Dark Chocolate Cupcakes filled with Salted Caramel and Topped with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Star sprinkles!

So I got this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cupcake book which I highly recommend. I decided to tweak it a little bit due to time restraints. So when I went to Paris we saw this pretty awesome spice stand in Galeries Lafayette. As you can imagine, I bought a bunch of delicious stuff; most importantly, pink fleur de sel. So with my newly bought fleur de sel, I decided to make the chocolate salted caramel cupcakes.

So the original recipe calls for Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting. I opted for just dipping the tops in the ganache because I didn’t have enough time to wait for it to cool and thicken into a frosting. If you want to use the frosting for this [which is also amazing] just put the ganache in the refrigerator and wait till it cools down.

So I noticed that if I filled my cupcake liners only 1/2 way they filled out perfectly, rather than using the 2/3 full that the recipe calls for. I always say you should fill in one cupcake liner and test it out to see how full you should make it. It’s always nicer to have your cupcakes pretty and unified and not overflowing. So once they are out of the oven, you need to cut a cone from them [make sure they are cooled completely]. Remember to save the cones to be able to re-top the cupcakes. You flip the cone around and cut off the pointy part and are left with just the circle end.

Then for the fun part! So I recommend making the ganache while the cupcakes are baking. Ganache is really easy to make, you just gotta be gentle and loving. Pour the heavy cream on the chocolate and let it sit and melt the chocolate. Also if the ganache hardens too much in the fridge, just microwave for a few seconds and mix till its the desired consistency. 🙂

Deliiccciousssssss!

So once your ganache is in the fridge and your cupcakes are out of the oven and coned, you can begin the caramel process. You don’t necessarily need a candy thermometer to make caramel, it just makes the process a bit more easy. So if you don’t use the candy thermometer you need to watch the caramel and when it turns a medium/dark amber color is when you should take it off the heat and pour in the cream. Remember to use a wooden spoon because it’s easier to clean [MUCH easier].

So this is a light amber, it needs to get a bit darker than this.

Be careful when you pour the cream in because the mixture WILL splatter and hot sugar on skin is very unpleasant! So once it stops bubbling and splattering you can begin filling the cone holes.

As you can see, the caramel starts seeping in. I recommend filling the holes to the top once on all, then going back and refilling again to the top. Depending on how big you made your holes you will be able to fill most to the top a second time. My cones were a tad big so I believe next time I’m going to make 1.5 times the caramel recipe to have enough caramel. But, the caramel makes the cake really moist and sweet, so if you don’t like that, keep to the original recipe.

So then it’s time to dip! I dipped with the holes untopped,  and then I topped them. Then I sprinkled with some white round sprinkles and some new edible star sprinkles I bought at Michaels 🙂

So if you want to make the original ones [which are also delicious], top the caramel holes and wait till the ganache has thickened to a frosting consistency. Put the frosting in pastry bags and pipe onto cupcakes. Sprinkle some fleur de sel or sea salt to finish!

The Cupcakes
Ingredients
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

Directions
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[I recommend only 1/2]. 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 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
Ingredients:
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

Directions
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.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Makes 4 cups [whenever I use the frosting on the cupcakes I need to multiply the recipe by 1.5 because I like to put a lot of frosting on my cupcakes. But, if you like a moderate amount of frosting, this recipe will do]

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup

Directions

  1. Place chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Bring cream and corn syrup just to a simmer over medium-high heat; pour mixture over chocolate. Let stand, without stirring, until chocolate begins to melt.
  2. Beginning near the center and working outward, stir melted chocolate into cream until mixture is combined and smooth (do not overstir).
  3. Refrigerate, stirring every 5 minutes, until frosting just barely begins to hold its shape and is slightly lighter in color. Use immediately (ganache will continue to thicken after you stop stirring).

Hope you enjoy!

Sincerely,

me 🙂

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