April 01, 2011

Dream a Little Dream

Do you ever have one of those nights where you are lying there trying to fall asleep and all of these wonderful flavors just keep popping into your head?  You lie there and try to figure out a way to put it all together.  That's what happened to me last night.  Let's see, I had black bananas on my counter top.  I have been wanting to make Dulce de Leche.  I have been wanting to make monster meringue.  I have been wanting to make cupcakes.  Let's see if we can put all of that together, shall we?

Dulce de Leche

One can of 14 ounce sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
Sea salt

Preaheat oven to 425

Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk into a glass pie plate.  Stir in a few flecks of sea salt.

Set the pie plate within a larger pan, and add hot water until it reaches halfway up the side of the pie plate.

Cover the pie plate snugly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours.  (Check a few times during baking and add more water to the roasting pan as necessary).

Once the Dulce de Leche is nicely browned and caramelized, remove from the oven and let cool.  Once cool, whisk until smooth.

Right out of the oven

Keep whisking!  I know your arm is hurting but it's not smooth yet!
Store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Warm gently in a warm water bath or microwave oven before using.  Eat by the spoonful :)

Source: David Lebovitz

Banana Cupcakes

Yields 12 dozen

3/4  cup  granulated sugar, divided
1/2  cup  mashed ripe banana
1/4  cup  butter or stick margarine, softened
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
2  large eggs
1  cup plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
1/4  cup  plain fat-free yogurt
1/3 cup Amaretto

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cupcakes, combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar and banana; set aside. Beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar, butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 3 minutes).

Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana mixture to sugar mixture, beating well.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour plus the extra 2 Tbsp., baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition.  Add the Amaretto and mix.

Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Adapted and changed slightly from: My Recipes

Monster Meringue

4 large egg whites, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar

Set a large, perfectly clean metal bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Pour in the egg whites and sugar. (If there is a trace of fat in the bowl, the eggs won't reach their proper volume.)  Heat the egg whites and sugar while whisking constantly until the sugar melts and there are no visible grains in the meringue.  Take a little meringue mixture and rub it between your fingers to make sure all sugar grains have melted.  Remove the meringue from over the simmering water and whip it with a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on low speed for 5 minutes; increase the speed to high and beat 5 minutes longer, until the meringue is stiff and shiny.

Source: The Pastry Queen

Let's put this baby together!

Preheat your oven for low broil.  "Core" your cupcakes (eat the cored pieces) and pipe the Dulce de Leche into the center (what's left of the Dulce de Leche, go ahead and pipe it directly into your mouth).

Place the cupcakes on a broil safe sheet and top with the Monster Meringue. Style the meringue with your fingers by plucking at it to tease the meringue into jagged spikes.  Having a bit of meringue stuck to your fingers will help you form big spikes on the cupcakes.
Place the cupcakes on the middle rack of the oven and broil until the meringue topping is golden brown, about 1 minute.  Watch the cupcakes closely, as they can turn from browned to burned in a matter of minutes!

I have a belly-ache just from eating the "cores" licking the Dulce de Leche spoon and licking all of the meringue.

~ Enjoy!


  1. Arrhh so envious you're having a belly-ache eating all that goodie. These cupcakes look amazing and I'm sure it tastes delicious! I wish you live right next door. ;-) Have a good weekend and looking forward to your new recipe!

  2. Anonymous2.4.11

    triple yum!


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