Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Chocolate Bourbon Buttercream

Salted Caramel Cupcakes:

Makes 15 cupcakes
 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with papers. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

 

Cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.  Add vanilla.  Mix and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each.

 

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full.  Bake for about 25 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

 

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Chocolate Bourbon Buttercream:

Makes about 4 1/2 cups

 

Ingredients

8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

6 cups confectioners' sugar

16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter

6 Tbsp. milk, plus more, if needed

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. good-quality bourbon whiskey

 

Directions

Melt the chocolate and cool to room temperature.

 

With an electric mixer, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and salt, and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, then reduce the speed to low. Add the chocolate and bourbon, and beat until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute more.


If the frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks.
 

 

Buttercream adapted from Williams-Sonoma

 

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Candied Salted Caramel Rounds:

 

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup water
2-4 tablespoons of large-crystal sugar

 

Directions
Lay out a large piece of parchment on your work surface and spray with cooking oil (such as canola). Fill a large tub (or your sink) partially full of ice water.


Put sugar, salt and cold water in a heavy pan; stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat and bring syrup to a boil.  Lower heat slightly and swirl the pan once or twice so the syrup colors evenly; do not stir.  When caramel is a deep amber color, plunge the base of pan into iced water for about 2 seconds to stop further cooking.


Dip a spoon in the caramel and let it fall onto the parchment paper in a drizzle.  Move the spoon in a circular motion as the syrup falls from the spoon. Repeat 15 times.  When caramel has hardened (it will still be sticky) sprinkle over large-crystal sugar.  Remove from paper and adorn cupcakes.
 

 

Salted Caramel Cupcakes and Candied Salted Caramel Rounds adapted from Sprinkle Bakes