A Thanksgiving Treat

A Thanksgiving Treat

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

I have been dying to share this treat with you! As you can probably tell, I have a sweet tooth and a crazy addiction for chocolate – but come on, who doesn’t? Anyway, I’ll be making these for my family on Thanksgiving. After a delicious turkey dinner, something sweet to finish the night is the perfect ending to a fun day with family and friends.

Now this recipe comes from three different recipes. I usually like to have at least two flavors in my cupcakes, in this case, dark chocolate and caramel. This way, there is no flavor that is too over powering but instead a lovely mixture. I’ve tried several different dark chocolate cake recipes, but this one is my favorite! It gives you just enough bitterness to balance out the sweetness of the dulce de leche caramel frosting. My mouth is watering just describing it to you!

cupcake1

Dark Chocolate Cupcake

(credits to: http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2013/06/chocolate-cupcake-recipe-the-ultimate-chocolate-cupcake-test-baked-by-50-bakers-and-counting.html)

Ingredients:

¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 ounces of your favorite chocolate (except white chocolate, candy melts, flavored, or contain mix-ins)

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 large egg yolks, room temperature

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/3 cup full-fat sour cream (don’t leave this out, it makes the cake moist)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup brewed strong coffee or espresso, room temperature

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until fully combined. The end result should look like wet sand.
  3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler.
  4. Once the melted chocolate is cool enough to touch, add it to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Mix in eggs and egg yolks one at a time until just combined.
  6. Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream until just combined.
  7. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder into a separate medium-sized bowl.
  8. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three additions, mixing until just combined after each addition.
  9. Mix in coffee until just combined.
  10. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and put in the oven.
  11. Check for doneness at 18 minutes – a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake should come out clean. If they are not done, check again every three minutes until they are done.
  12. Immediately remove cupcakes from the cupcake tin and place on a cooling rack or on the counter to cool to room temperature.
  13. If you would like to add a filling, cut out a small portion in the center of the cupcake. Fill with a teaspoon of caramel and replace the center.
  14. Pipe caramel frosting on top of cupcakes with an extra large round pastry tip, and sprinkle on the sea salt just before serving. If you leave the salt on for too long, it will dissolve into the frosting.

Presentation1

Salted Caramel Frosting

(credits to: http://tidymom.net/2012/salted-caramel-cupcakes/)

Ingredients:

1 block cream cheese, 8 oz, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup Nestle la lechera dulce de leche caramel (if you can’t find this, caramel ice cream topping works)

7-8 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted

Sea salt

Directions:

  1. Place butter in a large mixing bowl and blend slightly. Add cream cheese and blend until combined, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the caramel and mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and blend on low speed until combined and desired consistency (you want your frosting pretty thick). I used about 7 cups in all.
  4. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy and can hold its shape.

DSCN2367

Optional Caramel Filling

Link: http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2010/05/triple-salted-caramel-cupcakes.html

This filling is delicious! It really adds a complementary flavor and texture to the cupcakes. It has a little saltiness to break up the sweet frosting. If you decide to add this to your cupcakes, it only fills about 12 standard cupcakes. So, you may need to make two batches, do not try to double up on the recipe, this can change the flavor of the caramel.

As a side note when making this recipe: Once the sugar is melted, it does not take long to turn a deep amber color. Do NOT leave the sugar cooking on the stove; it burns VERY easily.DSCN2339

There you have it, a delicious treat to finish off your Thanksgiving dinner. Let me know how your cupcakes come out, and if you have any great recipes, share them in the comments!

*All pictures are taken by me.

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