Chocolate-Caramel Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting
For the cupcakes:
1 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups high quality cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup butter-softened to room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup homemade Caramel
½ cup freshly brewed hot coffee
For the Caramel Filling:
**See my recipe for Salted caramel sauce
For the Frosting:
2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Seeds/pulp of ½ of one vanilla bean
1 tablespoon whole cream-adjust upward to obtain the desired consistency
Directions: For the cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a medium sized bowl, and then set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the buttermilk, salted caramel, sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla and mix on low speed until combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
3. Using a large scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
4. With a very small spoon, dig out a circular well in the center of the cupcake. Then fill the center either by piping the cooled salted caramel into the well, or with a teaspoon. Finish by frosting with vanilla frosting.
For the Icing
In a large mixer, combine the sticks of butter, vanilla, and confection sugar gradually. Slowly add cream until you reach the desired consistency.
**Adapted from a Mybakingaddiction recipe