Bobbette & Belle Share A Sweet Recipe For Valentine’s Day
I don’t think cupcakes could ever go out of style, especially when they are salted caramel. Sure macarons, eclairs and donuts that have gotten their fair share of play of late, but I will always choose a cupcake over most sweets, sometimes just for the icing. Allyson Bobbitt & Sarah Bell have a whole bunch of amazing sweet recipes, including macarons, in their beautifully laid out Bobbette & Belle Coobook, and they’ve shared their recipe for Salted Caramel Cupcakes with us for Valentine’s Day, or any day you need a treat.
From the book:
We often say that, as business partners, we are two halves of the same whole and, at the risk of sounding as sappy as Tom Cruise did, we complete each other, at least as far as our palates go. Thankfully we enjoy a lot of the same flavours, but we also each have a list of things that we particularly like as individuals. For Allyson, one of those things is definitely salted caramel. If you look at our recipes or come into the shops you will notice a variety of items with caramel and fleur de sel, whether used as a garnish or as a component in a recipe. The nice thing about this salted caramel cupcake is that it puts the caramel at the forefront and highlights how wonderful a homemade version is.
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon lightly beaten egg white, room temperature
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
3 tablespoons toffee pieces
For salted caramel sauce
Use a squeeze bottle or small piping bag for a neater drizzle, or just go wild with a spoon.
Remove the sauce from the heat when the consistency is slightly runnier than syrup as it’ll continue to thicken as it cools (a warm sauce will melt the buttercream frosting).
For salted caramel buttercream
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup 35 per cent cream
1/4 tsp fleur de sel, maldon or kosher salt
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat a half cup of sugar, stirring constantly until sugar melts and turns a golden colour. Be careful not to burn. Add remaining sugar and continue to whisk until everything has melted and turned golden brown.
Reduce heat to medium low. On a gentle simmer, add cream slowly, whisking until everything has combined. Add salt and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until any hard sugar bits have dissolved. Immediately remove from heat and cool completely before using. Sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
For salted caramel buttercream
4 large egg whites
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
2 cups (500 mL) room temperature unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 mL) salted caramel sauce
Use a double boiler or fill a medium-sized saucepan with one inch of water. Bring to a gentle simmer. Place a large heatproof bowl over saucepan.
Whisk together egg whites and sugar until it reaches 140F (70C) on a candy thermometer.
Immediately transfer to a bowl on a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until mixture has cooled to room temperature, has doubled in volume and holds medium-stiff peaks, 8 to 10 minutes.
Reduce speed to slow and add 2 cubes of butter to mixer. Increase speed to medium-high to incorporate. Repeat with remaining cubes of butter. Reduce speed and add vanilla and caramel sauce. Whisk on high again until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Use immediately or refrigerate for up to a day.
Makes enough buttercream for 12 cupcakes.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, lightly beat together the egg and egg white
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs in 3 additions, stopping after each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and beat until well combined.
4. With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Blend after each addition until just combined, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once. Add the toffee pieces and mix for 15 seconds to combine. Using a spoon, divide batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling approximately three-quarters
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. For even baking, rotate the pan front to back halfway through. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a rack to cool completely.
6. Ice the cooled cupcakes using a spoon, a small offset spatula or a piping bag and tip. Drizzle the cupcakes with the salted caramel sauce. The cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
The homemade salted caramel sauce can also be used as a filling if you want a real burst of caramel flavour. Simply use a sharp paring knife to cut out a dime-size tunnel in the centre of each cooled cupcake, going about halfway down. Using a piping bag, fill the hole with caramel sauce, then ice on top with the salted caramel buttercream.
Excerpted from Bobbette & Belle: Classic Recipes from the Celebrated Pastry Shop by Allyson Bobbitt & Sarah Bell. Published by Viking®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.