Today, I’m heading to a co-worker’s party and since her daughter loves cupcakes and caramel, I thought I’d make something that combines both. And let’s be honest, chocolate and caramel is one of the best combinations in my book because I am a chocoholic. They say the first step is acceptance right? I don’t think I can go one day without chocolate, so it makes sense that almost everything I make involves chocolate. Perhaps I should give up cooking on my blog and just make all things chocolate.
Anyway, back to this cupcake: I found a recipe for 7 minute meringue for the frosting and chocolate cupcake from bon appetit and since their recipes have yet to fail me, I decided to give it a try! The caramel, I made a few days ago and fell in love it. I also made too much because I have yet to buy a smaller sauce pot. With just a large pot, I thought it would be a waste to make the small batch and quadrupled the recipe. Don’t worry, it’s really easy to double or halve or triple or etc. Not to mention, making caramel isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. You just have to keep an eye on it because once the sugar burns it’s no good. But caramel will be another post! The cupcakes were really good! Since I had reduced the sugar, they weren’t overly sweet and perfectly chocolate-y. I definitely think that adding melted chocolate into the batter along with cocoa powder is what really made it that way. The 7-minute meringue frosting tasted like marshmallows and it it all went so well! I really liked that the meringue held up in the NYC heat. I know it’s a little alarming because it’s raw egg whites, but since you cook them a little over a double-boiler I think it’s fine. Everyone loved them and I’m pretty sure that this frosting will be one of my go-to frosting recipes now that I’ve tried it and realized how surprisingly simple it is top make (although next time I will invest in a electric mixer). I made the frosting by hand this time and the 7-minute frosting took roughly 20 minutes by hand. So yes, definitely use a electric mixer of sorts. Enough chitchat, let’s get started!
Ingredients:-1 stick unsalted butter, softened -1/4 cup sugar -2 eggs -1 tsp vanilla extract -5 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled -1 cup AP flour -3 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened) -3/4 tsp baking powder -1/8 tsp baking soda -1/2 tsp salt -1/2 cup milk (preferably whole milk) Frosting: -1 cup sugar -1/3 cup water -2 large egg whites -1/4 tsp cream of tartar -1 tsp vanilla extract -1 pinch salt -caramel
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a standard 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners.
- Melt the semisweet chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave (30-45 second bursts, you don’t want it to burn!). Let the chocolate cool.
- Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Once the eggs and vanilla are well incorporated, add in the chocolate and mix to combine.
- Add in one third of the flour mixture and mix to incorporate. Add the half the milk and mix until combined. Keep adding the flour and milk until everything is incorporated.
- Fill the liners until they’re about two-thirds full and gently tap the pan to settle the batter.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out with a few crumbs attached. Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove and cool on a wire rack until completely cool.
- While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting by whisking the egg whites, water, cream of tartar, sugar and salt in a metal bowl. Set the bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water and whisk* until soft peaks form. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to whisk until the frosting is cool to the touch and form stiff peaks. Beat the vanilla into the frosting**.
- Before piping on the frosting, hollow out the center of the cupcake (not all the way through, just about two-thirds of the way down) and fill with caramel. Pipe the frosting onto the tops of the cupcakes.
*Please use a electric hand mixer or a mixer if you have one. If you, like me, do not have one, now is the perfect time to invest in one. Or if you’re like me and decide you can hand whisk it, be prepared for a good whisking workout (and please don’t kill me afterwards) **You want to add the vanilla after the frosting has cooled since heat will alter the taste of the vanilla. And you’re done!