For my sister Theresa’s 26th birthday I made her Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes to take to work. Theresa has a top three favourite cupcakes that I make, in the following order:
1. Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
2. Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes
3. Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cupcakes
(If this is not the correct order, I apologize Theresa).
Of all the cupcakes Theresa likes, these are the most time consuming but I love her.
1. These are mini cupcakes as to not overwhelm you with the richness. I think the next time I make these I will ignore this rule of thumb and make them in regular-sized muffin tins. You have to hollow out each cupcake in order to fill it with caramel and this is time consuming. You also don’t get a ton of caramel in each cupcake which, in my opinion, is the best part.
2. The icing needs to be a bit thicker – the recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of icing sugar but I think 1 cup icing sugar would pull the icing together better and make it thicker. If it was thicker the piping would come out better. Regardless of how the icing is, the sea salt brings out the cocoa in the icing and strikes a perfect balance between sweet and savoury.
3. I used St. Patrick’s Day wrappers. I did something that I hate when people do – when your birthday is near a holiday and people lump it together with that holiday. Birthdays and holidays should be separate. It was more because I didn’t have very many mini cupcake wrappers and I have promised myself I will not buy anymore (from my estimation I have approximately 1200+ cupcake wrappers).
4. According to Martha this recipe makes 56 mini cupcakes. It made 84. Oh, well.
5. Making caramel will always scare me – when you add the cream to the sugar mixture there is bubbling, steam and a lot of heat in your face, you basically have a volcano in a pot. There was also the constant fear that my cats were going to jump on the stove and scald themselves. Fortunately, this didn’t happen and we were just left with salty, sweet goodness. It makes about 2x too much caramel so I would suggest having an ice cream sundae ready to be topped with the extra cut-out cake and the extra sauce. Yum. And then have a cupcake when you are done. Double yums.
Recipe below the cut.