I like to pretend that I’m not really a cupcake person.  I mean, we all know what cupcake ‘people’ are like right?  They have TONS of hair, usually swept horizontally across their foreheads in a faux-bo style (hair jewellery optional).  They giggle.  A lot.  And they wear far too many layers.

I’m not a giggly person (lies – it’s a nervous thing rather than an affectual thing though) and I don’t have much hair.  As for layers, I find it a struggle to co-ordinate my top with my bottoms let alone style an outfit akin to a fucking onion.

But cupcakes, well… I can’t help it – as much as I want to hate them (and everything they stand for), they taste too good.  I’d like to make them all muffin-sized though.

Look what I made last night.


The touch of Fleur de Sel makes the whole cupcake affair slightly less twatty don’t you think?  I like salted sweet things.  Have I ever told you about my favourite chocs?  These are them (you can find them in Selfridges) and when I was a kid, I could only have dreamt about paying out £13 for some chocolates.  Mr. L looks equally disappointed and elated whenever I bring a box home, which to be fair, is only about twice a year.  But still…

These cupcakes present a cheaper way of getting my salted chocolate fix, read on for the recipe – which isn’t mine by the way but is my absolute favouritest no-fail chocolate cupcake recipe – courtesy of Hummingbird Bakery

yields 12 chocolate cupcakes

100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
1½tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter (I use clover, don’t shout at me)
120ml whole milk
1 egg
¼tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius.

Add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter to a bowl and using the lowest setting on your hand-mixer, whisk until the mixture begins to look ‘sandy’.  Watch out for flour clouds.

In another bowl, whisk the egg, milk and vanilla extract together before adding it to the dry mixture, a little at a time, whisking all the while until you get a smooth consistency, don’t overmix.

Fill 12 cupcake cases around 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Mine were nicely done by the 20-minute mark.  The surface should spring back when pressed.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Now, as for the buttercream… I may be in a minority here, but there is definitely such a thing as TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING.  I simply don’t like towers of icing that drown my cupcake, I want the icing to complement, not invade and conquer the cake below.  What say you?

That’s not to say I’m a joyless spoil-sport… *wipes buttercream from mouth* I just generally find that when making buttercream, I can usually half the recommended quantities listed in the recipe book and still get my chocolate, sugary, gooey fix.

Here’s how I made it:

for the Buttercream

150g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature (again, Clover for me)
20g cocoa powder, sifted
20ml milk

Whisk everything except the milk… then add the milk a spoonful at a time.  Continue whisking until you get bored.  The longer you whisk, the lighter/fluffier the buttercream.

And the magic ingredient?  Just a little sprinkle of Fleur de Sel ontop of each one does the job… you can leave the salt off some of them if you like, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea now is it?

These are SO light and airy, with just the right amount of buttercream and that little salty tingle on the tongue that reminds you just how incredibly bad these actually are for your health.  Stunning.

In other news, not-cake related.  I’m off on holiday tomorrow for a week in Liverpool/Manchester – thank god the diet is starting the week after eh?  All those curry cafes are making extra portions in preparation for my arrival.  As always, any insider tips/places to visit/things to do/goodies to eat – I’m all ears, you made my last holiday earlier this year in Torquay, absolutely blinding with a little local knowledge!

I’m probably not going to be posting much, if at all, next week – I just haven’t built up any reserves in my draft folder to see me through the drought.  Hope you all have a fabulous week, and long may this warm spell continue – though if it could stop by bedtime, that would be great, thanks.


22 Responses to “Salted Chocolate Cupcakes (you’re gonna die and go to hell if you make these)”

  1. Oooo we made Hummingbird Bakery cakes yesterday. Regular vanilla and then assaulted them with orange and day glo blue food colouring. Don’t you just love a 3 year olds recipe interpretation….

    As for Liverpool and Manchester I can only help with shopping… Liverpool One is meant to be amazing. Not yet been, I fear for my bank balance… Cheshire Oaks is a good shop too, enormous CCO there and for Miss L some cool playground attractions along the way.

    Failing that, whizz 45 mins into North Wales and get yourself to Rhyl. It’s a mini Blackpool but with fewer kiss me quick hats.. (and me! )

    S x

  2. hollie says:

    I have one of the Hummingbird Bakery recipe book and man is everything in there delicious!
    Although my cupcakes never look like they do in the photos, I guess I just aint got the artistic cupcake knack.


  3. Kristi C. (@lov2read68) says:

    Oh.My.Goodness. Those sound absolutely heavenly! You may or may not have inspired me to do some baking today!

