Salted Caramel Halloween Cupcakes

A little something for the squad at work. They turned out so much better than I hoped they would. I did make some little chocolate spiders which I popped on top, but didn't photograph stupidly.

Ingredients for the sponge
200g self raising flour
pinch of salt
200g caster sugar
160g butter
3 small eggs
2 & 1/2 tbsp buttermilk
2/3 tsp vanilla extract
For the topping
110g unsalted butter, soft
225g muscavado sugar
85ml double cream
150g icing sugar
small pinch of salt flakes
50g dark chocolate (75g if you want to make chocolate spiders too!)

1. Preheat the oven to 160. Prepare two cupcake trays with cases.
2. Put the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter in small pieces. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla using a fork. Add the to the flour mix and beat using an electric hand mixer until everything is combined, thick and smooth.
3. Divide the mixture into the cases, filling them about half or two thirds full. They will rise in the oven but there still needs to be room for icing! Bake for 15 minutes, turning half way through to ensure an even colour and rise.
4. Meanwhile, make the caramel icing. Set 50g of the butter to one side. Put the remaining butter in a pan with the muscavado sugar and cream. Heat until the butter has melted, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer. Pour into a bowl and gradually beat in the icing sugar using an electric mixer until combined and nearly cooled. Add the butter and salt and mix. Leave to cool until needed.
5. Level the top of the cakes with a sharp knife. Cover the tops with the caramel icing.
6. Gently melt the chocolate and put into a piping bag with a no.2 nozzle. Pipe a spiral on top of all the cupcakes. Using a toothpick or skewer, drag from the centre to the edge to create a cobweb pattern.

If you make spiders, melt more chocolate and pipe on to greaseproof paper. Leave to cool, peel off and pop on top of your finished cakes! X Bo


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