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.

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