Sunday, 10 January 2016

Show-stopping Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Greetings bakelings!

I hope you all had a lovely holiday season full of cheer and goodwill. And baked goods.

I had a great Christmas and New Year, punctuated by walks with my family, visits to pubs with my friends and lots of good food.

I also for the first time hosted a New Year’s Eve party, which started off quite sedate and then became a bit…less so.

But I did provide food, which always makes for a more civilised affair. Amongst the food I provided were some delicious salted caramel cupcakes, which were much appreciated.

Despite their fancy appearance, these cupcakes were quite easy to make. You don’t need to pipe the icing on top, just apply a liberal dollop and then smooth it into a peaked shape. I did this with a new palette knife that I received for Christmas, but you could do it almost as easily with the back of a spoon.

I also piped the filling into the cupcake with a long nozzle on a piping bag, but you could do it by hollowing out a small hole in each cake with a small sharp knife and using a small teaspoon to fill the cake.

It doesn’t have to be a fancy salted caramel filling either. You could use lemon curd, jam, chocolate ganache, anything you fancy.

What are you waiting for? Let’s get baking. This recipe makes 24 show-stopping cupcakes.

You will need:

For the cakes:
225g butter
225g plain flour
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 and a half tsp baking powder
enough filling for 24 cupcakes (probably at least 240g)
24 cupcake cases
24-hole cupcake tray

For the topping:
280g softened butter
560g icing sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Cream together the butter and sugar for the cupcakes until light and fluffy.

2. Before you add the eggs, one by one, weigh out the flour and add 2 tbsp to the mixture with each egg, mixing well after each addition. This stops the mixture from curdling. Add the baking powder and vanilla extract and mix well, then fold the rest of the flour in.

3. Line the cupcake tray with the cases and divide the mixture equally between the cases. Bake for 12-14 minutes until risen and a light golden brown.

4. Cream together the butter and icing sugar for the topping, adding the milk if the mixture is too stiff, then beat in the flavouring.

5. When the cupcakes are out of the oven but before they cool, fill them. You can fit a piping bag with a long nozzle and, sticking it into each cupcake in turn, use it to pipe in the filling. Or, if you do not have this equipment, spoon the filling in after making a circular hole in each cake with a small, sharp knife.

6. When the cupcakes are filled and are completely cool, decorate them by adding a large dollop of icing to the top of each. Then, taking a small palette knife or the back of a spoon, hold it at a slight angle to the top of the cupcake, so that when you turn the cupcake, the icing is smoothed into a rounded peak.

7. Finish the cupcakes with cupcake toppers, a dash of edible glitter, silver balls, sprinkles or even finely ground biscuit crumbs, nuts or cocoa – anything that you like.

8. Serve to your very impressed guests.

Happy baking!