I came up with these as a treat to take into work for a friend’s birthday. Everyone likes chocolate cakes, and salted caramel is still having a bit of a moment, so I thought they would be a safe bet but still a little bit “special”.
Everyone loved them – the rich, truffley frosting, chocolate sponge and salty caramel just work so well together. They are also much easier to make than they sound – the recipe looks like it has a lot of steps but it is not difficult.
Follow my recipe below or simply use your favourite chocolate cupcake recipe, cut out a hole in the middle and fill with ready made caramel, adding a touch of sea salt first. Then just top with a whipped chocolate ganache. My nozzle blocked up and resulted in this weird effect, which I actually quite like!
Chocolate Truffle and Salted Caramel Cupcakes – adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery
(Makes 12 – 16)
For the cupcakes
200g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
80g unsalted butter, softened
280g caster sugar
1tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
240ml whole or semi-skimmed milk
2 large eggs
For the filling
Approx 6tbsp dulce de leche/tinned caramel (I used carnation)
3/4 tsp sea salt (you can add more or less depending on your taste)
For the truffle topping
300g good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
300ml double cream
– Pre-heat the oven to 190/170 Fan and line two deep muffin tins with cupcake cases.
– Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a large bowl with the sugar, butter and salt. Use an electric mixer to beat together on a low speed until the mixture is sandy in texture.
– Whisk the milk and eggs together by hand in a jug and then pour about 3/4 of the mixture into the bowl. Continue to beat on a low speed until fully combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining milk mix and beat together again, now on a medium speed, until smooth.
– Transfer the batter to a jug and pour into the cupcake cases, filling each one about two thirds full. (You can of course spoon the mixture into the cases straight from the bowl, but as it is quite a runny batter, I find pouring much less messy!)
– Bake the cakes in the oven for 18 – 20 minutes until springy to the touch. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes should come out clean. Leave in the trays to cool for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
– Make the ganache whilst the cakes are cooking – put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Gently heat the cream until just about to boil then pour over the chocolate. Stir a couple of times and then leave for a few minutes for the chocolate to melt. Stir again, this time continuously until the chocolate has melted fully and the mixture is smooth. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to cool.
– Once the cakes have cooled fully, mix the caramel and sea salt in a bowl. Carefully hollow out the centre of each cupcake using a sharp knife; cut out a piece about 2cm in diamter and 3cm long. Fill in the holes with the salted caramel and then put the cut out pieces back onto the cakes, trimming the bottoms off to fit if needs be.
– Once the ganache has cooled, whip it up using an electric whisk until it becomes fluffy and is able to hold its shape. Transfer to a piping bag with the nozzle of your choice and pipe onto the tops of the cakes. Enjoy!