Monday, 8 October 2012

Ready Salted Caramel Cupcakes

My friend Dale is an incredibly talented artist, and he very kindly designed the images of “The Princess and the Cake” for me. You can check out his work on his Facebook page, Whaley'sWorld! As means of thanks, I wanted to make Dale some cupcakes. Dale's a big fan of caramel and white chocolate, but the main thing I wanted to include was ready salted crisps.

This might seem a bit weird, but there is a good reason for it. I grew up in a house of a lot of kids. I have a brother and two sisters so that's already four of us, but then we always seemed to have friends over too, so it all added up. My mum used to buy the big multi-packs of crisps, which never lasted long being as they were so many of us, but there were always ready salted crisps left over. Non of us wanted to eat the ready salted crisps, but my mum wouldn't buy a new multi-pack until all of the crisps were gone. Now, Dale LOVED ready salted crisps, so whenever he came over he would pack them away like a trooper to get rid of them all for us. It was a labour of love. Anyway, that's what I wanted to play with when making cupcakes for Dale, which is how I came up with the idea to make salted caramel filled cupcakes, (and my idea for the unconventional decoration!)

Dale's cupcakes, all packed up ready to go!
I used my basic vanilla sponge recipe, but substituted the caster sugar for brown sugar to give it a more caramel-y flavour. I used Nigella's recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce for the filling, and then topped the cakes with a white chocolate butter cream.


For the cupcakes:
100g margarine
100g light brown sugar
1 medium egg
A few drops of vanilla extract
100g self-raising flour

For the salted caramel filling:
75g unsalted butter
50g soft light brown sugar
50g caster sugar
50g golden syrup
125ml double cream
½ teaspoon of salt

For the white chocolate buttercream:
100g white chocolate
150g butter
300g icing sugar
1tbsp milk

A few ready-salted crisps to decorate (optional!)

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 12 – 15 minutes
Makes 12 cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and line a bun tray with cupcake cases
  2. Start by making the cupcakes. Cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined. Sift the flour into the mixture then fold in until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Fill each cupcake case around ¾ full (roughly 2 tsp in each) and bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and springy to touch. Place on a wire rack to cool.
  4. Whilst the cakes are in the oven, make your salted caramel sauce. In a small, heavy-based pan, melt the butter, both sugars and golden syrup on a low heat then allow to simmer for 3 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally.
  5. Add the cream and the salt to the pan and stir in with a wooden spoon. Allow the caramel to cook for another minute before transferring into a jug or bowl. Set the caramel to one side to cool.
  6. Whilst the cakes and caramel are cooling, make your buttercream. Melt the white chocolate either in the microwave in short bursts, or in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water, (careful not to get any water in the chocolate – chocolate and water severely dislike one another!) Put the chocolate to one side to cool slightly.
  7. Meanwhile, beat the butter, icing sugar and milk together until smooth and creamy. Once the chocolate as cooled enough not to melt the butter, gently fold this into the buttercream. Place the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and place to one side until ready to use.
  8. Scoop a little cake out of each cupcake to make a well in the centre - keep the scooped out bits, as these will become the “lids”. Fill each cupcake with a little salted caramel sauce, then place the scooped out cake lids back on top of the cakes.
  9. Pipe a big swirl of buttercream onto each cupcake, then drizzle a little more salted caramel sauce over the top of this. Finally, add a ready salted crisp to each cupcake to decorate!

Of course, these cupcakes are equally as tasty without the ready-salted crisps on top!
Happy Thoughts

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