Living on the Edge: Chocolate Ganache Filled Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream and Sea Salt

Most people, when asked to bring a dessert for an auction or some other very public event, would stick to something they had made at least once before. Something that at least one other person had raved about. Not me. I got the May/June issue of Cook’s Illustrated and decided on the spot that the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake recipe would probably work out alright and that Butterscotch Buttercream would be delicious on top. In fact, I have a strong feeling that this might be it: the pinnacle of chocolate cupcake-dom. Trendily, I have decided to garnish them with this French sea salt my dad brought back for me on his last trip to Europe.

So far I have completed the buttercream component and I have to say, I am swooning. This buttercream is light and airy on one hand and rich and redolent of molasses on the other.  The anticipation of the delicate crunch and tingle of the salt in contrast with the dark sweetness of the buttercream has my mouth watering. There is a sad and scary part of this story though. I am presenting the cupcakes on a tiered cupcake stand with individual holders for each cupcake.  The stand holds 24 cakes and if I make the recipe twice, I will have just 24. Not only will I never have the opportunity to try even one of these little gems, unless I bid on and win my own dessert (which would be weird and gauche), I’ll never know if they were as good as I hoped they’d be! So sad!

Clearly, I’m going to have to make them again right away.


10 responses to “Living on the Edge: Chocolate Ganache Filled Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream and Sea Salt

  1. Wow – those look great! How did they do at the auction?

    Your food stories are terrific – I love reading them!


  2. They did great! They were one of the first desserts selected and since I begged, I got to try one! They are the best chocolate cupcakes ever. Absolutely satisfying in every way.

  3. You are hilarious! and your cupcakes look perfect.

  4. sarah — after sampling your cupcakes at the auction and subsequently reading about them, i headed to the store to buy the cooks magazine, as i was blown away by them, and must make….must make. However, where is the caramel buttercream from? I didn’t see it in the issue — is it secret family recipe? I will pay greatly for it…..ha ha.

  5. The recipe is there – I just renamed it: it’s the butterscotch one! I am so glad you liked them!

  6. Thank you! I am committed to cooking from your blog for the week — so far so good — yummy — and your tips on salmon were right on!
    thank you — i’m feeling inspired once again.

  7. I am on hiatus until Tuesday – but I am so happy that you’re using the recipes! My personal favorites are the lamb patties with cannelini bean purée and the faux pho – actually I have to say it’s my kids who really beg for those – for what it’s worth!

  8. so i made these last night — amazing — my one thought, did you put all the 6 oz chocolate in the frosting? it was amazing, but i wanted mine to look/taste just like yours — which looked much lighter in the brown department….mmm…must make again…..

  9. no chocolate in the frosting!! Only brown sugar! You’re following the recipe for vanilla frosting substituting brown sugar for white – see the note at the beginning of the recipe – although I bet that frosting was DElicious.

  10. The question is: how hard is it to frost them in such an appealing manner? I want to make cupcakes for kelsey and her friend’s for a party for kelsey’s birthday.

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