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Friday 27 June 2014

Let Her Eat Cake: Caramel & Salted Almond Cupcakes

We love sticking amaretto in our cakes here at DSHQ, AND we love sticking caramel in them too. What's that? Salted caramel might need an almondy, cakey friend? But that's ludicrously decadent! you cry. Bring on the sugar and booze, we say.

This recipe cheats by using caramel from a tin: you should find it in most baking sections. If you're feeling virtuous, you can make your own salted caramel joy. Either way, there'll be some left over, which you could use up in our Dulce de Leche cake or even maybe in a cocktail...

Caramel & Salted Almond Cupcakes 
(Makes 12-16 depending on size of cupcake cases)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 20-25 minutes

You will need:
For the cake:
  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp amaretto
  • 1/2 tin caramel
  • Good pinch of sea salt
For the topping:
  • 1 heaped tbsp muscovado sugar
  • Handful almonds
  • Good pinch sea salt
  • 150g cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • The rest of the caramel 
Make it!

The cakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease the paper cupcake cases and place in a cupcake tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat the eggs in one at a time, with a tablespoon of the flour to stop the mixture from splitting.
  4. Sift the rest of flour into the mixture gradually, folding in gently with a metal spoon.
  5. Stir in the ground almonds and the amaretto.
  6. Spoon half the tinned caramel into a separate bowl and sprinkle in a good pinch of sea salt. 
  7. Swirl half of the caramel mixture through the batter, retaining the rest for later.
  8. Dollop into the paper cases, filling them 2/3 full.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and risen and a skewer comes out clean.
  10. Place on a wire rack to cool. 
The topping:
  1. Place the muscovado and 1 tbsp water in a small saucepan over a low heat and wait until the sugar is melted and bubbling.
  2. Drop the almonds into the sugar and stir quickly until completely coated in the sugar. 
  3. Tip onto a sheet of baking parchment or foil and sprinkle with a generous pinch of sea salt whilst still gooey. Leave to set.
  4. Place the cream cheese and icing sugar in a bowl and stir together. 
  5. Cut a small, inverted cone out of the top of the cupcakes, and spoon a little of the remaining salted caramel mixture into each. 
  6. Use a piping bag or a knife to swirl or frost the cream cheese mixture on top of the cakes.
  7. Top with a drizzle more caramel and a caramelized, salted almond, and melt into a sugar coma.

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