  4. Wow your favourite chocolate is so classy. I like Freddos. The cupcakes look great and easy enough, I’m more of a biscuit person though because you can’t really dunk cupcakes in a cup of tea, or if you do people look down at you or say “Eurgh that’s disgusting” or similar. Enjoy Manchester and Liverpool! Especially Manchester. I spent my teenage years in the terrifying fire hazard that is Afflecks Palace. xxx

  5. Kiki says:

    LOL….anyone who refers to foodstuffs as TWATTY (or “slightly less twatty”) is OK by me.
    Really, I’m not much for cupcakes…touch of salt notwhitstanding, far too sweet for me. They look pretty, but that’s about it.

  6. the_queen_of_cheese says:

    Apart from the fact that these cupcakes look totally delicious, I can’t help but love a recipe that includes the instruction, “Continue whisking until you get bored”! I spent a tragically large portion of my teenage years trying to look cool in Afflecks Palace. Now that I’m older and – hopefully – wiser, my top Mcr tips are the Cornerhouse for films and pizza, and Home Sweet Home in the Northern Quarter for, well, pretty much everything on their menu (http://cheeseburgertoastie.co.uk/) Have a great time!

  7. Jules says:

    Last night I finished up some dark chocolate sea salt bars from here: http://www.facebook.com/viderichocolatefactory and while I will choose caramels over chocolate 99.9% of the time, this was FABULOUS! Since I no longer have that chocolate, I might have to give your cupcakes a whirl. I’d share my recipe for bourbon mocha brownies in kind, but you mentioned something about a diet, and these are decidedly not low-calorie!

  8. Julianne says:

    A woman after my own heart – I dislike all icing except buttercream, and then I don’t want too much of it. People who think icing is the best bit are just weird.

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  10. Kate says:

    ….I love you. And who are these people who dislike salt on their chocs? I’ll have their share.

    My current fave is Vosges’ Pink Himalayan Crystal Salt (poncy wtffery I KNOW, SHUSH) caramel chocolate bar (http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/product/Pink-Himalayan-Crystal-Salt-Caramel-Exotic-Candy-Bar/all_candy_bars) but their smoky bacon chocolate bars (http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/product/mos_dark_chocolate_bacon_bar/all_candy_bars) will always have my heart.

  11. Lily says:

    These look AMAZING. I too am a lover of salted sweet things. Sometimes Home Bargains has the Lindt I think it’s Lindt…) sea salt chocolate bars for about 80p and they’re AWESOME.

    Hmm. Places to visit in Manchester…The curry mile (what?), Sugar Junction cafe in the Northern Quarter, The Northern Quarter vintage shops are quite nice. The art gallery usually has some really interesting exhibits on and I love the science museum on Oxford Road for a peaceful afternoon. Band on the Wall is a nice gig venue if you fancy some live music (usually soul, jazz and blues). Look up a few events in town, too, right now there’s one called ‘Face Forward’ which is to do with west African culture. There’s loads of West African art and music being celebrated all around town. OH. It’s pride week, too!

    Have fun!

  12. liloo says:

    it looks a teensy bit weird :) Not the cupcake itself, but the concept. But on the plus side, I don’t feel so bad anymore for liking to eat oranges with salt xx

  13. Scarie says:

    OOh my sister made gorgeous pina colada cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery book for my birthday! She also halves the icing amount!

  14. Janie says:

    How oh how do you get your cupcakes so flat at the top? Mine always rise to a peak!
    I even tried using less mixture, but they still peak, just lower down.
    Next time I might cheat and cut the tops off.

    Also, your icing is a much better consistency to mine, mine is always so so thick. I think I need to add more milk next time!

  15. Nazgul says:

    Monkey see, monkey do.

  16. I’m not going to pretend I’ll make these, although they do look delicious. There are 2 types of people in the world: cupcake people and other people. Very apt description of the cupcake people…reminds me of a friend of mine who insists that cupcakes have set feminism back 50 years.

    Went to Liverpool last year and spent a day doing all the free stuff round the Albert Dock…including what seemed to be a museum all about tax, in the basement of the Maritime Museum (don’t judge me – I actually enjoyed it).

  17. Those look sooooo good! A cupcake store here in the States makes salted caramel cupcakes that I adore but these look like a good alternative to make at home! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  18. Julia Arenas says:

    Charlotte, could you please, please do a cake version of this recipe? :) <3

  19. […] CHEAT’S CAKE mediterranean baked feta with tomatoesmy favorite brownies Gnocchi Puttanesca Salted Chocolate Cupcakes (you’re gonna die and go to hell if you make these) Malaysian Schezuan Eggplant, A Beautifully Easy Side […]

  20. […] I doubled my recipe and made my salted-chocolate cupcakes into a salted-chocolate layer cake this week.  I’m going to hell in a very large coffin.  […]

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