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Baking Is Science For Hungry People: Salted Caramel Lava Macchiatto Cupcakes

Well hello again. So I have a confession to make. I altered the recipes the other night and hadn’t yet made the stuff. **blushes** I know. I know. That is so awful of me. BUT I had bought all the ingredients! Surely that has to count for something, right?!?! Okay fine, how about the fact that I made them last night, and brought them in for my victims—- I mean coworkers— to try out…? Does that redeem me in your eyes? Even just a little? Okay FINE, then how about these pictures? And don’t hate on the deliciousness, clearly I have shared the path to it with you and cannot be held accountable for any drool on your keyboard. So there. ūüėČ

Macchiatto Cupcakes - Give Me Three Steps

1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Cream 3/4 cup butter & 1 cup sugar together in a large bowl.
3) Brew 8 oz cup of cofee and mix with 1/4 cup cold milk, 1 tspn cinnamon and 1 tspn nutmeg, in a small bowl.
4) Mix together 2 1/2 cups floud, 2 tspn baking powder and 1/2 tspn salt in medium bowl.

Macchiatto Cupcakes - Mix It On Up

1) Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/2 of the coffee mixture to the blender. Mix well.
2) Add 1/3 more of the flour mixture and 1/2 of the coffee mixture to the blender. Mix well.
3) Add in the last of the flour mixture and 1 1/2 tspn instant espresso powder (okay, fine, yes, I used 2 tspn instead) and mix well.

Macchiatto Cupcakes - Fill

1) I used my silicone baking cups but regardless, line your cupcakes with the papers and spray with Pam.
2) Fill baking cups 3/4 full (I used a spoon to divvy the dough.) Bake for 18 minutes at 350, until just a little soft still. Remove from oven.

Salted Caramel Sauce: Prep

1) In a saucepan (I recommend NOT using a large one like I did), combine 1 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup heavy cream. I may have used an extra tablespoon of heavy cream, but SHHH! don’t tell! Have this warming over a LOW heat, gently stirring with a wooden spoon until it starts to boil (read: bubble) lightly.

Salted Caramel Sauce: Butter Makes It Better

1) Once boiling over low heat, add 3/8 cup (almost a full stick) of unsalted butter. Stir occasionally.
2) Bring caramel to a boil (read: bubble) again and let it boil (read: bubble) for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Macchiatto Cupcakes - Thumb It!

1) Once removed from oven, immediately put a ‘thumbprint’ indentation in the middle of the cupcake. Make sure it is just an indent, about 1/4″ deep should work, but don’t break it in half or anything!
2) Let cool while you finish the caramel sauce.

Salted Caramel Sauce: Salt Attack!

1) Once caramel sauce is removed from heat, add in coarse sea salt, about 1 overloaded teaspoon worth. Okay, you caught me: I just shook the container 3 good times, but it’s about 1 overloaded teaspoon, I swear!!!
2) Keep stirring the caramel for about 2 minutes to ensure the salt mixes in well. If you don’t like salted caramel, just omit this whole little section aside from the last caramel step, below.

While the caramel cools, and the cupcakes continue to cool:

Whipped Cream Frosting: Before

1) In your large mixing bowl from creaming the sugar above, now cleaned out, combine 2 cups heavy cream and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Okay, yes, you got me here again – I used about 3/4 cup of powdered sugar instead. Yeesh you guys are good.
2) Once soft peaks form, add in 1-2 tspon of vanilla extract. Yes, I used 2 tspn here. Keep the mixing going this entire time as well, and then it will look like this, below:

Whipped Cream Frosting: After

3) Refrigerate until ready to build your creation, and cover it with aluminum foil.

Salted Caramel Sauce: To Go Please!

1) Now that your caramel sauce has cooled to not-boiling-piping-hot status, took about 15 minutes right?!?, you can do like I did and pour it into a “decorator bottle” with a normal tip, like mine from Pampered Chef.
2) Tip: use a funnel to get the sauce into the bottle from the pan, and I highly recommend spraying said funnel with Pam spray to keep it from sticking.
3) Note: I was able to fill the bottle twice which worked out nicely – once for the next step, and again for the final steps upon creating the final vision.

Salted Caramel Lava: Before

1) Take your bottle with nifty spout, and pour caramel sauce into your cupcake indentations, just until level with top of cupcake. Do not overfill.
2) Once completed, you will have very pretty cupcakes indeed:

Salted Caramel Lava: After

And now for the Ganache, the final ‘ingredient’!

