SALTED CHOCOLATE CARAMEL CUPCAKES
BROWN SUGAR CUPCAKES
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon SEA salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1/2 teaspoon PURE maple syrup
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter, cubed
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon PURE maple syrup (extract is okay)
1 stick salted butter, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325 ˚ and line a muffin tin with your favorite cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar over medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about three minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Mix in the vanilla and maple.
- Add the flour mixture in batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beating until well blended.
- Using a medium ice cream scoop, divide the batter evenly between the lined cups, filling each a little over half way.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then turn the cupcakes out onto wire racks to cool completely.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt the sugar, whisking occasionally. Cook until the sugar turns a deep amber.
- Stir in the butter until melted.
- Pour in the heavy cream carefully as the mixture will bubble and foam. Whisk until the mixture becomes a smooth sauce. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- To fill the cupcakes, with a small pairing knife, cut out a circle in the center of each cupcake about 1 inch deep. Don’t discard the cutouts. Spoon 1 teaspoon of sauce in the center of each cupcake and place the tops back on.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the sugar and water. Bring to a boil and cook without stirring until the mixture turns a deep amber. Remove from heat.
- Slowly add the cream, maple and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Set aside and let cool for at least 20 minutes. It will still be pourable, just not burn your face off hot any more.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar. Scrape down the sides and with the motor still running on low, pour in the cooled caramel. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Spoon icing into an pastry bag fitted with desired tip and ice cupcakes.