After reading the title, you may be asking yourself–what the heck is burnt cinnamon? When I first heard of it, I thought the same thing. Of course I was curious to know what it tasted like, so baking time ensued after a short deliberation on how to use it.
I will say this–making burnt cinnamon is one of the easiest things ever. You literally take a cinnamon stick, place it on a sheet pan, and torch it with a brulee torch. Voila! You have burnt cinnamon.
Charring the outside changes the flavor of the cinnamon. It mellows it out and adds roasted chocolatey notes. It only changes the flavor slightly, so you can use it in any recipe that calls for cinnamon.
I am hooked. I will probably forever char my cinnamon before adding it to a recipe.
After it is charred you can grate it yourself, or steep in it milk to transfer the flavor. For this recipe I did both.
Since the air is so crisp and cool out, completely unlike the low country, I wanted to use a few falls flavors. Do not get me wrong, I love pumpkin but I wanted to stay clear of it as a fall flavor. Maple seemed ideal, and would be easy to impart into any recipe as the sweetener.
I created these tiny cakes by baking them in a maple leaf cake mold. You can bake the batter in any miniature cake mold or bake the entire cake in a bunt cake pan. I recommend a bunt cake pan, if you go big, because the batter results in a denser cake.
- 1 Stick of Butter, softened
- 1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar, packed
- 1/2 Cup of Maple Syrup
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 1/2 Cup of Milk
- 1 Egg
- 1 1/2 Cups of Flour
- 1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
- 1/2 Cup of Powdered Sugar
- Burn the outside of your cinnamon stick with a torch. Set aside to cool.
- Once cooled grate 1/2 teaspoon from the cinnamon stick and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine your milk and cinnamon stick. Bring to a low simmer then cover and let steep for approximately 15 minutes. Set milk aside to let cool before using.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and prepare your cake pan by coating it in butter then flour. Be sure to shake out the excess flour.
- In your stand mixer, cream together your butter and brown sugar. Beat on medium for approximately five minutes or until light and fluffy.
- While the butter mixes, prepare your dry mix. In a bowl mix together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and grated burnt cinnamon. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together your eggs, 1/4 cup of milk, vanilla, and maple syrup. Set aside.
- With the stand mixer on low, mix in 1/3 of your dry mixture. Next, mix in 1/3 of your wet mixture. Continue alternating between wet and dry, ending on the addition of the final 1/3 of your we mixture. Do not over mix.
- Pour your batter into the desired pan and level off. If using mini cake pans, only fill each one until 2/3 full.
- Bake your mini cakes for 20 minutes. For a full cake, it should take approximately 45 mintues to bake. To check doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake and if it comes out clean the cake is baked.
- Remove the cake(s)from oven and allow to cool completely before glazing.
- To create the glaze, combine powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of cinnamon milk. Whisk together until smooth, add more milk as needed if glaze is too thick. You want the glaze to resemble a thin paste.
- Glaze the outside of a large cake by pouring the glaze over the cake. For the small cakes, you can dunk the tops into the glaze.