Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Makes 18 cupcakes
recipe adapted from The Farm Chicks

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 ¾  cup flour
¾  cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 ½  tsp baking powder
½  tsp fine sea salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½  cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
½ cup melted semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup boiling water

1.    Preheat oven to 350°F, line muffin tins with cupcake liners.*
2.    Sift together dry ingredients into mixing bowl
3.    Chop about ½ cup of semi sweet chocolate chunks in a double boiler
4.    Add all wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
5.    With a paddle attachment, mix on medium/low speed until incorporated. Be careful not to over beat so that the finished cupcake consistency does not turn out bread-like.
6.    Ladle mixture into cupcake liners
7.    Bake for 20 minutes (or until toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean)

*I ran out of cupcake liners and improvised by cutting 5”x5” squares of wax paper and pressing them into the cups in the muffin tin and smoothing out any creases. I actually preferred the way this looked – more professional.

SALTED CARAMEL (Used for filling and garnish) adapted from Cupcake Bake Shop by Chockylit

1 cup white granulated sugar
4 tbs water
2 tbs light corn syrup
½ cup heavy cream
½ tsp fine sea salt
2 tbs unsalted butter
½ tsp lemon juice

1.    Put sugar, water, and corn syrup in a large saucepan stir until sugar is incorporated.
2.    Cover and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
3.    Uncover and raise temperature to medium/high and bring mixture to a boil. Make sure from this point on to constantly shake pan to circulate sugar mixture so it will not burn. It can turn to a burnt mess in NO TIME.
4.    Cook until sugar turns a nice amber color (on the lighter side of amber) then remove from heat.
5.    Add heavy cream and stir. Sugar and cream mixture WILL bubble up, so watch your fingers.
6.    Finish by adding salt, butter, and lemon juice. Stir until smooth and transfer to a heat safe bowl.

SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING  (I make frosting by adding “a little o’ this, a little o’ that” until I’m satisfied. This is my best guess as to measurements of the ingredients.)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 stick salted butter
1/3 tbs fine sea salt
4 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbs water
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 Salted Caramel mixture

1.    Cream butter and salt together using a paddle attachment
2.    Alternate powdered sugar and heavy cream additions until all is incorporate
3.    Add caramel, vanilla, and water and beat until incorporated
4.    At this point I decided I wanted a fluffier frosting so I switched my paddle attachment to a whisk attachment and beat on high for about 8 minutes. Taste along the way to make sure it is the consistency you like.

1.    Cut out a small hole in the center of each cupcake, reserving cut out cake piece.
2.    Fill with about 1/3 tsp caramel mixture and replace cake piece. Do this to each cupcake.
3.    To frost, fill piping bag with frosting. (I used an open star tip on my piping bag.)
4.    Frost in a circular motion beginning from the outside edge and ending in the center.
5.    Garnish by drizzling remaining caramel sauce and sprinkling coarse sea salt over top of each cupcake.
6.    Serve!

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