Monday, February 11, 2013

Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Earl Grey Buttercream & Salted Caramel

Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Earl Grey Buttercream & Salted Caramel
Gong Hei Fatt Choy! Happy Lunar New Year everyone! If you follow me on instagram you would have seen my favourite part of CNY eve is arranging the yee sang. This year I made it look like a snake. It was tricky because I was trying my hardest to make sure it didn't look too, er, phallic. And I was sad to destroy him (even though it was very tasty). I named him Harold, I don't know why.
Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Earl Grey Buttercream & Salted Caramel
I didn't have the chance to bake any new year treats this year and my Mum brought back heaps of cookies from KL, so I randomly baked up these cupcakes instead. Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Earl Grey Icing and Salted Caramel. It was a good excuse to use up some leftover buttermilk and I love doing dessert recipes involving any kind of tea, especially Earl Grey.
Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Earl Grey Buttercream & Salted Caramel
You might think it sounds like a strange combination, but the moist, slightly bitter dark chocolate cake is heavenly when you add the fluffy meringue-style icing with a hint of bergamot. It's pretty much chocolate and orange! And salted caramel goes with everything. I just love the way it looks drizzled into the swirls of icing.
Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Earl Grey Buttercream & Salted Caramel
I know Valentine's Day is coming up soon but this year I seem to be allergic to anything pink or heart-shaped when it comes to V-day baking. I've done it before but I'm avoiding it this year. Maybe because my husband totally loathes the holiday I'm try not to cheese it up. To be honest I find this cupcake a way more sexy, awesome treat to make for someone you love.
Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Earl Grey Buttercream & Salted Caramel
I totally over-estimated how much icing I would need for the cupcakes (but adjusted the amounts in the recipe below), so I doubled the same chocolate buttermilk batter recipe to make a full-sized cake. It was just as good, if not better. I brought the big cake over for dessert with my family and even after all our reunion dinner feasting everyone still went back for seconds of this cake.
Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Earl Grey Buttercream & Salted Caramel
The cupcakes might be a more sensible option if you want to stop yourself from eating too much of this cake. It's so moreish because surprisingly it's not that sweet and there's so many contrasting textures in one bite. Hopefully in the next few weeks I can keep up the regular posts because I'm in the middle of moving apartments. I'm nervous to see how the oven in my new place performs! There may be several baking failures coming up.
Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Earl Grey Buttercream & Salted Caramel
Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Earl Grey Icing & Salted Caramel
(cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart, icing adapted from Honey & Jam)
Note: This recipe yields 10-12 cupcakes, if you want to make a whole cake, double the cake batter quantity and bake in a 18-20cm round tin greased and lined with baking paper for about 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
For the cupcakes:
3/4 cup (about 95g) plain/all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (about 170g) sugar (I used caster/superfine but white/granulated is fine too)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking/bicarb soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
85g (6 tbsp) butter, melted
6 tbsp (about 90ml) buttermilk
1 large egg
1 large egg white

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a standard cupcake tray with papers. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb soda, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, combine cocoa and 3 tablespoons hot water until a thick paste forms (this process intensifies the chocolate flavor). Add butter, buttermilk, egg, and egg white; beat until combined. Whisk in flour mixture until smooth. Scoop (or spoon) batter into prepared papers, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Earl Grey Buttercream & Salted Caramel
For the Earl Grey Icing:
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup strongly brewed Earl Grey tea (I used 3 teabags/about 3 tsp loose leaf tea)

Beat egg whites in a large mixing bowl until foamy & thick, they should mound, but not peak. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cream of tartar, 1/4 cup Earl Grey tea & salt. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes, or until a candy thermometer reads 117°C (242°F) and all sugar is dissolved. Begin beating the egg whites again and slowly pour in boiling sugar syrup in a slow steam. Continue to beat on high for 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add remaining tea by the tablespoon, beating after each addition. Continue beating until icing reaches desired consistency (it should hold its shape when piped and cooled), about 2 minutes.

For the salted caramel, I made a half batch of this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. To assemble, pipe or spread icing on the cupcakes. Spoon cooled salted caramel over the top. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for several days.
Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Earl Grey Buttercream & Salted Caramel
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47 comments:

  1. Oh how convenient...I just happen to have some buttermilk in my fridge. :P This recipe came at the perfect time!

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  2. i love tea in desserts! and i agree, salted caramel DOES go with everything, and it looks super gorgeous in the little crevices of the buttercream!

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  3. Anything that infuses Earl makes me a happy girl! (Yay for rhymes too!)

    The Occasional Indulgence

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  4. Wow - the look of the caramel cascading over the frosting on top! I want to dive right in.

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  5. These cupcakes {and cake} look absolutely incredible!!! Your photos are beautiful!

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  6. All of my favourite things in one dessert - chocolate, earl grey and caramel! Looks so decadent and delicious.

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  7. Adorable matryoshka doll cupcake papers <3

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  8. Such perfect swirls of icing and those cupcake wrappers are the cutest!

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  9. Those buttermilk cupcakes look devine and it sounds so beautifully paired with the earl grey buttercream. Weclome to heaven!

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  10. Gong Xi Fa Cai, Steph... your pictures always looks pretty! You kill me with the cupcake paper.. so lovely..

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  11. Love this combination of flavours. I have never made buttercream with egg whites before, looking forward to trying this recipe. It looks like the whipped ice cream you get from Mr Whippy.

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  12. Forget the pink and heart abomination. Just load me up with some of that sweet and salty caramel action! And good luck with your apartment move - exciting!

