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#Amazing #Cupcakes! (Chocolate & Salted Caramel) a la Jen’s Just Desserts

Tuesday October 8 2013

Dark chocolate / Mocha cupcake, dipped in a salted caramel & chocolate ganache, topped with a salted burnt caramel Italian meringue buttercream…

Yup, people have said these are LIFE-CHANGING CUPCAKES, even THE BEST THEY’VE EVER TASTED. There’s no real secret to this – just a decent recipe producing a light, moist, fluffy cake, that’s not overly sweet. In fact, the cake borders on savoury… with a bit of sweetness coming from the salted caramel ganache, & then complimented with a silky smooth & airy Italian meringue buttercream (IMBC)  flavoured with a little salted burnt caramel. It’s a good balance of flavours & textures <IMHO> & once you get the hang of these recipes, the possibilities will be endless!

So here we go… a few special things you’ll need: CUPS, measuring spoons, a candy thermometer, & your favourite ‘fleur de sel’ or other sea salts… The rest of the ingredients are listed in the order you’ll need them, with the recipes they relate to. It might sound complicated, but I managed these two dozen cupcakes in about 1.5 hours, whilst doing other stuff in between…

I would start with the salted burnt (or burnt salted – ) caramel first:

 

- dissolve over high heat, make sure sugar is completely melted; use a wire whisk
- once sugar is completely dissolved & golden brown (i wait until it goes a bit darker, to about 360-370 degrees    farenheit on a candy thermometer ’cause i like the ‘burnt’edness)…
- add about 1/2 cup unsalted butter (in chunks) & whisk some more until butter’s all incorporated
- take off the heat
- then whisk in about 1/2 cup double cream & mix till all smooth & lovely
- add your favourite sea salt (s)
- pour into a jam jar & ENJOY!
- you will need to let this cool down enough to use in the IMBC

 

For the cake, you will need:

quality ingredients do matter…

be sure you brew some good, strong espresso

Now here’s the easy part:

Then I filled the cupcake cases about 3/4 full…  & then bake for 18-20 minutes on the lower shelf.

fresh outta the oven & then let them cool completely

The next part is the salted caramel ganache. Now this bit is totally extra, but I love it & it’s fairly easy, so why not:

Once the ganache is at room temp, you can simply dip your cupcake tops into the mix; it will only take a few minutes for the ganache to set before you can frost it with the IMBC.

So then onto the IMBC: I use “Mr Brown’s” which has not let me down yet. Just follow the instructions, but subtract about 2 tbsp of the butter: http://www.food.com/recipe/mr-browns-italian-meringue-buttercream-217454

Once your IMBC is “done” – add about 1/2 cup of your salted burnt caramel mix, and whip up until it’s all yumm-azing!

Use the nozzle of your choice (I used a 1D here),  & pipe your IMBC over your ganache-covered cupcake.

Dark chocolate / Mocha cupcake, dipped in a salted caramel & chocolate ganache, topped with a salted burnt caramel Italian meringue buttercream…

Then, decorate as you wish. I’ve used a floral fleur de sel as the ‘sprinkles.’  All that’s left to do is to eat & enjoy, right!?

I’m hoping this picture does justice to how light, airy, fluffy, & yet moist this creation is, and I hope you enjoy this as much as I have over the years…

bitten… yum!

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