Chocolate and salted caramel cupcakes with whipped chocolate ganache

Great British Bake Off winner, John Whaite gives a masterclass in how to create these decadent chocolate and salted caramel cupcakes with whipped chocolate ganache.

Serves: 12

Ingredients

For the whipped ganache250g milk chocolate, roughly chopped400ml double cream

For the cake batter125g plain flour40g cocoa powder½ tsp baking powder1 tsp bicarbonate of soda¼ tsp fine salt100g dark brown muscovado sugar50g golden caster sugar50g sunflower oil120ml water60g whole milk60g full-fat natural yoghurt1 large egg

To fill and decorate397g can carnation caramel/dulce de leche¼ tsp fine salt20g dark chocolate, coarsely gratedSea salt flakesGold leaf

Method

  • Make the ganache first - it will need a while to cool. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Put the cream into a medium saucepan and set over a high heat. Once the cream starts to simmer, remove it from the heat and pour it onto the chocolate. Wait 30 seconds for the chocolate to melt, then whisk to a smooth, glossy ganache. If you have lumps of chocolate In the ganache, simply set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and stir gently until smooth. Cover the bowl with cling and refrigerate for 30 mins - hour.

  • Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan. Line a 12-hole deep muffin pan with muffin/cupcake cases. Into a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb, salt and sugars, and whisk to fully combine.

  • Put the oil and water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and add the milk and yoghurt.

  • Break the egg into the bowl containing the dry ingredients, add the hot liquids, and whisk to a smooth cake batter. This will be a very runny batter.

  • Divide between the muffin cases and bake for 15-18 minutes, until well risen, beautifully dark, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.

  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the caramel and salt. When the cakes are cooled, remove the centres with the apple corer. Put the caramel into a piping bag and pipe it into the holes in the cakes, filling the holes completely. You will have some caramel left, but it will keep in the fridge for a week or so.

  • Take the ganache from the fridge and whisk it using a handheld electric whisk just until it holds its shape like whipped cream. If the ganache won’t whip, it needs to be chilled for a little longer. Put the whipped ganache into the second piping bag, fitted with French star nozzle. Pipe the chocolate on top of the cupcakes in a large, generous spiral.

  • Finish with a grating of dark chocolate and a fleck of gold leaf.