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  13. Oh my they look so good! I love those cupcake cups!

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  14. I'm with Lisa; chocolate, caramel and earl grey?! You sure know how to seduce ;)

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  15. I made these today and had a bit of trouble with the buttercream. I didn't pipe straight away and it went very soft and runny and hard to pipe. Help! Are you supposed to pipe immediately? Great flavour though!

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    1. Yes sorry you need to use it straight away, I should have mentioned that! Otherwise you have to keep it chilled.

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  16. Gong hei fatt choy Steph! Hope you had a wonderful CNY!
    Your yee sang was adorable, it must have been very sad to mess him up! Also saw your pineapple tarts on instagram, so jealous. Have you ever tried making them?
    This would have been a wonderful dessert, the salted caramel looks sooo good. I love how you said you randomly decided to bake these cupcakes, I wanted to make nin go (spelling error..?) this year but ran out of time and made red velvet cupcakes instead. everyone was a bit confused, but they still went so quickly! I might make egg tarts for the 15th day (:

    Check out my CNY post: http://andgeesaid.blogspot.com.au

    xx

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  17. Seriously salted caramel makes me happy!

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  18. hello heaven. I just found out what you look like.

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  19. I lovvvvve anything with tea in. Receiving these cupcakes for V-day (or on any day, come to that) would make me feel very loved!

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  20. These cupcakes are looking so damn sexy, mmm :9

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  21. I am totally with you regarding the non valentine related posts. Fed up of seeing pink and red heart related things everywhere. Totally makes a change x

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  22. These are cool!!! and the cupcake cases are beautiful with the russian dolls....adorable!!
    Love
    Marialuisa

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  23. Gong Hei Fatt Choy to you too! Oh my, the salted caramel looks absolutely divine. Beautiful Photos by the way!

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  24. Yummmmy! They look gorgeous and I love the favour combination. Thanks for the post xx

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  25. These look absolutely delicious!!! I love salted caramel and i guess that would balance out the creamy icing~ and definitely cupcakes! otherwise i'd eat too many XD thanks for sharing!!

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  26. Oh My God these are just too cute!
    I LOVE THEM!
    I can't imagine how delicious they would taste too :)
    Pinning now :)

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  27. Sounds excellent!
    I plan on making a batch of these today for my wife for Valentine's Day.
    ... Curious about the "buttercream icing though - how is it a "buttercream if there is no butter in the icing recipe? Would that relate to the commenter above who had trouble piping the icing?
    Sounds like an Italian Buttercream, where you make a meringue, whip in sugar syrup until cooled, and then whip in softened butter (except here the butter step is left out...)

    Looking forward to this nice treat - thanks for the post!
    - a chef in New England

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    1. You're totally right, it's actually a meringue icing. Not sure how I ended up calling it a buttercream, maybe because the original recipe I based it on called it a frosting and it got a bit messed up in my head. I might change it in the recipe.

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  28. this is divine!! I am so happy I found your lovely blog. I hope you will share it at my hop. hugs

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  29. Holy crap!! (Excuse my language)--but these look SO good!! I love all the flavor combinations too. I never would have thought to pair earl grey with chocolate, or even caramel.

    Love the photos as well, very drool worthy :)

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  30. Yummy! I love the cupcake holders and delicious decorations.

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  31. I am SO in love with this icing! I mean, seriously my number one. Ladies and gents, I HIGHLY recommend trying this ah-may-zing flavor. Don't be intimidated by the tea, it's such a wonderful accent to the smooth texture of the egg whites. I'M IN LOVE!

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  32. These look wonderful and I can't wait to give them a go, thanks for sharing.

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  33. Hi!! I had trouble with the icing! How stiff is stiff? They weren't anyway as nice as yours. I couldn't pipe it so I ended up just slathering it all over the cake haha. Lovely blog!!

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    1. Stiff as in stiff peaks. You want it to be like a meringue, it should hold it's shape very well.

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  34. Thank you so much for posting this recipie! I loved making it and it turned out wonderfully! I had a question concerning the icing - how do you make sure it keeps it's shape? When I put the salted caramel on it the icing kind of melted.

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    1. You have to be pretty careful with the caramel because the icing is so fluffy - make sure the caramel is completely cool and very gently drizzle it on top. With my larger cake you can see it's hard to avoid the caramel dissolving the icing a bit when there's a lot of it because it's quite heavy compared to the icing. Otherwise you can try piping the icing and chilling the cupcakes first before pouring the cooled caramel on top?

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  35. Everything about this is beautiful. And I have buttermilk in my fridge! The universe was calling me to make these.

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  36. Hi one cup measurement will be how many grams?

    Thanks

    Jenn

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    1. Umm, it depends on what ingredients you are referring to. I have already provided gram measurements for all the ingredients listed in cups except for the brown sugar, so I'll assume that's what you are referring to. You can find a converter here: http://www.traditionaloven.com/conversions_of_measures/sugar_amounts.html

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  37. Do you think you could substitute the chocolate for custard power to make vanilla ones?

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  38. So, I am making the cake version of this, and was worried as I only have a 9in pan not a 8 inch (20cm) as stated here. Well, I doubled the recipe as it says and my cake is overflowing the pan (and creating quite a mess, and lots of smoke) You definitely need a bigger pan! Hope it still tastes ok.

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  39. Hey there!
    So I made these last night, sans the caramel sauce. My cakes were dry and the frosting was very weird and did liquefy rather quickly. All the flavors were fab though! Love the earl grey. I'll be making the poppyseed ones next. :)

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