The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Salted Cashew Turtle Cupcake

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

Soft cashew cake filled with gooey salted caramel and topped with dark chocolate ganache. An extra whole cashew or two and a sprinkling of coarse salt? Yes please!

Ingredients

  • CUPCAKES
  • ¾ cups Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ teaspoons Fine Sea Salt
  • ½ cups Buttermilk
  • ¾ cups Hot Water
  • 1 cup Cashew Butter
  • FOR THE CARAMEL:
  • ¾ cups Sugar
  • ¼ cups Water
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 2-½ Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 2 whole Egg Yolks
  • 1 Tablespoon Salted Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ½ teaspoons Fine Sea Salt
  • FOR GANACHE:
  • ¾ cups Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 8 ounces, fluid Dark Good Quality Chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter (Room Temperature)
  • 48 whole Salted Cashews
  • 2 teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a stand mixer, cream the first butter and sugar together.

Add the 2 eggs one at a time, making sure they are thoroughly blended, then add the tsp of vanilla.

In separate bowl, sift together the next 3 dry ingredients.

In another bowl, mix the next 2 wet ones.

Add dry and wet to the batter, alternating.

Once everything is well blended, add the cashew butter and beat on medium-high until completely mixed and light and fluffy.

Bake in lined muffin tins for 12-15 min, or until a toothpick poked into the middle of one of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool in the tins for a minute, then remove to racks to finish cooling.

Make the Caramel:

Combine water and all but 2 Tbsp of the sugar in a heavy medium saucepan.

Bring to a boil for 8-10 minutes, until dark and caramelized but not burned.

While the syrup is boiling, prepare an ice water bath. Once the sugar is caramelized, dunk the bottom of the saucepan in the ice water to stop the cooking. Remove from the bath and slowly stir in the milk.

Don’t freak out if your caramel totally seizes – the next step is to simmer over low heat until smooth, and it may take a while but all the hardened caramel will totally melt, I promise! Just stir gently until it’s smooth and darkened from the caramel.

In the meantime, whisk together the cornstarch and 2 Tbsp sugar, then whisk in the egg and yolks.

Increase the heat on the caramel mixture to medium and simmer, then pour into the egg mixture in one long, slow stream, whisking constantly.

Return to the saucepan and cook over medium for a couple of minutes, whisking the whole time, until the mixture thickens and just begins to boil.

Immediately strain it into a bowl and stir in the butter, salt and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap pressed down onto the surface with a couple holes punched in it to vent the steam, like you would for a curd. Place in refrigerator and use once cooled.

To Fill the Cupcakes:

Use a small knife with a sharpish, thin blade and cut cones out of the middles of the cupcakes. Fill with the caramel, then trim the cones so that only a lid remains and replace. Dispose of the inner cones however you wish.

Then, Make the Ganache:

Combine the cream and sugar in a saucepan and barely bring to a boil. Immediately pour it over the chocolate and whisk until completely smooth.

Stir in the butter. If you do this right before you want to frost the cupcakes, you can dip the tops of the cupcakes in. If it sets up a little bit, you can still spread it with a knife, or pipe it.

Once the cupcakes are frosted with ganache, press a couple cashews into the top of each cupcake and sprinkle with coarse salt.

2 Comments

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iamcaressa on 2.8.2010

Holy smokes. These look amazing.

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Kelli on 8.1.2009

Delicious! I cheated a little bit by using some store bought caramel bits mixed with some evaporated milk for the caramel filling, and they were great…I’m sure they’d be even better with the real thing!

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