Friday, April 11, 2014

Caramel Crème Brûlée Chocolate Cupcakes

Welcome to Foodie Friday, where every 2nd Friday of the month, I will be sharing one of my favorite recipes with the friends of Love Bakes Good Cakes.

I am Sandra.  My friends call me San, and my blog is A Dash of Sanity. Here, I share recipes while also giving you a little glimpse into my life.  As a mother of five, daycare provider, and head chef/owner of Delectable Moments, a catering business I started four years ago, I’ve discovered ways to make life a little easier while maintaining great taste. And on occasion, I find solace in the adventure of a challenging recipe or the elevation of an experience with heartfelt touches and a bit of panache.  I would love for you to check it out, as my hope is that A Dash of Sanity provides you with an idea, a laugh, encouragement, or just a break from the everyday madness.

I’m excited to get to know each of you and all of your foodie desires.

Today, I am sharing a recipe that will add a little bit of panache to your dessert menu:
Caramel Brulee Chocolate Cupcakes.  Okay, I literally just drooled a little typing that.
I recently have become obsessed with my kitchen torch, finding all sorts of ways to break out the flame (besides the time I caught my purse on fire - a story for another time).  The only flame in my house is from this handy little torch. I will brulee about anything.  I have made 4 different crème brulees recently to the total satisfaction of my husband, my only other flame in the house, except when I tried to share the extras with our neighbors.  He quickly tried to gobble up 5 in one sitting before I could grab them.  I also love cupcakes and thought the combination would be brilliant. I have done this before, but not with these flavors.  This is a winner and my favorite. Chocolate and caramel… come on, must I say more?
Here is A Dash of Sanity original, shared especially for my friend Jamie!
Enjoy! And looking forward to the next Foodie Friday.

XO San

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Caramel Crème Brûlée Chocolate Cupcakes

Serves: 12     Prep Time: 45 minutes     Bake Time: 15 minutes     Assemble Time: 20 minutes


Caramel Crème Brulee, Pastry Cream
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 ½ tablespoons of caramel topping
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Granulated sugar, about 1/3 cup
Caramel Whip cream (optional)
12 Caramel Brulee Bites, I get these from Starbucks

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vinegar


Caramel Crème Brulee, P
astry Cream
In a medium saucepan, heat heavy cream, milk, 6 tablespoon sugar, salt, and caramel topping. Bring mixture just to a gentle bubble, stirring occasionally (remove from heat as necessary to prevent vigorous boiling while preparing remainder).

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 2 tablespoon sugar until well blended. Add cornstarch to egg yolk mixture and mix until very well combined and slightly pale and fluffy.

Take about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture from pan, and while vigorously whisking, slowly pour hot cream mixture into egg yolk mixture.  Do this about 1 tablespoon at a time. Replace back on heat and reduce burner temperature to medium-low. Then, while whisking hot cream mixture in saucepan, slowly pour egg yolk mixture into hot cream mixture in saucepan. Cook mixture, whisking constantly, until thickened. Allow it to boil for about 30 seconds after it has started to cook out starchy flavor. I had to go back and do this again, after my cream did not reach desired consistency after refrigeration. NOTE: You can boil this mixture again, after you have refrigerated it. I did and it still worked. Although it was a bit more like a custard than a cream.

Immediately force mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Mix in 1 tablespoon of butter. Cover with plastic wrap pressing directly against surface of custard. Chill thoroughly, about 2 hours.

Mix all ingredients together until moist and well blended. Place 15 cupcakes liners in a cupcake pan. Add batter until about 2/3 full. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F.

To assemble cupcakes:
Pipe, I prefer this way or spread chilled pastry cream over cooled cupcakes into an even layer. Working with one cupcake at a time, sprinkle the pastry cream with sugar then heat with a kitchen torch until sugar begins to melt and caramelize. While I torched one cupcake, I kept the rest in the refrigerator just to keep them nice and it was a little warm in my kitchen.

To get the brulee topping coat the edges of pastry cream with sugar, then the top. Torch it and while you are doing this slowly and gently sprinkle another layer of sugar, this is optional but I like the crusted sugar topping. You will use about 1 ½ - 2 teaspoons of sugar per cupcake.  Allow topping to cool and stick the fridge while you do the rest.

Garnish with whipped cream and an “ornament” of your choice. I personally love the Caramel Brulee bites from Starbucks, they are so cute! Serve immediately or put in the refrigerator for 30 – 60 minutes before serving. I found that keeping them in the fridge helped the cream keep its form and for the caramelized sugar to stay hardened.

A great option is making the pastry cream the day before, especially if this is your first time to make pastry cream. Also, I would make two batches or double the amount of pasty cream. My kids and I loved it and ate ½ of it before we even topped the cupcakes.

Kids review: My kids absolutely loved these, as did everyone I gave one too! In fact, everyone noted this was the best cupcake they have ever had! Even a friend, which rarely goes out of her way to tell me something was good, texted me that it was “the most was amazing cupcake!” My girls loved the way they looked and thought for a second they were too pretty to eat. I have to say, I almost agreed. 

Click on the links below to enjoy some more from 

A Dash of Sanity:
Chicken Fettuccine Bake
German Chocolate Cake Cookies

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