Toffee Crunch Cupcakes

It was Bob’s birthday yesterday so I made him these cupcake instead of a cake.  I found this recipe on a website called “Bakers Royale”, here is the link: http://www.bakersroyale.com/cupcakes/toffee-crunch-cupcake/.  They looked spectacular; if you go to her website you’ll notice that her cupcakes have frosting on them in addition to the chocolate/toffee topping but my frosting did not turn out, it was way too gooey to use.  Her instructions were difficult to follow so I’ll copy them here but also edit as I go to try and make it easier for you but in some cases I just wasn’t sure what she meant.  The cupcakes tasted great but it was a frustrating process trying to figure out how to make them from her instructions.

cupcakes:

1 cup flour

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons instant coffee (she never says when to add this in the instructions so I ended up leaving it out)

1/2 cup hot coffee

1/2 cup chocolate covered toffee bits (she never says when to add this either but in reading the comments after the recipe it says to add it to the batter)

caramel frosting:

5 egg whites

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 sticks unsalted butter, softened and diced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/3 cup caramel sauce

chocolate dipping sauce:

2/3 cups dark chocolate (about 10 ounces)

2 tablespoons heavy cream

4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted

5 – 8 tablespoons warm water (I only needed about 2 so add them 1 at a time till you get the right consistency)

1  Preheat oven to 350.  For cupcakes, add flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt to a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Beat butter, eggs and vanilla on medium for 1 minute.  Add flour mixture and beat for 20 seconds.  Add hot coffee and beat for 20 – 30 seconds until smooth.  (Add toffee bits here.)  Batter will be thin enough to pour.  Divide evenly among 12 paper lined muffin cups.  Bake 18 – 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.

2  For frosting, combine egg whites and sugar in double boiler over simmering water.  Bring mixture to 150 degrees while whisking constantly.  Transfer mixture to mixer bowl and with whisk attachment beat on medium until mixture cools and doubles in volume.  Add butter a piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition.  The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking but this is normal.  Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine.  Add caramel sauce and mix to combine.

3  For sauce, place chocolate and heavy cream in double boiler over simmering water.  Let chocolate and cream sit 2 – 3 minutes to melt without stirring then slowly stir mixture to combine.  (I just melted my chocolate and cream in the microwave.)  Add powdered sugar and mix to combine.  Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until pouring consistency is reached.

4  To assemble, (I’m just going to tell you how I did it and not the way she did it), dip tops of cupcakes in chocolate dipping sauce then in toffee bits.  Let sit for a couple of minutes to allow chocolate to set.  Fill pastry bag fitted with large round tip with frosting and pipe in decorative pattern on tops of cupcakes, allowing chocolate and toffee to show at bottom (that is if your frosting turns out!).

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