For those of you in the know: This is my 13th cupcake in my 175 Martha Stewart Cupcake ideas self challenge. According to Martha Stewart: "Salted caramel's, including chocolate varieties, have become quite popular in recent years; a touch of salt draws out caramel's buttery taste and highlights the sweetness. This cupcake created with the candy's popularity in mind, serves as an excellent incentive to try your hand at making caramel at home. The soft caramel centers hide under a piped peak of satiny chocolate frosting. Fleur de sel, a type of sea salt prized for its distinctive flavor, in available at specialty stores; if you can't find it, you may substitute another sea salt, such as Maldon."
With this recipe you get to make the cupcakes, the caramel that goes into the cupcakes, and the dark chocolate frosting. I did these cupcakes over two days. First I made the cupcakes,which was fairly easy. While the recipe called for makeing 56 mini cupcakes, I really didn't think that I could handle that, so I opted out for the 18 regular cupcakes instead.
Then, last night I made the caramel and I thought it was pretty easy. It seemed to take longer than I thought it would to turn amber, but eventually, it did! And, was it ever good! I can picture making caramels for the holidays with this recipe. It's the first one that's worked for me.
Today, I made the frosting. I was blown away at how easy it was. And, I was surprised at how with such little confectioner's sugar, it help up to the pastry bag. This recipe called for 4-1/2 sticks of butter! You could probably use it as moisterizer! The recipe has just a few ingredients, but has awesome flavor.
The one thing I was having a problem figuring out was how to melt both the chocolate chips in the microwave, and/or boiling the water for the dry chocolate. I ended up doing it at the same time. It was a little harried but eventutally worked out just right!
Finally, we got to the part where we photograph the the lovely Layla with the cupcakes...She was very attracted to the chocolate aroma. But, regally hung in there and earned her special treat of a nice salmon doggy biscuit.
Below are the three recipes...have a great week...CQ and Layla!
Martha Stewart's Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup warm water
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line mini muffin tin with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add eggs, buttermilk, oil, extract, and the water; beat until smooth and combined.
Spoon the batter into liners about two-thirds full. Bake approximately 15 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Transfer tins to wire racks and allow to cool for 10 minutes; turn cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 1 month in air tight containers.
To finish, use a paring knife to cut a cone-shaped piece (about 1/2 inch deep) from the center of each cupcake and throw away the pieces. Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons warm Salted Caramel Filling into each hollowed-out cupcake. You will notice the caramel will sink into the cupcake a little, just fill it up a bit more. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over filling.
Use a pastry bag with a medium open-star tip (I used Wilton #1M) and pipe Dark Chocolate Frosting onto each cupcake, swirling tip and releasing as you pull up to form a peak. Garnish each cupcake with a pinch of sea salt. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are filled and frosted. Store at room temperature in airtight containers - do NOT refrigerate. Enjoy!
Salted Caramel Filling
2 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, preferably fleur de sel
Heat sugar with the water and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan over high, stirring occasionally, until syrup is clear; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan and stop stirring.
Cook until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush as needed. Boil, gently swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is caramelized and just reaches 360°F. Remove rom heat and slowly pour in cream; stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in sea salt.
Use immediately; if caramel begins to harden reheat gently until pourable.
Dark Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds best-quality semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Combine cocoa and boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved.
With electric mixer on medium-high, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.
Frosting can be refrigerated up to 5 days, or frozen up to 1 month in an air tight container. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat on low speed until smooth again.