Everyone please stop what you are doing and make this caramel frosting immediately. I realize the timing of this recipe is pretty poor as we have nearly made it through the biggest eating season of the year and the thought of rich and sugary food sounds less than appealing; but I wanted to document this family treasure as it is surely going to become a staple in our house for holidays and celebrations.
I most recently made this- or should I say I watched my mom teach me how to make this- for my family’s Christmas morning cinnamon rolls. It’s the most velvety, creamy, and delicious topping for anything your heart desires. Cinnamon rolls, cakes, cookies, a piece of cardboard. It really doesn’t matter. This frosting is very similar to the super fabulous brown sugar frosting that is ubiquitous in Amish country, but it turns out there is a specific technique to this type of recipe that I never realized. It is caramel, after all. My initial conspiracy theory was that a large group of elderly Amish ladies have been deliberately hiding vital information from me all these years, but the truth is that people (e.g., me) are supposed to be intelligent enough to know the basics of making caramel. Woops.
The trick to making this sweet nectar of the gods is to stop stirring the caramel once it comes to a boil. Otherwise, the end result is gritty and unpleasant. To help combat excess sugar accumulating on the insides of the pot, gentle scraping with a silicone pastry brush dipped in water works wonderfully. The use of a reliable candy thermometer is also vital in order to ensure the exact moment to remove the caramel from heat.
Again, I understand we are all gearing up to shed ourselves of decadent treats, but please consider revisiting this recipe a few months down the road when a special occasion necessitates a spectacular dessert. Many thanks to my Aunt Khaki and my mother for teaching me the magical ways of caramel frosting.
Wishing you all a healthy, happy, and safe 2017.
Yield: About 2 cups frosting
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Candy thermometer
- Silicone pastry brush
Gather candy thermometer and silicone pastry brush and place near work station. Fill a small bowl with water to dip pastry brush in. Set aside.
Place heavy cream and sugars in a large pot. Fix candy thermometer to side of pot so that the thermometer is submerged in the mixture. Place pot over medium heat and stir together with whisk. Once the mixture comes to a boil, STOP STIRRING IMMEDIATELY. Allow caramel to continue to boil gently. Dip pastry brush in water and carefully brush down the sides of pot to remove excess. Avoid the temptation to stir.
Continue this process until the temperature reaches soft ball stage (235 degrees).
Remove from heat and poor into a heat-resistant metal or glass bowl (I poured it directly into the bowl of my stand mixer). Allow mixture to cool.
Once cooled, mix the caramel in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. A hand mixer is fine to use, as well. Whip the mixture until it is light and fluffy, adding more cream if caramel is too thick. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for a few months. Enjoy!
Source: Aunt Khaki and my mother