And it's not just me who loves these cupcakes. It's everyone except for those people who hate chocolate (I don't understand those people by the way). I've seen people devour these proudly, and I've seen people hide in corners lost in their own experience. I know that sounds super strange, but when you try one you will understand. These certainly make other desserts pale in comparison.
Since there's three parts to these cupcakes, I recommend making the caramel sauce a day before (or you can use something store bought). Then you can make the cupcakes and frosting the day of and assemble. They are definitely worth any time spent. Oh, and don't forget the sea salt at the end. If you skip that, it definitely won't be the same. The salt helps to temper the sweetness and provides the perfect balance of salty and sweet. Ahhh...and I'm going to go have another one. I've just convinced myself again.
Makes 12 cupcakes
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*Note: If you're making these at high altitude, use 3 eggs instead of 2 and increase your oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For the cupcakes:
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot coffee
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
About 1 cup caramel sauce, divided
For the frosting:
8 oz good semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
Sea salt for sprinkling
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
*High altitude: preheat to 375 degrees.*
For the cupcakes, in a medium bowl, combine the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, and hot coffee. Let sit for one minute and then whisk until smooth. Set in the refrigerator to cool completely, about 15-20 minutes. Whisk in the oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla until blended. Add in the salt and baking soda and whisk until incorporated. Add in the sugar and bread flour and whisk until smooth. Divide the batter among 12 muffin cups in a muffin pan (about 1/4 cup of batter each). Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 17-19 minutes (*16-18 minutes for high altitude*). Cool cupcakes in the pan for about 10 minutes and then remove to the counter and let cool completely.
While the cupcakes are baking and cooling, make the frosting. In a small saucepan, mix together the cream, sugar, and corn syrup. Heat over medium until sugar has dissolved and mixture is very hot. Pour over chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes, giving the chocolate time to melt. Stir until chocolate has melted, add the butter, and stir until melted. If the chocolate won't fully melt, you can heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Let the frosting sit for about 10-20 minutes, stirring periodically. It will firm up as it cools. If it hardens too much, simply reheat for about 10 seconds until it's spreadable again.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, core out some of the middle using an apple corer or a knife. Fill the space with the caramel sauce. Pipe the cooled frosting on top of the cupcakes and sprinkle with sea salt.
Chocolate cupcake recipe from America's Test Kitchen.