I had resisted the temptation to write about chocolate for a while. Once I gave in, I can only talk about how delicious chocolate is. What I like about chocolate is how versatile it is. It’s potential seem to crystalize when combined with other ingredients.
Salt, caramel, chocolate; a combination designed to sweep anybody off their feet. Moist, rich and totally decadent, these are Marta’s favorite cupcakes. Love at first bite. Utterly complex, these cupcakes stand above anything else like it. They are layered with salty, sweet, bitter, flavors. Interestingly enough, I think resemblances between these cupcakes and Marta is otherworldly. While She is now back home, enjoying beaches under the Spanish sun, the thought of being able to make these any time comforts me; now a vehicle for remembering the good old times.
A couple of weeks ago, I boasted about stout-whiskey chocolate cupcakes. These are equally good, but in a different way: less chocolaty, with a layer of salted caramel that binds the salted caramel whipped chocolate frosting to the cake. I have to confess that the thought of making caramel was very daunting at first. After a couple of successful and not so successful attempts I am more comfortable with it. Be patient! It takes time to caramelize, and attention for it not to burn.
Totally indulgent, there is nothing healthy about these cupcakes, but that should not discourage anybody from having a bite.
The Marta Fenollosa Cupcake
Inspired from Baking=Love
Makes 12 cupcakes.
- 1 cups flour
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- ½ cup cocoa
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup water (3/4 cup water for the cakes)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup sour cream
Line a 12-cup muffin tin. Reheat Oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and vegetable shortening, until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add water, oil, eggs, vanilla and sour cream in the center. Mix until well incorporated. Scoop batter into baking tin (3/4 full). Bake for 20 minutes. Insert a toothpick into one of the cakes to test for done-ness. Toothpick should come out clean. Set aside to cool.
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
You will use the caramel for making a sauce and in the whipped chocolate frosting.
At medium low heat, melt salt into cream in a small saucepan. Set aside.
In another saucepan, place sugar, water, and corn syrup. Cook at medium low heat, until the mixture becomes amber color. It took me approximately 20 for this to happen. The sugar will first dissolve into the water, then, it will start to bubble. Make sure to maintain the heat at a low temperature, this will ensure a more even caramelization, and prevent it from burning. Once amber, turn of heat, and add the salted cream. It will bubble viciously, stand back and be careful! There is nothing worse than a caramel burn.
Whipped Chocolate Frosting
8oz dark chocolate
½ cup room temperature butter slice into 1” cubes
While making the caramel, melt chocolate over a double boiler. Place melted chocolate into stand mixer. Once caramel is ready incorporate it into the melted chocolate and whip for 5 minutes. Once the mixture has cooled, add butter, one cube at a time. If too soft, place in fridge for 20 minutes, or until it firms up slightly.
½ of previously prepared caramel mixture
¼ cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
Pour half the caramel into a bowl. Add sour cream and vanilla. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside.
To assemble, spoon caramel sauce onto cooled chocolate cupcakes. Pipe whipped chocolate frosting. Sprinkle sea salt over the top. Devour!