Molly Bakes:salted caramel cupcakes

These tasty treats involve a little more hard work and ingredients than the average cupcake. But, they're worth the effort. 

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Makes 12 Cupcakes

*190g self raising flour, sifted
*1 tsp baking powder
*1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
*1/4 tsp salt
*125g unsalted butter, softened
*75g caster sugar
*75g dark muscovado sugar
*2 large eggs
*1 tsp vanilla extract
*125ml milk, room temperature

Salted Caramel Sauce
*170g unsalted butter
*200g golden caster sugar
*100g golden syrup
*250ml double cream
*1 tsp fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt

*500g unsalted butter, softened
*1kg icing sugar, sifted
*1 tsp vanilla extract
*1/3 portion of salted caramel sauce

*4 tbsp golden syrup
*1 tbsp water
*200g golden caster sugar
*3 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method for cupcakes

1 Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.

2 Whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

3 Beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract.

4 Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 1 minute between each addition. 

5 With the mixer on low speed, add half the flour and then half the milk until fully combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk. Don’t overmix.

6 Scoop the mixture equally into the cupcake cases, they should be around two thirds full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.

7 Transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

Method for salted caramel sauce

1 Melt 70g of the butter, all of the sugar and golden syrup together in a heavy bottomed pan over medium to high heat. Leave to simmer for 2 minutes until the butter has melted, gently stirring every now and then.

2 Once the butter has almost melted stir the sugar continuously with a wooden spoon to break it up. If the sugar clumps together just keep stirring, it will melt. Pay close attention so it doesn’t burn, make sure you move all of the sugar around especially the centre and sides of the pan.

3 Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a deep amber colour, at this point it can burn easily so keep a close eye on it. Use a thermometer to get the temperature up to 176 degrees.

4 Immediately add the rest of the butter and gently stir until melted.

5 Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the cream slowly. Stir until the cream is fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the salt.

6 Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then pour into a glass bowl until it reaches room temperature. Pour 1/3 of the sauce into a separate bowl for the buttercream.

Method for buttercream

1 Beat butter until smooth and creamy, add the sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.

2 Add the salted caramel sauce and beat in until full incorporated.

3 Once cupcakes are fully cooled pipe the buttercream using a piping bag or spread onto the cupcakes using a palette knife.

Method for honeycomb

1 Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin or tray.

2 Heat the golden syrup and sugar together in a large saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer on a low heat for 5-10 minutes. 

3 You can test if it’s ready by dropping a little of the syrup mixture into water, it should become brittle.

4 Remove from heat and add the bicarbonate of soda. Working quickly mix it in as it will begin to foam up upon contact. Pour into the cake tin immediately.

5 Leave to set then remove from the tin by pulling up the baking paper. Cut into shards using a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

To decorate

1 Transfer the remaining salted caramel sauce into a piping bag.

2 Use the shards of honeycomb to decorate. You can also use some salted caramel popcorn, our favourite is Joe & Seph’s. 

3 Drizzle with the salted caramel sauce.

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