i'm not a big fan of homemade frosting. or, perhaps i should say i'm not a big fan of my homemade frosting. then again, i'm also not a huge fan of all the chemicals in store-bought frosting (although i do find the actual frosting to be quite delicious). in fact, i've only once found one recipe for homemade frosting that i like, nay, i'll say it - love. i love that recipe (try it!). i often think the problem lies in how much powdered sugar i have to use - it is my least favorite of all the sugars because yes, you can rank your sugars in terms of likability (brown sugar has the number one spot in my heart, obvi). however, when i visited brian at christmas i found a ton of enticing recipes in the christmas edition of "southern living", so he brought it back for me and here we are: salted caramel frosting.
1 c. of firmly packed brown sugar
1 c. butter
1/3 c. heavy cream
4 c. of powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. sea salt
we begin with melting our butter in our brown sugar over medium heat in a saucepan, whisking constantly until we've brought it to a rolling boil. (rolling i say!) which means to say: it is boiling vigorously and cannot be disrupted or stopped by stirring (you heard it here first). remove the pan from the heat, stir in the cream, return back to the heat, then return back to a boil.
after you have brought the mixture back to a boil, pour into the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. gradually beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until thickened; about seven to ten minutes.
and then - as you do: frost the damn thing, of course. taking great care to sprinkle each layer with a few good shakes of sea salt in order to emphasize the salted part of this salted caramel frosting. i found it didn't really taste salty to me, so i probably used a bit more than the recommended 1/2 tsp. of sea salt.
so - how did a homemade frosting hater like me feel about it? pretty, pretty, pretty good. and the reaction i got from those i served it to was also quite enthusiastic. although i would say they liked it more than i did - the stiffness of homemade frosting, the immense amount of powdered sugar (full disclosure: i didn't use all the powdered sugar, maybe more like 3 1/2 cups) - it's all a little disappointing. but, BUT, this recipe was so easy to make and can be played around with that i know i'm going to be making it a few more times to try and perfect it (perhaps a touch of cream when beating it to make it silkier). and if you have any tips on how to make better homemade frosting, or your favorite recipes, please share below.