire rack.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 282.0
Total Fat: 13.0 g
Cholesterol: 48.0 mg
Sodium: 67.1 mg
Total Carbs: 33.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g
Protein: 5.1 g

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