When I saw this pin on Pinterest, a lightbulb went off. The adorable little chocolate covered salted caramels would be excellent converted into cupcakes! I’ve seen plenty of salted caramel cupcakes before, but I wanted to take a different approach. These tasty morsels – that are seriously so amazing, it’s made my husband break his diet! – use a dark chocolate cake recipe I picked up from the incredibly talented (and sweet) Rosie of Sweetapolita along with a salted caramel filling I put together and a rich, classic chocolate ganache.
By now I bet your tummy is rumbling as mine is! Thanks again to Rosie of Sweetapolita for letting me use her recipe! It’s an amazing cake, and will certainly be my new go-to for chocolate cake.
- 1½ cups unsalted butter
- ½ cup boiling water
- ¾ cup premium dark cocoa powder
- 2¼ cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
SALTED CARAMEL FILLING
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1¼ teaspoons fleur de sel
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1½ cups finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 3 tablespoons corn syrup
- pink Himalayan salt (for garnish)
Start with the cake. Sift cocoa powder into a medium bowl and add boiling water; whisk and set aside to cool.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed for about three to five minutes until the mixture is lighter in color and slightly increased in volume. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Sift the flour and baking soda into a medium bowl. Add the salt to the dry ingredients after sifting and whisk together. Whisk buttermilk into cocoa mixture. Alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk into butter mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated, or finish by hand gently.
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Divide the batter evenly into liner lined cupcake pans, filling each cup to about ¾ full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out barely clean so as not to overbake, then set aside to cool.
While the cupcakes are cooling, start the salted caramel filling. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. When it is fully melted, add the sugar and corn syrup. Stir constantly until the mixture darkens to the classic caramel color. Add the cream slowly, stirring continuously to incorporate. Add in the fleur de sel, stirring constantly until it has dissolved into the mixture. Cook for an additional two minutes then remove from heat and set aside to cool and thicken slightly.
Using a butter knife, cut a circle in the cupcake that is about an inch wide and thins into a cone shape. Do not cut so deep that you cut clean through to the bottom. Remove the piece of cake and cut off the cone so the circle becomes a coin. Repeat this for all of the cupcakes. When the caramel filling has cooled, use a spoon to fill the hole with the caramel. Leave a little room so that you can replace the coin top and push it into the hole until it is level with the rest of the cupcake top while ensuring no filling overflows. If it does, lightly scrape it off so the surface of the cupcake is clean. Set the cupcakes aside.
Make the ganache. In a medium bowl, place the chocolate and corn syrup. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the heavy cream until it is hot but not bubbling. Pour the warmed heavy cream into the mixing bowl with the chocolate and corn syrup and whisk until the chocolate is melted and all the ingredients are completely incorporated. Allow to cool slightly to thicken.
With a spoon, pour a small amount of ganache over the top of each cupcake to cover the surface without overflow. Repeat until all the cupcakes are covered. Before the ganache sets, add a small pinch of pink Himalayan salt to garnish the top and add a small extra shot of salt to balance the sweetness.
Yields 24 cupcakes.