As we continue the maple sugaring series by Matt Taylor of his family farm, Taylor Brothers Sugarhouse & Creamery, I wanted to weigh in with one of the recipes I created for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon. This was “finish line prize” for all entrants in 2010- cross the line, grab a cupcake! You will see there is plenty of sugar and fat to replace anything lost in a half marathon:)…and, if you love maple, this is the sweet treat for you.
Be sure to make the maple toffee several hours before ( or even the day before) so it has plenty of time to harden properly. Any extra toffee you have you can share with friends, family and coworkers. You will be appreciated.
BUTTERMILK MAPLE CAKE
Preheat oven to 350°F.
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tbs maple syrup
2 large eggs ( at room temp)
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk (at room temperature)
Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla AND MAPLE SYRUP. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then, with mixer at low speed, beat in all of buttermilk until just combined. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing after each addition until just combined.
Spoon batter into cupcake pan. Bake 17 minutes ( test for doneness)
YIELD: 16 cupcakes
3 cups powered sugar
2 stick of unsalted butter
8 tbs maple syrup
4 drops maple extract
add crushed MAPLE TOFFEE ( SEE BELOW) to taste
Yield: 14-16 cupcakes
MAPLE PECAN TOFFEE
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 drop maple extract
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (about 5 ounces) coarsely chopped pecans ( I used chocolate chips)
Dust with finely chopped pecans.
Butter a cookie sheet.
Melt 1 cup butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and cream of tartar and stir until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high. Brush down sides of pan with wet pastry brush. Cook until mixture registers 310°F. on candy thermometer, stirring occasionally, about 11 minutes.
Immediately pour toffee into prepared pan. Let stand 1 minute. Sprinkle with chocolate. Let stand 2 minutes to soften. Spread chocolate with back of spoon over toffee until melted and spoon over toffee until melted and smooth. Sprinkle with pecans ( or ground pecans). Refrigerate if needed until firm ( in the winter there is no need. It hardens in kitchen) . Remove toffee from pan. Break into 1-inch pieces. (Can be prepared 4 days ahead. Chill in airtight container.) Garnish cupcake with a wedge ( and add crushed to frosting)
YIELD: SOOOOO MUCH! Approx 50 cupcakes. Plenty to munch on while baking.