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.
For the whipped ganache
250g milk chocolate, roughly chopped
400ml double cream
For the cake batter
125g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp fine salt
100g dark brown muscovado sugar
50g golden caster sugar
50g sunflower oil
60g whole milk
60g full-fat natural yoghurt
1 large egg
To fill and decorate
397g can carnation caramel/dulce de leche
¼ tsp fine salt
20g dark chocolate, coarsely grated
Sea salt flakes
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.