Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel - An Affair To Remember

Chocolate, salted caramel, toffee......these flavors are fabulous on their own, but most important, like the characters from An Affair To Remember....they were meant to be together!

Who wouldn't want to bite into this beautiful cupcake with all of those fabulous, intense flavors?  I'm drooling just thinking about them!

There are a lot of flavors going on in these cupcakes but is it too much?  No, no it is not. Trust me!  The chocolate cupcake has a mixture of cocoa powder and melted dark chocolate giving it a very rich chocolate flavor.  This is a new recipe for me (I'm always trying different recipes) and I thought it was delicious but I am still in search of my all time favorite chocolate cupcake.  The moistness was there, the flavor was there (the flavor was fabulous), I just want a little more height and airiness!  

These cupcakes are filled with a caramel sauce that is thick and delicious and there is a slight hint of saltiness. 

I used Maldon salt flakes and so there is also the occasional surprise crunch from one of the flakes. Delicious!  If you don't have Maldon salt, you can use your favorite sea salt.  I think that a flake or courser salt would give a better texture but the flavor would definitely still be there with a finer salt.

We all know what my favorite part of the cupcake was.....the swiss meringue buttercream!  Not just my plain buttercream sir, I mixed in some of that gooey salted caramel.  Best buttercream EVER!  Top that off with a bite size toffee bar and a drizzle of some more caramel....PERFECTION!  

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel - An Affair To Remember

The Cupcake: via Cupcake Project
1/4 cup (2 ounces) butter, room temperature
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 ounces of your dark chocolate
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (4 1/2 fluid ounces) vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup (2 3/4 ounce) full-fat sour cream
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (2 ounces) cocoa powder (natural or dutched will both work with this recipe)
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) room temperature water

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until fully combined. The end result should look like wet sand.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler.  Once the melted chocolate is cool enough to touch, add it to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until just combined.  Mix in eggs and egg yolks one at a time until just combined.  Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream until just combined.

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder into a separate medium-sized bowl. Use a fork or a whisk to ensure that the ingredients are mixed well after sifting.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three additions, mixing until just combined after each addition.  Mix in water until just combined.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake should come out clean. 

Salted Caramel Sauce: Via Two Peas and Their Pod
2 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flakes

First, make sure you have all of the ingredients ready. Once you start the caramel sauce you have to pay close attention so you don't burn it. To begin, heat the sugar over medium high-heat in the bottom of a heavy 2-3 quart saucepan. When the sugar starts to melt, start whisking the sugar. The sugar will clump up, but keep whisking. It will continue to melt. When the sugar is melted, stop whisking. You can swirl the pan to move the sugar around.

Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches a deep amber color. Make sure you watch the pan very closely. This is where it is easy to burn the caramel. You want the caramel to reach 350 degrees F. If you are new to making caramel, I suggest using a thermometer.

As soon as the sugar reaches the dark amber color, carefully add the butter. Whisk until butter is melted. If the sugar gets stuck to the whisk, you can switch to a wooden spoon.

Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream. Whisk until cream is incorporated and caramel is smooth. Whisk in the fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flakes.

Let the caramel sauce cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Pour the caramel into a large jar and cool to room temperature. Put the salted caramel sauce in the refrigerator. Store the salted caramel sauce in the refrigerator for about a month.

Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream: adapted from
5 large egg whites
11/2 cup sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/3 cup caramel sauce

Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 150 degrees F while whisking constantly.

Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume.

Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking-this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine. Add caramel sauce and mix to combine.

Assemble the cupcakes:
Bite size heath bars
Maldon Salt to sprinkle on caramel

Use a paring knife to cut a cone-shaped piece (about 1/2 inch deep) from the center of each cupcake and throw away the pieces (or eat them all when no one is's your call). Spoon caramel filling into the cupcake. Sprinkle a little more maldon salt on top of the caramel filling.  Frost with buttercream and drizzle with more of the caramel sauce, then decorate with a bite sized heath bar!

Recipe Shared On:
Chocolate, Chocolate, and More - Thursday's Treasures
21st Century Housewife - Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
Memories By The Mile
Tumbleweed Contessa - What'd you do this weekend


  1. Mmmm I remember making these cupcakes - best ever or is it just me? ;)
    Yours look super sensational friend!

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. OMG I am drooling all over the placeeeee. Chocolate and caramel, what more could a girl ask for?! :D

  3. These look amazing! :D I love chocolate and caramel!

    1. Me too Miss Messy!!! I could literally pour caramel over everything! :)

  4. Thank you Becky for sharing these cupcakes on Tuesday Trivia. Wow you know how to get my attention! Love!!! Pinned and shared on facebook.
    Have a great Labor Day Weekend.
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

    1. Thank you so much Wanda!! Hope you have a great weekend too!

  5. These are absolutely mouth-watering!!
    They look heavenly

  6. Oh my goodness, Becky, these look amazing! I adore Salted Caramel with Chocolate and you've used both flavours beautifully in these lovely cakes. I've pinned them to my Cupcakes Board on Pinterest. Thank you for sharing them with the Hearth and Soul hop.

    1. Thank you so much April for hosting! I'm so glad you enjoyed my cupcakes! :)

  7. I have the feeling, I have to bookmark this, although mine would never look so wonderful. I guess that means a little bit more practicing.

    1. Awww...thanks Christian! It really just takes practice.....and good friends who are willing to eat all of your practice batches! :)