I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not very good at making caramel. I’ve only made caramel once before and I burnt it, this second time was no exception. Not only did I burn it, but I made a huge mess of it all over my stove. So two pieces of advice, use a medium sized saucepan, and keep a watchful eye on your candy thermometer.
Even with the slightly burnt salted caramel I went on. Unfortunately I had already cut out a hole for the salted caramel to be filled inside the cupcakes, and only as I am writing this did I think that I could have used the buttercream inside instead. Oh well. I filled the cupcakes with the salted caramel and used it the buttercream. My preference for these cupcakes would be to just have the salted caramel buttercream on a plain chocolate cupcake. I personally found them overly sweet, and that seemed to be the general consensus among everyone. I’m sure you’ll have more luck with the salted caramel, so I urge you to give these a try!
Note: You will need a candy thermometer for making the caramel. I found once the temperature reached 350 degrees, it increased in temperature extremely quickly.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Makes 18 Cupcakes
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces high-quality milk chocolate chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Makes about 2 cups (you can half this if you don’t plan on filling the cupcakes)
2 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, preferably fleur de sel
Makes about 3 1/2 cups
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
3 – 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/3 cup salted caramel
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with 18 paper liners.
- Combine cocoa powder, and chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour boiling water over and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the buttermilk.
- In a small bowl whisk flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Using electric mixer, cream brown sugar, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the flour mixture, alternating with the chocolate mixture in 2 additions. Divide batter among paper liners.
- Bake for about 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool in pans on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to cooling rack and cool completely.
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, heat sugar, water and corn syrup until syrup is clear. Stir occasionally. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Stop stirring, and cook until syrup comes to a boil.
- Boil, gently swirling pot occasionally, until mixture is caramelized and just reaches 360 degrees F. Remove from heat; slowly pour in cream (mixture will bubble a lot) and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in sea salt.
- Using an electric mixer on low, beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt until incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in the heavy cream. Beat in cooled salted caramel. If mixture is to soft u may beat in more sugar. Whip frosting for on high for several minutes until light, smooth, and you can no longer feel or taste any graininess from the powdered sugar. About 7 to 10 minutes.