Chocolate Macchiatto Ganache: Double Boil Me!

1) In a double boiler (or if like me you just wanted to keep reusing the same pans [cleaned of course!], you can clean out your caramel pot and fill it halfway with water, and use a small saucepan for the inner pan), combine 1 bag of semisweet chocolate chips and half a bag of bittersweet cacao chips (I used Ghiradelli for both), with 1 cup of unsalted butter.
2) Stir occasionally, and make sure the heat is set to Medium. This is key, as it will keep a) the water from boiling over into the chocolate, b) the water from using you for target practice, and c) you from having a huge mess to clean up, with a possibe ER visit from burns.

Chocolate Macchiatto Ganache: Sugar!!!!

1) While the chocolate is melting, combine 5 cups of powdered sugar with 1/4 cup instant espresso powder and 1/2 tspn of salt.
2) Whisk until evenly distributed.

Chocolate Macchiatto Ganache

1) In a mixing cup, combine 1 cup of milk and 2 tspn vanilla extract.
2) Add the milk mixture to the powdered sugar and whisk until mixed together (read: sticky).

Chocolate Macchiatto Ganache: Chocolate Rules

1) Once the chocolate has melted completely in the saucepan, and no butter chunks are left anywhere, and the entire thing is nice and smooth, remove from heat and remove chocolate pan from water pan if you’re doing like I did. Let sit about 2 minutes, then brave it.
2) Pour the chocolate mixture into the sugared milk mixture, and whisk until fully blended. Then whisk it about 2 minutes more.

Chocolate Macchiatto Ganache: Now We Drool

1) Refrigerate chocolate ganache 20 minutes until slightly firm, or overnight.
2) If compiling everything the next morning/day, you will need to microwave the ganache about 2-2:30 to get it smooth and distributable.

When Ready To Make Salted Caramel Lava Macchiatto Cupcakes Come Alive:

Cupcakes Come Alive: Ganache

Top your cupcakes with a layer of Ganache.

Cupcakes Come Alive: Whipped Cream Frosting

Top your Ganache with a dollop of Whipped Cream Frosting.

Cupcakes Come Alive

Top your Whipped Cream Frosting with a drizzle or three of Caramel Sauce. **Note: If you are assembling the next day, remove the top from your bottle and microwave caramel sauce in the bottle for 20 seconds on half power to get it pourable.

Voilà the final creation!

Cupcakes Come Alive: DONE!

One final note… I had enough cupcake batter leftover that I made an 8-inch round cake of this as well. I had enough caramel that I poked about 15 holes in the cake, just like the cupcakes, after it baked, filled them with caramel sauce, and topped the same as the cupcakes for the final creation. I still had about 1 cup of whipped cream frosting and 2 cups of ganache leftover, with just about a teaspoon of caramel sauce, most of it stuck in the bottle! Here they are, all of my creations together:

Cupcakes Can Be Cakes Too

Whew, that was a big project, but according to my victi—coworkers, it was a delicious, albeit slightly heavy, coffee sweet treat! I look forward to trying these again, though, because they got a “holy delicious” from me as well! Let me know if you try these and if you like them!

Also, disclaimer: “Baking Is Science For Hungry People” is from my favorite comic Questionable Content, and is one of my all-time-favorite shirts as well.

Craft You Later,
Beth

Splish, Splash, Caramel Lava Cupcake Making A Blast!

So I was bad and took this weekend off of blogging. I know, tsk tsk on me. But I promise it won’t happen again…for awhile at least! ūüėČ Anyways, I was feeling like a bum this morning because it was 25 degrees out, and so I decided to work from home. The wonders of the current age of business – we have such nice options like working from home, using cell phones as main lines, and having home internet speeds that compare nicely with work internet speeds. It is a wonder, for sure! But anways, I was sitting home, and read my friends’ blog post for today, and there was a great article on DIY Pumpkin Spice Latt√©s, courtesy of her husband. Which then made me crave a coffee drink myself, so I drove my craving over to Rocky River Coffee Company (my closest non-chain), whom I love because of their motto: Friends don’t let friends drink corporate coffee.

