One of the components I settled on was salt. It is perhaps one of the most iconic things in Supernatural. It's one of the most common weapons the Winchesters deploy against demons and ghosts alike---and we see it used in a variety of ways. They make rock salt bullets. They make circles with it. They line the windowsills and doorways with it. Salt is key for the boys. So, I went on a search for a way to make a cupcake for Supernatural Cupcake Wars that would fit the bill---and be tasty. After all, no one wants to eat something that's too salty!
I found a Salted Caramel Cupcake that seemed delicious.
But visually it wouldn't have that Supernatural signature. Luckily I had a bit of gingerbread dough left from Christmas cookies that I could cut out little gingerbread men---and gingerbread angels. I give to you the Possessed cupcakes. (To be honest, I had no idea they'd be so spot on considering that Crowley AND Gadreel end up possessing Sam all at once. As you all know, I'm a major spoilerphobe. I'm calling this one a happy accident!)
Here's the recipes I used:
Fast Track Gingerbread Cookies (From All Recipes)
1 lb or 2 packed cups dark brown sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter
1/3 cup molasses
2 large eggs, room temperature
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp ground gingerbread
1 ½ tsp all spice
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Combine sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Add molasses. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides after each addition.
In another large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Slowly add to the brown sugar mixture until a thick dough forms. Divide dough into four parts.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one portion of the dough until it is ¼ inch thick. Cut out shapes and place on baking sheet, 1 inch apart. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool completely before removing from pan.
Yield: 8 dozen cookies
I know. That's an awful lot of cookies for 15 cupcakes, but the cookies are a treat all their own. We made three of the quarters of dough for Christmas, and within a week these cookies disappeared. They have a nice ginger flavor and an excellent crunch. Trust me.
I decided to sprinkle the angel cutouts with a blue sugar. Since angels are bluish white---both as the energy floating above a vessel or the blue eyes we see when they display power---it seemed appropriate to make them blue. I decided to leave their wings on for the cupcakes, but if you should have some that have broken wings during the baking process you could always chock it up to the Fall. In light of the episode, I've decided my angels are Gadreel.
For the gingerbread men cutouts, I had originally wanted to make them victims trapped in a salt circle, being protected by Sam and Dean. However, the cupcakes that I baked aren't really that big to do it, so I chose instead to make them demons. My only problem is the icing tubes at the store never seem to have black, so I ended up with red only. So, they're all Crowley. (Note: If I had black frosting AND skill, I'd give him his signature black suit, too).
Next, I baked up the cupcakes themselves. The recipe is:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with papers. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
Cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add vanilla. Mix and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full. Bake for about 25 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.
(Apparently the cupcakes took too long to bake, because here's my sous chef, Peyton, telling me to rush the process)
These cupcakes came out rather well---albeit smaller than I had hoped. Due to the small yield, I decided not to sacrifice one to the cook, waiting until the final product before tasting.I took a parring knife once they were completely cooled and cut a small round out of the top, pressing the cake in to form a small well. I then set them aside so I could make the salted caramel filling.
The recipe is this:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter cubed
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
Melt the sugar over medium high heat in a large pot. Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. You may have some lumps but keep stirring until they have melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
This part of the cupcake made me slightly nervous. Sugar is a delicate operation, but after having made other caramel sauces I was confident I could make this one, too. The result is a nice smooth caramel with a little bit of a salty kick.
I then took a teaspoon and drizzled the filling into each cupcake carefully, replacing the small round so frosting them would be easier to do later on. I could tell already that they'd be a tasty treat.
Next came the salted caramel buttercream frosting. The recipe is here:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.
In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
This frosting made me nervous. I'm fairly pro at making buttercream frosting by now, but using salted butter made me worry a bit. I was afraid it'd be way too salty. I tasted it, and yes, I found it to be a bit too much. I'd consider swapping it for standard buttercream in the future, perhaps.
Next, I frosted the cupcakes and then I put my cookie toppers on, standing up. For keeping purposes, I decided to lay them down so they'd store better in the refrigerator. Either method would work great and keep the Supernatural theme going well.
So, how do they taste?
Once I chilled the cupcakes, the saltiness of the buttercream toned way down. I loved the cake itself. The buttermilk flavor is nice and sweet, complimenting the salty elements beautifully. It also has a nice moist texture. The salted caramel filling is amazing. In fact, if I wanted to, I'd consider making the sauce just to eat or pour over icecream or just about anything. It's that good. Inside the cake, it's like a little treasure waiting to be devoured. With the cookie lying on top of the cupcake, it also tempers some of the saltiness of the buttercream and makes it a wonderful cupcake experience.
I'd have to say that this is perhaps my second favorite cupcake---after the “Freakin' Worth It” Cupcakes.
In a way, this cupcake allows all of us to be possessed, as Sam was, by both a demon and an angel at the same time! Eat an angel cupcake and a demon cupcake and let them duke it out. Don't worry, it'll be a tasty fight!
Any suggestions anyone has for another Supernatural Cupcake War would be appreciated! I hope you enjoyed this one!