There comes a time with house renovations, when the builders and tradies have gone. When the gaping holes in your walls are healed up and no longer letting in the alpine weather. When you can go to the bathroom without fear of a tradesman wanting your opinion on deck oil or door handles. Where you can walk through your front door and not climb an Everest of builders rubble to do it. Where you have vacuumed and scrubbed every surface free of the dust and debris that sanding and sawing has kicked up and the builders (bless their cotton socks) have walked in. When you can finally sit back with a cup of coffee and a cupcake and admire your altered abode. That moment came at about 3 o'clock this afternoon.
Salted Caramel Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
190g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
140g (1 cup) dark muscovado sugar
115g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
115 unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125ml(1/2 cup) buttermilk
For the Frosting:
225g (8oz) cream cheese, room temperature
75g (2 1/2 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
125g (1 cup) icing sugar
2 tablespoons dulce de leche, plus extra for drizzling. *See note
Sea salt flakes for sprinkling
*NOTE: If the dulce de leche is a little thick for drizzling, just add a little warm water to get it to drizzly consistency)
I used some of my homemade cajeta. Recipe for cajeta here.
Make the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 180C (350C). Line a 12-hole cupcake pan with paper liners. Set aside.
Put the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat both the muscovado and caster sugars with he butter n medium speed for about 5 minutes, until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Reduce the speed to low and add a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half the buttermilk. Mix until just incorporated, then add another third of the dry ingredients and the rest of the buttermilk, mixing until just combined. Finally, add the last of the dry ingredients and mix just enough to incorporate it.
Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for 22-24 minutes.
Make the Frosting:
Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat all the ingredients until fluffy. Refrigerate it until it is a spreadable consistency.
Dollop about a tablespoon of the frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes and spread it evenly to the edges to cover the tops completely.
Put the dulce de leche into a disposable piping bag, snip a small hole in the tip and drizzle it over the cupcakes. Sprinkle with a tiny amount of sea salt flakes.