Posted on Tuesday, 6th July 2010 by Grace Massa Langlois
What a frustrating weekend with a few lessons learned. Most important lesson; never make a change to your website minutes before your web developer is closed for the long weekend, if something is going to go wrong that’s usually when it happens. Unfortunately my site crashed and it wasn’t restored until late Monday afternoon. Please accept my apology. I won’t be doing that again!
I started off the weekend driving my son, Matt, to the beach. It’s been far too long since I made this drive, I’d forgotten how beautiful it was. So many little towns to pass by with unique little shops selling some beautiful one of a kind pieces. I spotted a beautiful painting in one of the shops of a sailboat docked at the beach, it quickly invoked a feeling of calmness. I’ve always loved the beach, feeling the sand between my toes and looking out onto the water, so peaceful.
I sent Matt and his buddies with a little care package of Black Forest Cupcakes and received a call about 1:00am that evening; “Thank you Mrs. Langlois, oh my god these are so good!” I guess the cupcakes hit the spot.
I was back in the kitchen on Monday, I wanted to try salted-caramel. I wasn’t sure if I would like it or if the kids would like it but I figured anything with chocolate must be good and how could you go wrong with caramel, who doesn’t love caramel?
When I started to review the recipe it looked so familiar to me and I realized I’d used it not long ago when I made the Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting. As luck would have it the recipe called for Dark Chocolate Frosting, I just happened to have some in the freezer.
I love it when you find a good recipe and it’s so versatile. If you didn’t get a chance to read my earlier posts, the one-bowl chocolate cupcake batter produces a very light and moist cupcake with a rich chocolate flavour and it is very easy to make, throw everything in a bowl and blend. The dark chocolate frosting almost looks black and it is delicious.
On to the caramel, the not so easy part of the recipe, for me that is, it took 3 attempts before I was happy with it. I think I may need a new candy thermometer, it was reading 345° F but I could tell by the aroma and the look that I’d taken the caramel too far. The second attempt was pure stupidity on my part I walked away for a minute when it registered at 325° F and when I got back to it I was right back to taking it too far. The third times a charm and finally a caramel that looked that beautiful copper colour, smelled fantastic and tasted delicious.
It takes a bit of time to get your caramel to the right stage but be patient and if you can don’t walk away from it as I did.
I’m always looking for easy dinner party desserts and this worked perfect as little individual cakes. It was quite late last night when I finished assembling them but I wanted to share these treats with my next door neighbour Penny and called her over. Unfortunately we couldn’t sit and chat and taste test together (her little one was sleeping and her husband was out of town) so off she went with a little care package of little cakes and mini cupcakes for the 3 of them. Within minutes she’d called, I thought she’d left something behind. Her first question was “Have you tried them yet?”, “Not yet”. She couldn’t say enough about them, “The taste is indescribable, best dessert I’d ever made, no, that she’d ever eaten”. She’d eaten 3 mini cupcakes, literally within seconds of leaving the house, she couldn’t help herself.
I didn’t taste test the final dessert until today (I ate all the little bits after carving out the centres and couldn’t eat another bite). The Fleur de Sel definitely brought out the buttery taste of the caramel and it also intensifies the sweetness of the cake.
I leave you on this note, Chocolate Salted-Caramel Cakes are insanely delicious!
Chocolate Salted-Caramel Cakes & Mini Cupcakes
(from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes)
Makes about 56 mini cupcakes
- One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
- Salted-Caramel Filling
- Dark Chocolate Frosting
One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
(from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes)
makes about 2 cups
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, preferably Fleur de Sel
- Place sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium-sized heavy saucepan. Heat over high heat, stirring occasionally, until syrup is clear; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Stop stirring, and cook until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush as needed.
- Boil, gently swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is caramelized and just reaches 360° F.
- Remove from heat; slowly pour in cream (be careful, mixture will spatter) and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in sea salt. Use immediately; if at any time caramel begins to harden, reheat gently until pourable.
Dark Chocolate Frosting
Assembling Chocolate Salted-Caramel Cakes and Mini Cupcakes
- Using a paring knife, cut a cone-shaped piece (about 1/2 inch deep for mini cupcakes and 1 1/2 to 2 inch deep for small individual cakes) from the centre of each cake/cupcake (eat pieces). Spoon warm salted-caramel filling into each hollowed out cake/cupcake. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over filling.
- For mini cupcake, fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium open-star tip (Ateco #821 or Wilton #18) with frosting. Pipe frosting on each mini cupcake, swirling tip and releasing as you pull up to form a peak. For small individual cakes, fill a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip (Wilton 6B) with frosting. Pipe on each cake, swirling tip and releasing. Garnish each of the cakes/cupcakes with a pinch of sea salt. Cakes/cupcakes are best eaten the day they are filled and frosted (or the next morning); store at room temperature in airtight containers (do not refrigerate) until ready to serve.
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Tags: cake fillings, cupcake fillings, cupcakes, dessert, desserts, frosting, icing, individual dessert, mini cakes, mini cupcakes, salted-caramel, small cakes
Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes