Monday, April 12, 2010

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

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Source: Happy Tummy


Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Makes 12 cupcakes or 30 mini cupcakes

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) Dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 cup (3 3/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz) turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (4 oz) sour cream

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with baking-cup liners.

Combine butter, chocolate and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and fully combined. Set aside to cool until just warm to touch.

Whisk flour, baking soda and baking powder in small bowl to combine.

Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined; then sift in remaining flour mixture and whisk batter until it is homogenous and thick.

Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean (18-20 minutes for cupcakes, 13-15 minutes for mini cupcakes).

Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.


Salted Caramel Frosting
Adapted from CHOW
Makes enough for 12 cupcakes or 30 mini cupcakes

1/8 cup turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
1 tablespoons water
1/8 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 sticks), at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.

Combine butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.

Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes, before using.