Salted Caramel Cupcakes
This has become one of our favourite and quite possibly bestselling cupcakes almost overnight. Like Martha, our chef Lisa Chan loves salted caramel so she was just as keen to make the perfect cupcake version. We have also made this as a giant cupcake, which worked equally well.
|For the cakes:|
|110g||unsalted butter, at room temperature|
|225g||caster sugar, preferably golden|
|2||large eggs, free-range or organic|
|1 tsp||good-quality vanilla extract|
|1||bar of caramel chocolate, such as Galaxy, broken into 12 pieces|
|For the salted caramel buttercream icing:|
|1 tsp||fleur de sel|
|Hard caramel sweets, such as Werther's Originals or similar, crushed|
|Extra fleur de sel to decorate|
You will need a 12-hole muffin tray.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C (fan)/350°F/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with muffin cases.
Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture is pale and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing briefly after each addition. This can take a few minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure the mixture stays well combined.
Put the vanilla extract and milk into a plastic measuring jug. Combine the two flours in a separate bowl. Add one-third of the flours to the combined butter and sugar mixture and beat well.
Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk has been added.
Carefully and evenly spoon the mixture into the muffin cases. Add one piece of the chocolate to each case and push it in slightly. You will find it sinks to the bottom of the case during baking.
Bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 25 minutes, until slightly raised and golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Leave the cupcakes in the tray for 10 minutes or so, then place carefully on a wire rack to cool.
While they are cooling, make the salted caramel buttercream icing. First make a salted caramel sauce. As this is a very hot liquid, you need to be careful when making it.
Place the granulated sugar and water in a clean, medium-sized saucepan. Place it over a medium heat on the hob. Do not stir the mixture at all, as this will cause the sugar syrup to crystallize. Swirl the pan occasionally and gently until all the sugar has dissolved, then turn the heat up high and let the syrup boil.
While the sugar syrup is boiling, pour the cream into a separate pan and add 1 teaspoon of fleur de sel. Heat the cream over a medium heat until it starts 'smoking' (at approximately 80C). Turn the heat down to medium/low and stir occasionally to stop the cream from forming a skin on top. Do not allow it to boil.
Once the sugar syrup turns an amber colour, remove it from the heat and immediately add a small portion of the hot cream to the pan. Stir quickly with a wooden spoon to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan. Be careful when adding the cream, as it will bubble up, rise very quickly, let off steam and may splutter.
Add the remaining cream in small amounts, stirring constantly. Once all the cream is incorporated, pour the sauce into a bowl and set it aside to cool.
Once the caramel sauce is cool, beat it with the butter. Add half the icing sugar and beat again, then add the rest of the sugar and beat until smooth.
Ice each cupcake with some of the buttercream and sprinkle some of the crushed sweets and a little fleur de sel over each one.