The little places seem to have way better coffee selections for those of us (**ahem**) who don’t like just a plain ol’ cup o’ joe all the time. Yes I enjoy fancy schmancy coffee, and yes I enjoy trying the weird combinations that people at coffee shops imagine, and yes I enjoy paying $4 for said imagination. Okay maybe ‘enjoy’ isn’t the best word for that last part, but “accept that this is the cost and ingenuity doesn’t come cheap, so¬†at $4 we are still in the realm of okay-I-will-pay-that-amount” is a little long, no?!? Well anyways. I got my Caramel Macchiatto (no, this did not taste like Starbucks’ version, and yes it was delicious, and yes I had it made with soy milk for extra protein) to go, and came back home to sip and work, and sip some more. Deeeeelicious! Yum. So then I started thinking that I really need to post more on my blog. And I had no idea what to post today, but I wanted to do something baking-craft.

So then it hit me. Caramel Macchiatto Cake!!! WOOHOO! We have a winner! But how to make this delicious-sounding craved treat?!? So of course – google to the rescue! I found a couple really fun blogs, that I am going to try to meld their versions into something of my own. Because let’s be honest. Following just one recipe for the entire creation just isn’t quite as entertaining as watching someone (else) attempt to meld three recipes into one master creation. Right?!? So here are the three recipes I am going to combine. Once you look them over, I will share what I am actually doing in my own recipe. Because, yes, I am going to let you all sit back, relax, and watch me be a fool in the kitchen. Because there are fewer places I am a better fool then in the kitchen! ūüėČ And I am a-okay with that! ūüėÄ

Cupcake Inspiration courtesy of MyButteryFingers.

Frosting Inspiration courtesy of JavaCupcake.

Additional Inspirations courtesy of WarningSugaryGoodness.

Final Production Recipe:

Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes
2 ¬Ĺ cups all-purpose flour¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 2 tspn baking powder¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬Ĺ tspn salt¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
¬ĺ cup strongly (cool) brewed coffee¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬ľ cup milk¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†1 tspn each,¬†nutmeg & cinnamon
¬ĺ cup unsalted butter, softened¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† 1 cup sugar¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 3 eggs¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1 ¬Ĺ tspn instant espresso

  1. Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 F.Place paper liners in muffin tin.
  2. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Combine coffee, milk, cinnamon & nutmeg in a cup and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together in a stand mixer or large bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat eggs in one at a time.
  4. Reduce speed to low and beat in one-third of the flour mixture, then half of the liquid mixture. Scrape down sides, then beat in another third of flour mixture, then the rest of the liquid, then the remaining flour mixture. Mix in the instant espresso.
  5. Fill cupcake liners ¬ĺ full. Sprinkle on cacao nibs if using. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely and remove from the pans.  Rather than excavate the middle out of the cupcakes to fill with caramel.  Just push the cupcake down with the bottom of a clean ice cream scoop. Fill with Caramel filling below.

Caramel filling and drizzle
1 ¬ľ cup light brown sugar¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬ľ cup heavy cream¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 3/8 cup unsalted butter, softened¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1 tspn salt

  1. To make the caramel, put the sugar and cream in a heavy bottom saucepan set over low heat.  Heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon as it comes to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the butter and stir. Bring caramel back to a boil let it bubble gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Take the caramel off the heat, add the salt, and stir vigorously to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed in. Let the caramel cool and then fill cupcakes. Reserve some of the caramel to drizzle after chocolate ganache frosting layer, set this caramel aside

Chocolate Ganache Frosting infused with Espresso
4 oz bittersweet chocolate       2 oz unsweetened chocolate   10 oz semisweet chocolate
1 cup butter unsalted ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬ľ cup espresso powder¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† 5 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt                                    2 tsp vanilla extract                     1 cup whole milk

  1. Melt chocolates and butter over double boiler.  Slowly stir constantly, until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Sift powdered sugar, espresso powder, and salt into a bowl.
  3. Combine milk and vanilla. Add milk mixture to sugar mixture. Whisk until incorporated. Add melted chocolate mixture to milk mixture. Stir until smooth.
  4. Chill it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or so, whatever it takes to get it thick enough to frost.  Frost the cupcakes once the frosting is thick enough.  Keep unused portion in the refrigerator covered tight for up to one week.

Whipped Cream Frosting
2 cups heavy cream¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬Ĺ cup powdered sugar¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. In a standing bowl mixer whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form.
  2. Add confectioners’ sugar, to taste (not too sweet)
  3. Mix in vanilla extract.
  4. Pipe Frosting onto each cupcake & then drizzle with caramel.

Pictures to come later, but¬†for now: g’night all!

Craft You Later,
Beth

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