Chocolate, caramel, and salt are probably the best dessert combination, especially for the holiday season. I’ve been experimenting with salted caramel recipes and baked goods over the last few years, and I have loved each and every one of them. The essence of these treats truly shines through when the sauce is paired with other contrasting flavors and texture. That’s what makes them such an amazing pairing with brownies, cakes, ice cream, and CUPCAKES... At the end of the day, we all dote upon all things salted caramel and chocolate!
So, here it is.... Incredibly moist, chocolate cupcakes, topped with a little extra salted caramel sauce and finished off with a pinch of flaky sea salt and pecans.. all coming together in a seriously addicting cupcake!
Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Cupcakes Yield: 24 cupcakes Prep time: 20 minutes Total time: 50 minutes INGREDIENTS: ½ cup dutch process cocoa powder ½ cup hot water 2¼ cups all-purpose flour ½ tsp. baking soda ¾ tsp. baking powder ¼ tsp. salt 1-cup butter melted 1 ½ cups granulated sugar 3 eggs 2 tsp. vanilla extract ¾ cup sour cream Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe follows) Pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard-size muffin pans with paper liners.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. In a separate medium bowl sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Combine the butter and sugar in an electric mixer and beat on medium-low speed until the mixture is incorporated about 3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture, beating until smooth.
Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool in the pan for 10 min, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Drizzle with salted caramel sauce, and add pecans. Dust with powdered sugar.
Salted Caramel: 1 ½ cups granulated sugar ¼ cup water ¾ cup heavy cream 1tsp fleur de sel (or another sea salt)
Directions: In a saucepan, melt the sugar with water over medium high heat. Once all the sugar has dissolved swirling the pan occasionally. As soon as the sugar turns golden remove pan from the heat and pour in the cream while whisking vigorously. The caramel is going to bubble aggressively so be careful.
Whisk until all the cream is incorporated and then whisk in the fleur de sel or any sea salt. Set the sauce aside to cool and comes to room temperature.
Note: You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks, but you will need to warm it before using.