Monday, November 7, 2011
Rolo Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting
Starting us off: Rolo Cupcakes
The famed chocolate covered caramel candy, Rolos, hidden inside chocolate cupcakes topped with a salty-sweet and lighter than air Caramel Buttercream Frosting then haloed by a rich chocolate ganache and finally, crowned with an additional Rolo candy. These made some pretty fun Birthday cupcakes for a sweet friend last week and since making them, I am thinking of a reason to make them again (or, try them with a different kind of candy...).
The Buttercream is especially a triumph for me because I think it is one of the only frosting recipes I've ever liked. Growing up, my mom was a professional cake decorator and so us kids grew up on cake scraps and licking out the leftover frosting out of the bowl. Suffice it to say, I both OD'd and became pretty discerning when it came to cake and frosting. My mom introduced me to this buttercream frosting recipe (traditionally my least favorite of frosting offerings) and it's amazing. It's almost more of a whipped cream consistency and even better, is almost completely hands off in the technique. Sweet!
makes about 18 cupcakes
1 box Devil's food chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 small package instant chocolate pudding
unwrapped Rolos candies, 2 per cupcake (one for inside, one for garnish on top)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except Rolos. With an electric mixer on low speed, mix to combine. Raise speed to medium and blend for about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl. Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pans, filling almost to the top of the liner. Press one Rolo into each cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-23 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes. Remove from pans and allow to fully cool on wire racks.
Caramel Butter Cream Frosting:
(Makes about 2 cups of frosting. I doubled the batch so that I wouldn't have to worry about running out of frosting and ended up having about a cup of frosting leftover)
3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons chilled Heavy Whipping Cream
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
pinch of Kosher salt
3 tablespoons caramel flavored syrup (Hershey's makes a bottled one--or use caramel ice cream topping)
In a combine all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Run the food processor continuously for 5 minutes. The mixture will be smooth but thick and kind of funky looking
Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. With whisk or paddle attachment (I prefer the whisk), allow the mixer to run continuously for 15 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides, until frosting is light and fluffy and the consistency of whipped cream. Transfer frosting to a pastry bag with desired tip (or in my case, the only--quite wonky-shaped--one you can find after rifling through all your drawers).
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
In a microwave safe dish, heat cream just until simmering (likely 30 seconds or less on high power, watch it closely!). Stir in chocolate chips. Allow to sit a couple minutes to allow chocolate to fully melt. Stir mixture until smooth. Stir in honey and vanilla. Allow to cool until almost room temperature.
Pipe frosting in a mound on top of each cupcake. I find it helps to start on the outside edge of the cupcake and work inward and upward (although I am certainly no cupcake frosting expert!). Frost all the cupcakes and allow to chill so frosting hardens enough so that it won't melt under the ganache topping. Once frosting has chilled, spoon a couple teaspoons of ganache over top of frosting being careful not to use too much so that it doesn't drip over the sides of the paper. Press an unwrapped Rolo into the top of the cupcake. Return to the fridge and chill. Remove from fridge one hour before serving.
Some overall concepts adapted from MyBakingAddiction.com
Cupcake recipe adapted from Ann Byrn's "The Cake Mix Doctor"
Frosting adapted from Rosie's Bakery Buttercream recipe