Chanel Cupcakes Sunday, Aug 28 2011 

I will find a way to make these puppies…

Salted Caramel Cupcakes Monday, Aug 22 2011 

I dedicated my Sunday morning to bake these wonderful, googly looking cupcakes. I found the recipe on sprinklebakes.com

My caramel turned out pretty good, except I had to try repeatedly as it kept forming into “hard candy.” My frosting was a little lumpy, I realized that the trick it to melt the butter, wait a few minutes, add sugar, and start whisking with an electric mixer. Adding the whipping cream and buttermilk at the end is also important, as it can make the frosting “runny” if you add it too soon.

I cut out little circular scoops on the top of each cupcake and filled it with caramel, plugged the top back on, and finished icing them using a ziplock baggie.

Here is the recipe for the caramel (I tweaked it a bit):

Salted Caramel Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
3 tablesspoons condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Melt the sugar over medium  high heat in a large pot.  Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. Pour in the condensed milk. Keep stirring to have a smooth, gooey consistency.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Cut a small round piece out of the tops of each cooled cupcake and pour in 1 teaspoon of caramel.  Replace the cake piece and set cupcakes aside.
Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk
Beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Make sure the butter is soft and pliable, or else you will get chunks in your frosting.  Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined.

Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel.  Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Add the heavy cream, vanilla, and buttermilk, and whisk on light. If your frosting is too runny, add a little bit more sugar and unsalted butter. Stick it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so it can cool and firm.