Remember a few years ago when the world went mad for salted caramel?
Yeah…well I’m still not over it.
I think my addiction started at uni, when a caramel macchiato was the only thing that would revive my cold, tired, literature-filled heart. But hey, I digress.
Just a quick note: dark soft brown sugar is a must. If you use caster or light soft brown sugar you just won’t get that dark caramel flavour from the molasses.
Makes 12 cupcakes
- 170g unsalted butter
- 140g dark soft brown sugar
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 170g self raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp milk
For the salted caramel icing:
- 115g unsalted butter
- 200g dark soft brown sugar
- 200ml double cream
- ½ tsp salt
- 250g icing sugar
- salted pretzels to decorate
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC and line a 12 hole muffin case with 12 cases.
- Either by hand, or in a mixer, make the cupcakes by creaming together the butter and sugar.
- Beat the eggs together and gradually mix into the creamed butter and sugar until well incorporated. Fold in the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the vanilla extract and milk and gently beat again until the mixture is looser, but not runny.
- Fill your muffin cases until they are each two-thirds full. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for around 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean, then place onto a cooling rack.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make the icing by melting the butter in a small saucepan on a medium heat.
- Add the sugar and 80ml of the double cream and stir constantly on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and feels less grainy. Now add the salt and stir again.
- Allow the sauce to bubble for 3 mins exactly (seriously, put a timer on!). While it is bubbling, fill a large bowl with cold water.
- When the timer has stopped, take the pan off the heat and plunge it into the bowl of cold water. This will stop the sauce from burning – be careful not to get any water in the sauce though. Leave it to cool for approx. 15 mins.
- Pour ¾ of the sauce into a medium mixing bowl and place a sheet of clingfilm directly on top of the remaining sauce so it doesn’t form a skin.
- Using an electric whisk, beat in the icing sugar a little at a time until you have a thick icing that drops gently from the spoon (you might not need all the icing sugar). Don’t worry if the icing starts to go into big lumps. Simply add a dash of the double cream and beat until it returns to the dropping consistency.
- Taste the icing at this stage – you may want to add a touch more salt.
- Spoon the icing onto your cooled cupcakes, or pipe it on if you’re feeling fancy. Then top with a drizzle of the remaining caramel sauce and a salted pretzel!