What better way to celebrate Chocolate week by sharing one of my favourite, most decadent, chocolate cupcake recipes?!
Here in the UK, autumn has finally arrived. The countryside is inflamed with gorgeous reds and golds from the falling leaves, chunky knit wear, gloves and scarves are being dusted off from spare bedroom wardrobes ready to keep their owner’s warm in the colder weather which is slowly creeping in, tell-tale wisps of grey smoke escape from chimneys across the countryside hinting at the roaring fires within. and rich, heavy casseroles with lashings of red wine and tender beef bubble away on stove tops across the country; I really do love everything about this season, including some of the rich, earthy dishes that accompany it.
With the above in mind, and after recently tasting some gorgeous chocolate salted caramel puddles from Hotel Chocolat, I was inspired to develop a cupcake recipe that was reminiscent of the colours and tastes of autumn; beautiful browns and golds along with rich, deep, earthy flavours that dominate the food we crave when the weather turns cold. Enter my chocolate, ginger and salted caramel cupcakes which are inspired by the large American cupcakes featured in the Hummingbird bakery and feature a salted caramel sauce recipe from the gorgeous Nigella Lawson.
Memoirs of an Amateur Cook’s Chocolate, Ginger and Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Makes 12 large cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
280g caster sugar
240g plain flour
Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
240ml skimmed milk
Tbsp stem ginger in syrup
For Nigella’s salted caramel:
25g soft light brown sugar
25g caster sugar
60ml double cream
Crushed sea salt
400g icing sugar
3 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
Salted caramel sauce
2 pieces of stem ginger
Salted caramel sauce
1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees and line a cupcake tin with papers.
2. Mix together the sugar, margarine, flour, baking powder and ginger until the mixture is sandy in texture.
3. Measure out the milk and beat in the eggs. Add this to the dry ingredients, mixing well until everything is well incorporated.
4. Finely chop the steam ginger and stir into the cake batter.
5. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases so that each one is three-quarters full. Bake for 20 minutes until the cupcakes are golden and springy to the touch. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack, removing from the cupcake tin.
6. Meanwhile, make the salted caramel sauce. Put the butter, sugars and syrup in a small pan and heat gently. Allow the mixture to melt and combine, simmering for a few minutes until it thickens.
7. Add the double cream to the pan with a pinch or two of crushed sea salt. Allow to cool and pop in the fridge until needed.
8. To make the icing, beat together the icing sugar and margarine.
9. Add the cocoa powder and check the flavour, adding more if necessary.
10. Drizzle in half of the salted caramel sauce you made earlier and beat until the icing is well combined.
11. Spoon the buttercream icing into a piping bag and once the cupcakes are completely cool, swirl on the icing completely covering each cupcake.
12. To decorate, drizzle some caramel sauce over each cupcake and top with chopped stem ginger and edible gold glitter.
These cupcakes glisten in the autumn sunshine and promise bursts or gingery goodness followed by salty sweet caramel…perfect on those cold, misty October evenings!