thirty five: salted caramel cupcakes

Remember my resolution (do refer to my previous post) to post once a month starting from February? I think I may be too eager to fulfill this resolution because lo and behold, double entries in a month! I must be on a roll.

Salted caramel, oh how I love thee. I tried making my own salted caramel last year but it was so-so and forgettable. I just wasn’t wowed by it. So I decided to give it another try after seeing pictures of salted caramel cupcakes on my Instagram feed. I finally forced myself to buy a box of sea salt – it costs almost $9, the horror! – and a candy thermometer, just in case.

It must have been my lucky day as my caramel was, dare I say it, purr-fect. I think it’s the (pricey) sea salt that did it. The first time I tried making salted caramel, I “cheated” and used normal table salt in place of sea salt. I tasted a tinge of sea salt and it was more flavoursome as opposed to table salt. That’s the trick, I suppose? I am not a cooking or a baking maestro, but point is, it was worth spending 9 bucks on… salt.

IMG_1757_1OH HAI I LOVE YOU~

What’s next, vanilla pods? Perhaps, perhaps… Perhaps.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes

Vanilla cupcakes (from Hummingbird Bakery)

Ingredients

  • 120g all-purpose flour
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 40g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 120ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

IMG_1755_1NAKED CUPCAKES WAITING TO BE CORED AND FROSTED

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 170 C.
  2. Put flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
  3. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just combined.
  4. Whisk the egg, vanilla essence and remaining milk in a separate bowl, then pour it into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated. Scrape down the bowl, and continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.
  5. Spoon into prepared cupcake pans (about two-thirds) and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until light golden brown and the cake bounces back when touched.
  6. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the pan before turning them out on a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. When the cupcakes are completely cool, core them (I used an apple corer) and pour about a teaspoon of salted caramel sauce.
  8. Frost the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, and drizzle more salted caramel sauce over it.

IMG_1758SPRINKLE MORE SEA SALT ON YOUR CUPCAKE IF YOU WISH

Salted caramel sauce (from browneyedbaker)
PS: Check the browneyedbaker’s link for more pictures. It’s pretty handy!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp flaky sea salt
  • A medium pot

Steps

  1. Place sugar into a medium-sized pot. Heat the sugar in medium high, and stir constantly with a whisk.
  2. The sugar will form clumps – it’s normal! Just keep stirring.
  3. Once all the sugar has melted (this will take a few minutes), stop stirring. Swirl the pan occasionally instead.
  4. Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber colour. It should smell slightly smoky, but not too much. I ended up not using my candy thermometer because the colour changed pretty quickly! Be careful not to burn it.
  5. Add the butter and stir. The mixture may bubble at this point so be careful.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble again at this point, so stir carefully.
  7. Add the sea salt and whisk. And the salted caramel is ready! Just let it cool first before using.
  8. I got about a jar full of salted caramel from this recipe, which is more than enough to satisfy my random cravings.
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