Holly’s Chocolate & Caramel Cream Cheese CupcakesNovember 13, 2008 at 10:13 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 19 Comments
Tags: caramel cream cheese, chocolate
The internet is a crazy thing.
More and more its becoming the norm to meet friends, reconnect with old school chums and fall in love using the internet as the medium. Of course I won’t pretend that I haven’t been contacted by a Nigerian prince wanting to leave me all his money more than once but for the most part I’ve met some absolutely amazing people online. Some of them I’ve even met in real life and others I hope to meet someday. One whom I’d like to meet someday IRL is Holly from Phe/MOM/enon. (Holly, if you’re ever in CA you best let me know! I live near DisneyLand and I have a “friend” that can get us in free in exchange for some cheese! *winkwink*)
Even though Holly and I have never met IRL she’s definitely someone I consider a friend and not just an internet acquaintance anymore. She’s a fellow TWD baker, hosts the Art You Eat event and basically an all around swell person. Case in point. I happen to mention to her that I loved how she frosted her recent chocolate-chocolate cupcakes with fat round swirls and asked her what tip she used. (Just FYI I am a decorating tip addict!) She emailed me about using her 1A round tip and immediately I was jealous. I have been looking for that tip EVERYWHERE but no one near me seems to have it. When I mentioned my tip envy, without hesitation, she said she’d get me one! What did I tell you? I love that girl.
True to her word I received my gorgeous 1A round tip a few days ago and knew I would bake up some Holly-inspired cupcakes to say thank you. Chocolate, caramel and cream cheese… All her favorite things in a cupcake.
I’d say thats better than a Hallmark any day. Am I right? Of course I am. HAHA
Makes about 18 cupcakes (I got 20 cupcakes)
For caramel cream cheese frosting
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (I used 1 whole vanilla bean)
1-1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1-8oz package cream cheese, cut into cubes
For chocolate cupcake
1-3/4 cups AP flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
2 large eggs
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
To make caramel cream cheese—
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, vanilla bean and seeds. Cook over high heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any crystals from the side of the pan. Cook over moderate heat without stirring until a medium-dark amber caramel forms, about 9 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the butter and heavy cream. (Don’t worry if the butter separates.) Discard the vanilla bean.
[NOTES: Mine took about 12 minutes.]
Transfer half of the caramel to the large bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk and beat at low speed until the caramel cools slightly and comes together, about 5 minutes. With the machine on, beat in the cream cheese, 1 cube at a time and beating well between additions, until silky. Transfer the frosting to a bowl and refrigerate at least 6 hours, until very firm.
Reserve the leftover caramel for drizzle. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
[NOTES: The caramel cream cheese recipe only made enough to frost 9 cupcakes so next time I'll probably double the recipe.]
To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven 350F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. In another medium bowl with an electric mixer on high, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the melted chocolate. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternatively with the buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating until blended. Stir in vanilla.
Fill the cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean about 17-20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
To assemble cupcakes—
Pipe on the frosting using a 1A round tip. Drizzle with leftover caramel. (If caramel is too thick, microwave in intervals until you get the consistency you want.)
Husband rating: A
He’s not really a caramel person but he loves chocolate and cream cheese frosting and was pleasantly surprised at how much he loved the caramel+cream cheese frosting combination.
Wifey rating: A/A+
I am still searching for THE chocolate cupcake recipe but this one is pretty darn close. It was moist and so chocolate-y! But the icing on the cupcake (literally) was the caramel cream cheese frosting. OHMYGOD. Amazing. I bet you could probably make an easier caramel cream cheese frosting by adding pre-made caramel topping to cream cheese frosting too. But the thing about making your own caramel is the timing. If you don’t cook it long enough, it doesn’t have much flavor. If you cook it too long, you risk burning it. If you do it just right, its like a tongue-gasm in your mouth!
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