I especially like this gingerbread recipe as it is made using a cake mix and is not as strong a gingerbread taste and is a lighter texture than most gingerbread. I have found that often someone who does not care for gingerbread loves these little cakes. Once the cakes have completely cooled dust with powdered sugar.
To assemble the desserts heat the caramel sauce (I use the microwave and heat at 8 second intervals, stirring after each until it is warm enough to drizzle) transfer to a little pitcher or any other cup with a lip, drizzle on the cakes and then using real, canned whipped cream (or cream that you have whipped in a piping bag) fill the center hole, ready to serve.
Recipe for cake:
1 pkg Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
2 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup strong vanilla chai tea (or regular tea, your preference)
1 small box of vanilla instant pudding
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup light molasses
4 eggs (room temperature)
Place all the dry ingredients into the bowl of your mixer and mix on the lowest setting until the ingredients are mixed. Add the tea, oil and molasses and mix, then add the eggs, one at a time until all incorporated, about 2 minutes.
Pour batter into your prepared pans, greased and floured. If using a large bundt pan start checking at about 50 minutes, if using these small ones start checking at about 20 minutes. Also makes a nice loaf.
Recipe for Salted Maple Caramel Sauce:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter
1/2 cup maple sugar (is best with this but if you use regular sugar add about 1/4 cup maple syrup) maple sugar is much sweeter than regular sugar.
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp coarse kosher salt
5-6 drops maple extract
Melt butter in heavy medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add sugar (and maple syrup if using regular sugar), whisk until sugar melts and the mixture is thick and boiling, 2-3 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking often. Boil until sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and is reduced to about 1 cup, whisking often, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in the coarse salt and extract. Okay to make ahead of time - may be a week ahead. Cool, cover and chill.
Recipe from Bon Appétit magazine.
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