Salted Caramel Chocolate Swirl Cupcakes

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I hope you guys are sitting down to read this post.

Because this is a recipe for something other than macarons.

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I’m as shocked as you are ;)

Last night we had dinner with some family friends. They made a delicious dinner and I was in charge of bringing dessert. Because even on my days off you can find me in the kitchen.

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I’ve made lots of macarons recently and decided it was time to make something different and save the macarons for a catering event I have coming up in a few weeks.

I used to make cupcakes all the time. The last cupcakes I made were these Easter Cupcakes but so it was time to reintroduce cupcakes into my baking life.

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The base for these cupcakes is my go-to chocolate cupcake. It’s so decadent, made with dark chocolate and sour cream for a little something extra. Basically the only chocolate cupcake recipe you’ll ever need.

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I avoided topping these cupcakes with frosting and instead decided to put on a layer of salted butter caramel (leftover from my salted butter caramel chocolate macarons) and melted chocolate swirled together.

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The result was this rich, decadent, delicious salted caramel chocolate swirl cupcakes. They were a hit at dinner last night and I hope you all like them too!

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Swirl Cupcakes:
Makes 12 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes: 

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Salted Butter Caramel: 

  • 250g sugar
  • 2 1/2 fl. oz. water
  • 4 fl. oz. heavy cream
  • 7 oz. salted butter

Chocolate Topping: 

  • 1 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine butter, chocolate and cocoa powder in a heatproof bowl over gently simmering water. Heat until the butter and chocolate have melted, stir to combine and set aside to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk the eggs; add sugar, vanilla and salt, stirring to combine. Add chocolate mixture and whisk together.
  5. Sift in 1/2 of the flour mixture and stir together. Whisk in the sour cream, then add remaining flour and whisk again until just combined. Don’t over mix. Divide batter between liners and bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool.
  6. To make the caramel, heat the sugar & water over medium heat – do not stir. Watch until it becomes a light-brown caramel colour.
  7. Next, slowly and CAREFULLY add the cream, stirring with a spatula. The caramel will bubble and foam a lot.
  8. Once cream has been incorporated into caramel, monitor the temperature. Once it hits 225°F., remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until smooth.
  9. Pour into a container and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours.
  10. Melt your chocolate over a double boiler and set aside to cool slightly.
  11. When you’re ready to assemble your cupcakes, top each with a generous spoonful of caramel and add a dollop of chocolate on top. To swirl, run a toothpick through the caramel/chocolate. Store in the fridge to keep caramel and chocolate from melting.

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Birthday Cake Macarons

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Confession: I’m not a big cake fan. Don’t get me wrong, cake is delicious, there are just other sweet treats I would rather treat myself to.

August is a double birthday month for my family — my brother’s birthday was a couple of weeks ago and my birthday is coming up on Saturday. A combination of two birthdays and a slight disinterest in cake as a celebration treat led to these birthday cake macarons!

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It probably doesn’t surprise you that I made birthday-themed macarons, does it?

I brought these to a birthday week dinner my friends wanted to do with me and they were a hit! Perfect after some of my kale and mushroom risotto and some wine.

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The shells are just a plain vanilla shell that I dyed purple {because that’s my favourite colour and as the baker, I get to make that decision ;)} and covered in sprinkles.

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No birthday is complete without lots of sprinkles.

The filling is a sweet birthday cake inspired buttercream with sprinkles mixed in. If you’re going to sprinkle, you have to really sprinkle. Be bold. Be colourful.

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Birthday Cake Macarons: 

Ingredients:

Shells: 

  • 200g almond flour
  • 200g powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 fl. oz. water
  • 200g sugar
  • 160g egg whites, separated into 80g each
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Gel food colouring (optional)
  • Rainbow sprinkles

Birthday Cake Buttercream: 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles

Directions:

  1. To make the shells: In a food processor, process the almond flour and powdered sugar. Sift into a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Without stirring, make sure the temperature of the syrup doesn’t go above 240°F.
  3. Gently beat 80g of egg whites to soft peaks, then increase the speed of your mixer when the temperature of the syrup hits 220°F. When the syrup reaches 240°F remove from the heat and pour in a thin stream into the beaten egg whites. Continue to beat meringue for about 10 minutes so it cools.
  4. Combine the almond flour/powdered sugar and remaining 80g egg whites, making a smooth almond paste. Scrape the vanilla bean and incorporate the seeds into your almond paste. {If you’re going to add colour to your shells, add it now. Colour will pale once the meringue is added so you’ll probably need to add more than you think}.
  5. Using a flexible spatula, incorporate about 1/3 of the meringue into the almond paste to loosen the mixture, then add the rest of the meringue, carefully incorporating it into the batter.
  6. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Put the batter into a piping bag fitted with a large pastry tip. Pipe out rounds, about 1-1 1/2″ wide. Tap the bottom of trays against your countertop, pour some sprinkles over the rounds and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Heat oven to 300°F. Bake macarons, one sheet at a time, for 14 minutes.
  8. To make buttercream: beat the butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until incorporated. Pour in vanilla extract and milk, stirring to combine. Finally, add sprinkles and combine again.
  9. Pipe the buttercream onto one half of each macaron pair.Place other half on top and sandwich together slightly.
  10. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Let come to room temperature before eating.

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Savor The Road {Giveaway}

A few months back, I partnered up with the lovely folks at OpenTable to review some local Portland restaurants.

OpenTable are currently promoting their #savortheroad giveaway.

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Summer is the perfect time for taking a road trip and everyone knows every good road trip is filled with delicious food!

They are giving away 10 $100 dollar gift cards for use at any of the restaurants OpenTable have a relationship with throughout the country (there are a lot!).

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To enter, all you have to do is follow them on Instagram and Twitter (@OpenTable), or “like” their Facebook page. Then, take a picture of your summer dining adventures and use the hashtag #savortheroad.

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Simple!

You have until 11:59pm PST on August 16th to enter. Good luck!

{I’ll be back with a new recipe for you all next week. It’s birthday-related so you know it’s going to be good ;) }