500 Cupcake Challenge #5February 13, 2008 at 11:34 PM | Posted in 500CC, cupcakes | 43 Comments
Tags: caramel turtle, chocolate
Happy Valentines’ Day! (well… it is on the east coast but not quite on the west coast yet)
To all my readers: No matter what you choose to celebrate on this day, be it Valentines’ Day, Singles’ Awareness Day, whatever… I wanna thank all of you (the lurkers, the ones I know IRL and the ones I hope to meet someday) for your comments and support of my little cuppycakes blog. I love you all. Its been real.
Caramel is one of my favorite sweet indulgences and when I saw my friend Nina‘s adorable turtle cheesecake hearts, I knew I had to see if I could make my own version with chocolate and caramel in the form of a cupcake.
Caramel Turtle Cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from myrecipes.com | photos from me!)
Makes ~24 cupcakes
1-1/2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup whipping cream
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
4-5 tablespoons fat-free milk
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
For caramel drizzle
3/4 cup (6 oz) evaporated milk
7oz individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
To make cupcake–
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cupcake liners.
Combine boiling water and cocoa, stirring well with a whisk. Cool completely.
Place granulated sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, and vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
[NOTES: Don’t worry if the batter seems thinnier than you are use to. They will bake up just fine!]
Pour batter into prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
To make ganache–
Place chocolate in bowl. In saucepan bring whipping cream to boil over high heat. Pour hot whipping cream over chocolate and stir until chocolate melted. Spoon ganache over cupcake. (I put it on the cupcake straight out of the oven b/c the warm cupcake keeps the ganache warm and spreadable.) Allow ganache to cool before adding frosting.
To make frosting–
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and 4 tablespoons milk; cook 1 minute or until sugar melts. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
Combine butter mixture and vanilla in a large bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add last tbsp milk, 1 TEAspoon at a time, beating until spreading consistency. (You might not use all of the last tbsp.)
Use a 1M piping tip to apply frosting on top of ganache.
To make caramel sauce–
Combine evaporated milk and caramels in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring frequently until caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth.
Place caramel sauce in a small zip-top plastic bag. Snip a small hole in 1 corner of bag; drizzle half of caramel dip over frosting. Sprinkle with toasted pecans.
To toast pecans–
(This might be kinda “duh?” to some ppl but I didn’t know how so I thought I’d post what I did for other pecan toasting newbies like me!)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt 1-2tbsp butter in a microwave safe dish in your microwave or use a small saucepan. Evenly coat the pecans in the melted butter. Spread out the butter-coated pecans out on a non-stick cookie sheet in a single layer. Toss the pecans once or twice while they are toasting. This allows for even toasting.
Toast the pecans until they are crisp and aromatic. This will usually take about 10 to 15 minutes.
Husband rating: A/A+
He loved the chocolate “cake” and ganache. He’s not a huge fan of caramel like me but he really liked the flavors of this cupcake.
Wifey rating: A+
I was kinda nervous b/c I created this cupcake recipe myself. Sometimes the creation in my head doesn’t exactly come together the way I envision. But I have to say that this cupcake was SO yummy. I am quite proud of myself!
Don’t forget! Comments gets you cupcakes…
DEADLINE: Friday, Feb 15 @ 11:34p PST
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Lemontartlet, I’ll be sending out your cupcakes tomorrow! I included the frosting, toasted pecans and caramel sauce with the cupcakes. The caramel sauce might need to be nuked so you get the right consistency though. I think it should be alright… but just fyi! :)
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