Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Salted Caramel Cupcakes and My 'Primrose Friwend'

A couple of days ago I went to one of my favourite haunts in London with my friend Lauren. Both being keen bakers, we always get a buzz when we go into bakeries and moonch our way through cakes and sweets. One of our favourite haunts?
Primrose Bakery in Covent Garden. 2 cappucinos and 2 cupcakes later, we saw something that we had to have.

No it wasn't the uber cute cupcake grey jumpers that the bakeries sell, its not that cold in the UK yet. Nor the sweet aprons, we both have lovely aprons. No. It was a Primrose Bakery KeepCup. We saw it and we wanted it! Both being coffee buffs as well as cupcake buffs, we both had the same thought:
Its so damn cute and it carries coffee. I am willing to pay anything to have one. 
So we walked out with a Primrose Bakery KeepCup and a free coffee which was a nice bonus as well. We now have a running joke of being: Primrose Friwends (You must say it in a silly voice and holding up your coffee mug/cup/shoe) 

Getting back to the post however, we both have excellent tastes of course, so we both got the same cupcakes. (You know the saying about great minds, there mental.) Salted Caramel Cupcakes. Wow... they were just yum... yet it was something I've never thought to make.

As mentioned in a previous post, I'm officially qualified check out the picture below. Aren't you all so proud? 
To celebrate I made something I never tried before and now am a little obsessed with. Salted caramel cupcakes. I've made caramel, but never tried to incorporate it into a cupcake or cake. The most trickiest part is making the caramel. 
With caramel there is always a burn risk as well as burning the caramel and wasting the ingredients. This caramel may take a couple of attempts, especially if your not familiar with making something like this. So here's the warning: Don't be silly enough to walk away from the caramel or have small children in the kitchen because they expect you to share the food.  





Recipe: Makes 12 cupcakes (Recipe adapted from Making Cupcakes with Lola)
·       250g plain flour, sifted
·       1 teaspoon baking powder
·       ¼ teaspoon sea salt
·       125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
·       185g light brown sugar
·       1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·       2 eggs
·       150 ml natural yoghurt
Salted Caramel
·       180g golden caster sugar
·       90g unsalted butter
·       120ml double cream
Buttercream
·       250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
·       75ml milk
·       730g icing sugar, sifted
·       7 tablespoons of the salted caramel sauce (This seems like a lot but I really like a rich caramel frosting. Taste as you go when it comes to this frosting)
·       A little sea salt, to taste.
·       Chocolate sprinkles, if you like!
Equipment:
·       Large heavy-based saucepan
·       Electric whisk/ Wooden spoon
·       Bowl
·       Jug/ small bowl
·       Sieve
·       Teaspoon
·       Muffin tray lined with 12 cupcake cases  
·       Whisk
·       Piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle/ palette knife
1.    Pre-heat the oven to 180c/350f/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.
2.    Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Step 3. Butter, sugar and vanilla beaten together
3.    Put the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until pale and fluffy.
Step 4. Add the eggs one at a time. 
4.    Add the eggs one at a time. Beating well after each addition.
Step 5. Completed batter
5.    Add the sifted dry ingredients and natural yoghurt in alternate batches mixing after each addition, until combined.  
Step 6. fill the cases 2/3 full
6.    Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them two-thirds full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until slightly raised. To check they are cooked, insert a skewer in the centre of one of the cakes-it should come out clean.
7.    Remove from the oven and carefully place on a wire rack to cool.
Salted Caramel filling:
Step 1. Don't stir just swirl
1.    Scatter the sugar evenly over the base of a heavy based saucepan and set over a medium heat. DON’T BE TEMPTED TO STIR. If you want to check how the sugar is doing, give the pan a swirl around once and a while.
2.    Once the sugar has melted and the colour has gone a light amber colour, remove from the heat.
3.    Add the butter and cream and whisk thoroughly until combined.
4.    Transfer the mixture into a jug or bowl to help the sauce cool down faster.
Buttercream
1.    To make the buttercream, put the butter into a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric hand whisk until soft.
Step 2. Add the salted caramel to the icing mix
2.    Add the salted caramel sauce you've just made and then beat in the icing sugar. Beat on a low speed using an electric whisk or use a wooden spoon.
Step 3. Add the milk until well combined
3.    Add the milk in until well combined and add a little salt if you like, for taste.  
To Finish
1.    Once the cupcakes are completely cold, make a hole in the middle with a teaspoon.
2.    Fill in the hole with some of the caramel sauce. Place a portion of the cake back on top of the filling.

3.    Spread or pipe the buttercream on top of the cupcakes. To finish off, drizzle some of the caramel sauce and sprinkle some chocolate decorations. 

There is nothing like the sweet salty taste of a caramel cupcake. I did share these with my loved ones (they saw them so I couldn't eat them all myself. Remember this Lauren: PENNY DOESN'T SHARE FOOD!!! So I was a little ticked I had to share). I also gave some to my good friend Lauren, because it would be cruel if I didn't. Especially if I posted this and she read it and was like:
    "Ahh! She made them and didn't share! This is unacceptable! No more nice cakes for you then!!
    So Lauren you shall be forever known as my 'Primrose Friwend'. I'm not even sorry. :D
    Bake on!

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Bake On! Penny x
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