A close friend of mine recently got engaged and although she and her fiancé are currently living in South America, they decided to have their wedding on Salt Spring Island this summer. Not only was this exciting because it’s Salt Spring (beautiful quaint little island off of Vancouver Island that I have fond childhood memories of cycle tripping around stopping for freshly baked gigantic cinnamon buns and also – weeks spent at the best summer camp any kid could imagine – Camp Narnia!) but also because it’s close enough that I could offer to bake for her wedding! I’d been wanting to bake for some more weddings lately but also hesitant to actually advertise my services in case dates and commitments and expectations didn’t work out. But this was perfect! Another 80-100 person low key wedding which was just the right size to be comfortable and manageable and when you’re doing it for friends it’s always more enjoyable. And the fun thing about weddings is the chance to try something new. For Inshan and Madiha’s wedding I got to perfect my coconut cream cheese cupcakes. For Bertin and Elaine’s wedding it was finding the right chocolate coffee cupcakes and branching out my flavour repertoire in general.
Alysia’s flavour requests on the other hand were completely new to me. Both options were flavours I hadn’t even really heard of – Spiced Whisky Chocolate Cake with Whisky Caramel frosting and Salted Caramel Apple Cake. Clearly there was a caramel theme going on here that I would need to get comfortable with!
I opted to go with the caramel apple combo for my first recipe trial. I thought cupcakes would be a quicker and easier way to test the recipe and tweak it as I always do. And it would also allow me to make a smaller amount that I could bring in to work to pawn off on coworkers. (When I say pawn off it’s not that my coworkers aren’t eager to gobble up free baked goods, it’s that these cupcakes would come with strings attached – anyone who wants to eat one has to fill out my comprehensive Cupcake Evaluation Form – an extensive cupcake rating spreadsheet that John put together for me when I was trying out new flavours and recipes for Elaine and Bertin’s wedding. It’s fun to make people be critical and actually think about something they normally wouldn’t. And when people take it really seriously it makes it a ton of fun to read! Such as this comment from Amy: “kind of plain- could use more spices (DOUBLE spiced? Make it triple!)… perfect balance of sweetness, needs a bit more icing only because I was left wanting MORE..”)
The caramel sauce added some work to the overall cupcake effort, and in my opinion even just the added caramel drizzle made for a very sweet cupcake. I usually try to tone down the sweetness by reducing the sugar since I know the icing will always make up for it in the sweetness department. All in all I think the cupcakes were a success especially if you’re a caramel person! Stay tuned for more pictures and the recipe!
**note: I like to ice and finish decorating my cupcakes when they’re in their transport containers for their final destination as this lessens the chance of disaster when transferring a (very) top heavy cupcake from dish to container, however I realize this makes it look like I’m just taking pictures of cupcakes I just purchased from Crave and passing them off as my own which I assure is NOT the case! I just like reusing Crave’s transport containers because I can fit a dozen cupcakes in my backpack which is perfect for riding my bike to work 🙂