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Salted Caramel Popcorn Mud Cupcakes

These semi-homemade impressive-looking cupcakes would be the perfect dessert for a party; chocolate mud cupcakes are coated in chocolate frosting and topped with a mound of peanutty caramel popcorn.
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Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10
Author: Michelle Southan taste.com.au magazine September 2013

Ingredients

  • 150 g dark cooking chocolate finely chopped
  • 100 g butter chopped
  • 125 ml ½ cup hot water
  • 215 g 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100 g ⅔ cup plain flour
  • 40 g ¼ cup self-raising flour
  • 30 g ¼ cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 egg
  • 453 g tub Betty Crocker Chocolate Frosting
  • 175 g package Lolly Gobble Bliss Bomb popcorn
  • 55 g ⅓ cup salted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 500 g package jersey caramels
  • 80 ml ⅓ cup thickened cream
  • Melted chocolate to decorate

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced and place 10 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.
  • Put about 1-inch of water in a saucepan and bring to barely a simmer; place chopped chocolate, butter and hot water in a heatproof bowl and place this bowl over the simmering water, being sure the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until melted and smooth; remove from heat. If the bowl isn't very big, transfer the melted chocolate to a larger bowl to mix in the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add sugar and vanilla to melted chocolate; stir well. Whisk in flours, sifted cocoa powder and egg until well combined.
  • Divide mixture evenly between cupcake liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  • Spread a layer of frosting on top of each cupcake.
  • Combine the popcorn and peanuts in a large heatproof bowl.
  • Place caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes, stir until melted and smooth. Pour two-thirds of the caramel over the popcorn and stir to combine. Set aside for 3 minutes.
  • While still warm, grab a handful of the popcorn mixture and shape it into sort of pyramid-shaped mounds (this will be very, very messy). Carefully place them on top of the frosted cupcakes. Leave to set for 5 minutes.
  • Warm remaining caramel mixture to soften and drizzle it, and the melted chocolate, over the popcorn mounds. I found this was easier if I put the caramel and chocolate in piping bags/Ziploc bags to drizzle, as it was easier to control how much came out!

Notes

I used Lindt 70% chocolate for the cupcakes and drizzling and Werther's Chewy Caramels for the caramel mixture.