Tuesday, November 20, 2012

CHOCOLATE TOFFEE CARAMEL CUPCAKES


Hello, dear Reader! Happy Thanksgiving week! There's been a lot of baking and crafting happening around here, and not nearly enough blogging about it. To make up for it, please enjoy these delish cupcakes I created this weekend for a bake sale. They were inspired by the gorgeous cakes in this post by Naomi over at Bakers Royale.



Moist chocolate cake,
scattered throughout with chunks of toffee
and chunks of chocolate.
(But not too sweet.)
Creamy
caramel
frosting.
Melt-in-your-mouth
chocolate ganache.
Crunchy toffee on top.



See how much I love them?
I just wrote a poem.



They're poetic, I guess. :)



I improvised the caramel buttercream. Pretty simple, I know, but as a girl who's just breaking into the world of diving in without recipes, I was pretty proud :) You should adjust powdered sugar and caramel sauce depending on how sweet and/or caramel-y you want it to be. My chocolate cake isn't too supersweet, so I was able to put the caramel in the sweetness spotlight.

For the regular size cakes, I simply frosted with the caramel buttercream and then drizzled generously with the ganache. For the minis, I dipped each cake in the ganache first for an extra layer of yum. (You can tell in the picture above - regular and mini side-by-side - that the minis are dipped first.) If you dip first, just be sure to let the ganache set up before frosting and drizzling the cakes.

Mmm... I can't believe they're all gone...



Chocolate Toffee Cakes (makes 24 regular + 24 minis)
It's a dense batter. You only need to fill the papers about half full. Mine were probably even a little less than half full.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 - 4 T instant coffee
4 eggs
1 cup butter (2 sticks), melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup strong hot coffee
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup chocolate covered toffee bits
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and instant coffee. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, butter, and vanilla. Mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just to combine. Pour in milk and hot coffee and mix well. Stir in toffee bits and chocolate chips.

Fill cupcake liners about half full. Bake at 350 for 20-24 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.



Caramel Buttercream
Adjust powdered sugar and caramel sauce to the level of sweetness and caramel-y-ness you're going for.  You can make this in two half-batches if it's easier.

1 cup caramel sauce (Homemade is best! recipe here)
3 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (adjust to taste)

Beat butter and salt in a stand mixer until fluffy and white, 3 - 4 minutes on medium-high speed. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth (medium-low speed). Add caramel sauce and mix until smooth, then beat for a couple more minutes on medium-high speed to fluff it up a bit.


Chocolate Ganache
Adapted from Naomi at Bakers Royale. *Note: Original recipe calls for 5 - 8 tablespoons of water, but I think I only ended up using 2. Use your own judgement.

2/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate (original recipe uses dark chocolate)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
2-3 tablespoons warm water*

Heat the chocolate and cream over a pot of simmering water. After a couple of minutes, the chocolate should be soft enough to begin to stir into the cream. Continue to stir until the chocolate melts completely. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar. Add water by tablespoon until it reaches pouring consistency.

Here are the ganache-dipped cuties:


10 comments:

  1. Hello!! when does the milk get added in to the cupcake batter? With the coffee?
    Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, Alie!
    Yes, the milk goes in with the coffee. Thanks for catching my omission - I'll fix that :)
    These cupcakes are so good. I hope you get to make them!
    Thanks for visiting the blog!
    Alyssa

    ReplyDelete

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