My neighbor, Brenna made some AMAZING Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes a couple of weeks ago and I had her share the recipe with me so that we could make them for our Football Party shoot! She used 3 recipes to create these incredible cupcakes: one for the cake, one for the filling and one for the frosting. Give them a try…they are so good!
Double Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder (I used Hershey Special Dark)
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup boiling water
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin tins with liners and set aside.
2. In the bowl of your mixer, combine sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Add your mini chocolate chips and toss to coat. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in boiling water. Fill muffin tins evenly with batter and bake for about 15 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched in the center. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Salted Caramel Swiss Buttercream (for filling)
Yield: ~4 cups
1 cup (200 g/7 oz) sugar
1/4 cup (60 mL) water
1/4 cup (60 mL) heavy cream
generous pinch of sea salt (and additional sea salt, preferably Fleur de Sel, for sprinkling), for example: Fleur de Sel De Guerande- French Sea Salt ; 6oz
1 1/2 cups (340 g/12 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large egg whites (120 g/4 oz)
1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
The first step is making the salted caramel (you can also do a non-salted caramel by omitting the sea salt), to set aside to cool while you make the Swiss Buttercream. You then add the cooled caramel sauce it to the buttercream as the very last step. I haven’t tried buying ready-made gourmet caramel sauce and adding it, but I suspect it would taste nothing short of awesome.
1. Place 130 grams (5 ounces or 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) of the sugar and the water in a medium saucepan to a boil over medium heat. Brush down the sides of the pot with a dampened pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Stop stirring and cook until caramel is dark amber, gently swirling from time to time. Remove from heat, and slowly add cream, whisking by hand until smooth. It will be splatter, so be careful. Whisk in sea salt and vanilla. Let cool.
2. Place butter in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (flat beater) and beat on medium speed (I use #4 on my mixer), until pale and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
3. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer clean with lemon juice, and place egg whites and remaining sugar into bowl over a pot of simmering water (not boiling–you don’t want to cook the eggs). Whisk occasionally and gently until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160° on a candy thermometer.
4. Remove the bowl from heat, and place back onto the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form (about 5-6 minutes). Once the bottom of the bowl is neutral and no longer warm to the touch, reduce speed to medium-low, and add beaten butter, one cup at a time, whisking well after each addition.
5. Switch to paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, add cooled caramel, and beat until smooth (about 3-5 minutes).
6. Prepare to taste the most incredible buttercream you will ever encounter.
Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting
Yield: ~5 cups
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (45 g/1.5 oz) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (I useCacao Barry Cocoa Powder – Extra Dark)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (90 mL/3 oz) boiling water
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks/341 g/12 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (63 g/2 oz) confectioners’ (icing/powdered) sugar
pinch of salt
1 pound (454 g/16 oz) good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1. Combine cocoa powder and the boiling water in a small bowl or glass measuring cup, and stir until it cocoa has dissolved.
2. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (flat beater), beat the butter, the icing sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until it is pale and fluffy–about 5 minutes.
3. Reduce mixer speed to low, and add melted chocolate (cooled), beating until combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. Beat in the cocoa mixture until well incorporated.
1. Frosting can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 1 month in an airtight container.
2. Before using, bring to room temperature (usually overnight on counter does the trick), and beat on low speed until smooth.
Do they take some time to make? Yes.
Are they worth it? Absolutely.