These were insane. Absolutely mad, in the most positive sense – they’re a Sally’s addiction creation (do you see a theme emerging in this blog by any chance? Go check out her stuff! You can’t go to her site and not end up baking.) I am only sorry that more people didn’t manage to try them immediately after I made ’em, when they were still warm from the oven with a cool fresh caramel-cream topping for contrast…
Makes exactly twelve. Tell everyone else it made ten. Ahem.
For the Cupcakes –
160g Plain Flour
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
220g Dark Brown Sugar
120g Unsalted Butter (keep that stuff soft, yo)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
125 ml Whole Milk
For the Frosting –
120g Unsalted Butter
220g Dark Brown Sugar
75ml Double Cream
1/2 tsp Salt
400 – 450 g Icing Sugar (as needed)
Decorative Toppers (I used these ’cause they’re all pretty)
1. Preheat your oven – 160 celsius fan, 180 non-fan. Organise yourselves and line your cupcake pan with twelve cupcake liners (these ones are really pretty!)
2. Mix together your flour, baking powder and salt – I find that (with dry, clean hands) it’s often easiest to do this with your fingers! In a separate bowl or bowl-shaped container, combine your butter and sugar with your hands or a mixer for two to three minutes until they’re ready for a close-up. Perfect, yeah? Add in the eggs and vanilla and keep beating. Finally, tip in the flour mix, part by part, and keep combining. Add in the milk to get a final, perfect, even consistency.
3. There, your batter is ready! Use it to fill each cupcake liner to just over halfway full – these things will grow in your oven, no need to worry. Bake for between 20 to 22 minutes (mine took twenty, bang on.) They’re ready when a poke-stick comes out of the centre of one of ’em, clean. Set aside to cool, 30 minutes to an hour.
4. Icing time – now, personally speaking, this bit is scary, because you make caramel as part of the icing. This is one of the much spoken-of, often-dreaded ‘difficult’ things to master as part of a career in confection. Want advice? Chillax. Follow my instructions, and things will turn out fine. Okay? Here we go.
5. Over a mid-low heat, melt your butter in a small saucepan. When it’s just melted, add the brown sugar, and the cream. From here, you do not leave that saucepan alone. Turn the heat down a tiny little bit (particularly if you have a demonic stove-top like ours) to keep yourself extra protected from burning. And stir. Seriously. Consistently. Just stir. The sugar will dissolve. Add in your salt. Keep stirring. It’ll start bubbling and thickening. Permit the bubbles for precisely three minutes (keep a timer next to you. I watched my microwave). After that take it off the heat and let it cool down to room temperature (takes about a half hour). Put it nowhere near a fridge, it messes with the magic.
6. Now, get out that electric mixer. Put the caramel you’ve made (hey! well done!) into a mixing bowl, add your icing sugar (start with about 3/4 of what you have) and beat ’em up good. Add more icing sugar as desired til it reaches a good consistency – and here’s a tip, if you go overboard with the sugar, add in whole milk or cream to get it back to prettiness again. Use piping or a spoon to layer this over your cakes, and top with decorations of your choice.
Enjoy (seriously. Oh my god).