As a kid, one of my favourite caramel lollies was strawberry toffee. These cupcakes were inspired by that lolly - and are my first ever cupcake hero entry.
The cake recipe was borrowed from How to Eat a Cupcake (God bless her!); the buttercream and tuille recipes are my own creations.
Caramel Strawberry Cupcakes You will need:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose gf flour
3/4 tsp gf baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
125 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
125 g unsalted butter, cut into cubes (at room temperature)
2 Tbsp strawberry jam
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp butter
measuring jug + spoons
wire cooling rack
muffin tin and pattypans
For the cupcakes:
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 180°C. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the sugars and butter together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20-22 minutes (Mine were done at 40 minutes). Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
In a large, clean heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg white mixture until it is fluffy, cooled to room temperature, and holds stiff peaks (the mixture should not look dry), about 6 minutes.
With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the salt and the butter, a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition. If the icing appears to separate or is very liquid after all the butter is added, continue to beat on high speed until it is smooth and creamy, 3-5 minutes more. Add the strawberry jam, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Line large, flat tray with baking paper. Melt 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan on medium heat. When it has turned golden brown, add 1 Tbsp butter - it will froth a bit so be careful! As soon as the butter is melted, spoon toffee onto baking paper and allow to set. Break into 12 even pieces.
Top the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream and tuille. Delish!