I was SO excited about these. First, it was my first time trying flourless chocolate cake. Delicious. Who even needs flour?
Second, salted caramel is the only thing in my life that is right. But, from my many failed attempts at making caramel, I am not here to tell you it is easy. I think it is especially hard for me because I am at high elevation. But I can't say that for sure since I have never tried making it at sea level. The recipe says to cook until 360 degrees F, and I cooked it to 348 degrees F. It is often recommended for candy making to decrease 2 degrees F for each 1000 ft above sea level, but I find you need to decrease even more. I would have liked a slightly softer caramel than what I got, so I would recommend going to about 345 degrees F. My caramel was about the consistency of a soft candy caramel, and I would have liked it to be even softer. More like a thick caramel sauce.
Having the caramel in the middle of the cupcake can make the second bite a little messy (perfect first bite jsyk). But I am not so picky because I loved salted caramel so much.
Scot really liked the chocolate cake, but wasn't a fan of how hard it was to eat after bite one. He also wished it was a chocolate frosting. I prefer the vanilla since the chocolate cupcake is a very dark chocolate.
Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Filling
cupcakes from Pennies on a Platter
For flourless chocolate cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz) bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
To assemble cupcakes:
Salted Caramel Filling (recipe below)
Easy Vanilla Buttercream (recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place 12 paper baking cups in a muffin pan. Put the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, or medium bowl over a pan of simmering water, and stir until completely melted. Set aside to cool. In large bowl, cream the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and thick. Gently fold in the melted chocolate and remaining ingredients.
Spoon the batter into the cups. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then remove the cupcakes and cool on a rack.
Cut out a small hole in the top of each cupcake. Prepare salted caramel and while it is still warm (but slightly cooled to thicken a bit) pour into small hole of each cupcake. Once completely cooled, frost and enjoy.
Salted Caramel Filling
by Martha Stewart via 52 Cupcakes
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup
3/8 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt, preferably fleur de sel
Heat sugar with the water and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan over high, stirring occasionally, until syrup is clear; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan and stop stirring.
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 rom heat and slowly pour in cream; stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in sea salt.
Use immediately; if caramel begins to harden reheat gently until pourable.
Easy Vanilla Buttercream
from Annie’s Eats
10 tbsp. (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. heavy cream
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds.
Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds. Scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds. Then increase the speed to medium high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
(Servings: 12, Total time: 3 hrs., Difficulty: Advanced)
Shanon (taste): 7/10
Scot (taste): 6/10
Dishwashing Effort: 3/5