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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Salted Caramel, Pecan & Chocolate Cupcake

This recipe should come with a serious *DANGER* warning! I mean it has just about every vice known to man piled atop a cupcake. Salted butter cream, chocolate, caramel and pecans! It really should be placed on a pedestal and admired for at least an hour before being eaten; and your going to wish you made a double batch because I promise these will disappear the first day you make them. They are definitely a special special cupcake that should only be shared with folks you really really love...a lot! :) It is a masterpiece that your tastebuds will definitely thank you for!

Salted Caramel, Pecan & Chocolate Cupcake


1 box chocolate cake mix if your going the easy route, otherwise use your favorite homemade chocolate cupcake recipe

3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons heavy whipping cream

Salted Caramel Buttercream-
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

pecans, chopped
milk chocolate chips for melting and drizzling

Bake cupcakes according to package or recipe directions and let cool completely before frosting

Have your heavy cream measured out before you start to make the carmel. Place 1/2 cup of sugar and water in a saucepan over medium high heat. Do not stir , only swirl the saucepan gently.  Do not leave the pan; once the caramel starts to turn color it will happen in a matter of seconds. It will start to bubble and begin to reach a deep amber color. Remove immediately from the heat once this amber color is reached and add the cream. Be careful, it will bubble up furiously! Stir until smooth. Divide the caramel sauce into two separate and equal portions and set aside.

Salted Caramel Buttercream-
Place egg whites, salt and 1/4 cup of sugar in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture reaches 140 degrees. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer and beat on high until stiff peaks form. Once you have stiff peaks add the butter a little bit at a time and continue to beat on high. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla extract. Once incorporated add one of your portions of caramel sauce. You may need to microwave the caramel gently to soften it up for mixing in. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until buttercream texture is reached.

Pipe your buttercream frosting onto each cupcake and roll the sides in chopped pecans. Drizzle the tops of your cupcakes with melted chocolate and your remaining portion of caramel. Sprinkle each cupcake ever so lightly with course sea salt.

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