Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

Adapted from Cake Love via The Faux Martha

Yield - 24 cupcakes

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 3/4 sugar

4 eggs

1 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used a dark chocolate powder I bought from Sahadi’s, it’s super dark!)

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 cup half & half

1 tablespoon vanilla

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar on low speed for 3-5 minutes until they are well combined.  Do NOT beat until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time on low speed.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt onto wax paper.
  4. Mix the half & half and vanilla in a measuring cup.
  5. With the mixer on low speed add the the flour mixture in 4-5 additions with a liquid addition in between.  Start and end with the dry ingredients.
  6. Use a standard ice cream scoop to distribute the batter between lined cupcake pans.
  7. Bake for 18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Let cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (60%)

pinch of Kosher salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

  1. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a small sauce pan.
  2. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and salt.  Let sit for about 30 seconds and then stir to combine.
  3. Leave the ganache on the counter to cool and stir every so often so it does not harden.

Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream

Adapted from Cake Love via The Faux Martha

5 egg whites

pinch of Kosher salt

1 1/4 cup superfine sugar

1/4 cup cold water

4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1/3 cup prepared caramel sauce (I used store bought!)

1 tablespoon vanilla

  1. In a small saucepan mix together the sugar and the water.  Heat until the mixture reaches 245 F.  Try not to stir, just move the pan a little mix.
  2. Meanwhile beat the egg whites and salt until they form a stiff meringue.
  3. Drizzle the sugar syrup into the meringue carefully and confidently as the mixer is whisking on medium speed.  Pour the mixture straight into the meringue, not on the side.
  4. Switch the mixture to high speed and beat for 8-10 minutes or until the bowl is cool to the touch.
  5. Add in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time while the mixer is running on medium speed.  The buttercream may become soft, but just keep beating and it will whip up and become firm.
  6. Add in the caramel sauce and the vanilla, beat to combine.
  7. Place the buttercream in a pastry bag with your desired tip.

Assembly

Mini chocolate chips

Extra caramel sauce

  1. Use a paring knife to cut a cone out each cupcake.  Reserve the cones, do NOT eat them :-)
  2. Spoon about 1/2-1 tablespoon of ganache into each cone.  You want to fill the hollow left by the cone.
  3. Place the cupcakes into the freezer for about 5 minutes for the ganache to set up.
  4. Place the cones back into cupcakes.
  5. Frost a nice swirl of buttercream on the top of each cupcakes.
  6. Garnish with mini chocolate chips.
  7. Time to get messy - Dip a fork into the extra caramel sauce and drizzle caramel over the top.  You can clean the kitchen counter later!
  8. Refrigerate until you want to eat them.