My baking pal Betty at Eat My Cupcake decided to launch the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club...where we all bake out of Martha's new cupcake book. Of course I signed up, who doesn't need another club that they have to feel guilty about not participating regularly in??? But since it's Betty, I will try to be (mostly) on time with my baking and posting...even though lately I feel like my camera has gone the way of the dinosaur. Do these things have shelf lives where after a certain # of pics or years the photos just start looking CRAPPY? That's what it feels like anyway. I do want a new camera, but it's on the LIST. So for now, I'll deal.
Onto the cupcake. Having perused some of the recipes in the book and watching Martha make a few on her show it seemed like most of her cupcakes had one thing in common. Making everything more difficult than it REALLY needed to be. Either the cake was multiple steps, or you had to make some crazy filling that required carmelization, or the frosting required melting and then cooling and then beating.
So when I saw that Betty chose The Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcake as her first choice, I thought holy crap I love Fleur Del Sel chocolate cupcakes...and then I thought holy crap this better not be 500 steps.
I was pleased to see that the cupcake seemed to be MS's one-bowl chocolate cake recipe, which I have used before with moderate success, but it's not my favorite. It is easy which I love, but this time I added a bit more oil and cocoa to give it more of that dark chocolate kick that last time I felt was lacking. This time I got a MUCH better result than in the past. I halved the recipe and made 10 big cupcakes...in my experience with 'filled' cupcakes is that minis don't really get you the filling bang for your buck that most people tend to want with a filled cupcake.
The cucpakes rose nice and high in the oven, my favorite when chocolate cupcakes dome. The caramel I saved til the next day when I had a bit more baking time on my hand... it went as expected, but can you believe I never made caramel from scratch before?? It was quite fun. And ummm I halved the recipe and I have a TON of leftover caramel. As in about 6 ounces. I am pondering what to do with it.
I let it cool for a bit so it would not absorb into the cupcake, filled them, and topped them with the fleur del sel and then piped some swirls with the dark chocolate frosting, and a few more sprinkles of salt. BTW...*discard* the tops? I don't think so! With any cone I always put at least the top back on, it makes for a neater look when you cut them.
Tasting each element as I went along was interesting. The cupcakes were moist and very chocolatey and of course the caramel works soooo well with the salt. I ate half today and my husband ate half..we both loved them, but I think that these would be wonderful without the caramel even.
I would add more cream to the caramel, as I did this time. It gave it a richer more velvety taste than the small amt the recipe called for. That gave it more of an intense flavor. The frosting was too thin the way the recipe called for it, so I added more conf sugar but then it curdled thanks to the extra sugar. It worked out in the end, but next time I won't add addt'l sugar after the chocolate but before. Also I only used 2/3 of the butter, 2 sticks for 1/2 a recipe? Yikes! I'd rather more chocolate taste than butter.
Not off to a bad start MS...!! Just don't make me bake any angel food cupcakes please. Check out the rest of the MSC baking lovelies listed here on Betty's blog. And buy the book at Amazon. Enjoy!