I made Mini Eclairs with salted caramel and banana from this recipe http://simply-delicious.co.za/2012/07/04/mini-eclairs-with-salted-caramel-fresh-banana/ last week after a hellish day at the office where the only thing that would cheer me up was baking only to find that, because I had used coarse salt instead of salt flakes or Maldon salt the salted caramel was much too salty. It was perfectly useable especially when I made the salted caramel cream but I didn’t top the éclairs with more caramel preferring rather to go the more traditional route and decking it with melted milk chocolate. This did however leave me with leftover salted caramel and I had to make a plan to use it up before it turned into fudge.
Since caramel goes really well with chocolate and you find both in Rolos, that gave me an idea. I made up a batch of my favourite chocolate cake (I have copied and pasted one below but feel free to use any recipe) and turned it into cupcakes.
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
Serves 8 – 10
30ml cocoa powder
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
5ml bicarbonate of soda
5ml vanilla essence
2.5 x rolls of Rolos (10 in each pack)
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Grease a muffin pan well or put a cupcake liner into each hole.
In a pot heat the butter, oil, cocoa powder and water.
When the butter has melted, remove the pot from the heat.
Cool slightly and place in a large mixing bowl.
Add the flour and sugar.
Add the eggs and bicarbonate of soda, vanilla essence and buttermilk.
Pour the mixture into the muffin pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
As I had used some of the salted caramel in the éclairs, I didn’t have enough to put into the cupcake but I did put a Rolo into each cupcake before baking so that sorted it out.
180g soft butter/full cream margarine
550g icing sugar
15ml milk/water to loosen icing if required
100g melted dark/milk chocolate for decoration
Cream the butter by hand or with electric beaters until smooth and light. Slowly add the sifted icing sugar until fully incorporated. It will look a bit dry at this stage but when you add the salted caramel and allow that to mix in, you will have a better idea of how much milk/water you will need to make a spreadable icing. The longer you beat the icing, the lighter in colour it will become and the creamy colour set off the melted chocolate I drizzled on top beautifully.
Make the salted caramel before you start baking or while you’re waiting for the cupcakes to cool. You will need to wait until the mixture is room temperature before adding it to the buttercream.
250g (8.82 ounces) sugar
50ml (1.69 fluid ounces) water
100g (3.53 ounces) butter
100ml (3.38 fluid ounces) cream
2 t sea salt flakes
To make the salted caramel, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and allow to come to the boil. Cook until the sugar is the colour of amber then add the butter and cream and stir until smooth. Add the salt and set aside to cool slightly.
Allow cupcakes to cool before generously topping each cupcake with some icing. I found piping impossible because some of the salted caramel had turned into fudge bits that kept getting stuck in the icing nozzle. Drizzle over melted chocolate and top each cupcake with a Rolo.