Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Icing

Chocolate and salted caramel – what a classic combo! As you can probably tell from my earlier post on my salted caramel ice-cream I am quite the salted caramel fiend. I don’t have a massive sweet tooth and prefer, bitter, saltier flavours so these cupcakes, that use dark chocolate and the salty caramel were right up my alley. I love this combination of flavours and I think they will be my go to cupcakes from now on!

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Also I am the world’s worst froster – and I was actually quite proud of my efforts – I think I am improving! Woo!

The cupcake recipe I used was from Add A Pinch that you can find here and they were absolutely gorgeous. So moist (worst food word but it is true!) and they have a great chocolate flavour. I had to cook my cupcakes for slightly longer (more like 18 minutes) than her recipe suggested but other than that they worked perfectly and made exactly 12 cupcakes!

As for the salted caramel, I adapted a recipe that you can find here, but read on to find out how I did it.

** You will need a pastry brush and a little bowl of water before you start

Ingredients

Salted Caramel  

Any left over caramel can be kept in the fridge and used on anything that needs salted caramel which is everything! 

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tbs water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature – This is really important to reduce how much your caramel spits/bubbles at you!
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes – I like mine really salty, but feel free to add less

Frosting 

  • 225 grams of butter, at room temp
  • 225 grams of cream cheese, at room temp
  • 2-3 cups of sifted icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup of the salted caramel

Method

Keep an eye on your caramel the whole time – a lot can change very quickly and you don’t want to have to start it all over!

  1. Place the sugar and water in large saucepan or frying pan over a medium heat and stir gently with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Now increase the heat until the mixture starts to simmer gently – you dont want it boiling too much or it will spit and trust me – you do not want a sugar burn – I learnt that the hard way!
  3. This is where the pastry brush comes in. Make sure you keep an eye on your caramel, it will start to form crystals on the side of the pan. To stop these from burning and the caramel from crystallising, dip your pastry brush in the water and brush it on these crystals on the side. This should cause them to dissolve – problemo solved!
  4. From this point on just swirl the liquid in the pan rather than stirring it with the wooden spoon, and cook until the caramel goes a nice amber colour. I like mine quite dark but be careful not to take it too far and burn it.
  5. When the caramel reaches a colour that you like, take it off the heat and go and grab a whisk and your cream.
  6. Now slowly and very carefully add the cream, whisking the whole time – the caramel will spit and have a bit of a tantrum but just keep going until it’s all incorporated.
  7. Add the butter, lemon juice and salt to the caramel and combine. Leave to cool for 10 or so minutes while you make the frosting.
  8. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until fully combined, creamy and light.
  9. Add 1 cup of the salted caramel that you just made and beat until combined.
  10. Then at a low speed, to avoid an icing sugar snowstorm, slowly add 2 cups of the icing sugar and beat until fully combined. After this you can add as much or as little icing sugar as you want to reach your desired sweetness.
  11. Place the frosting in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so it can firm up, making it easy to pipe.
  12. Then add the frosting to a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes – make sure the cupcakes are completely cool before you put the icing on or it will be a devastating river of melted caramel – and no one wants that!

I hope you enjoy these cupcakes as much as I do!

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