Not much could taste better than the combination of peanut butter, caramel, pretzels and chocolate. The Take Five Bar is literally the most perfect candy bar; it has everything that is wonderful and glorious in the world. So, I decided to translate the Take Five Bar into a cupcake. I know it has been done before, but I decided to make my own without looking at any other recipes. I would have loved to make these all for myself, but that is incredibly dangerous. I had been sitting on this for a few weeks when finally a couple friends of ours threw a house warming party! I finally had an excuse! Take Five Cupcakes Hooooooooooooo!
These turned out pretty well. I started with a Devil’s Food cupcake. Once they were baked and cooled I injected a salted caramel filling. I frosted them with a peanut butter cream cheese frosting upon which I then sprinkled crushed pretzels and then drizzled caramel over that. I think the only issue was that the pretzel bits soaked up moisture from the frosting and ended up tasting a bit stale. Next time I make these I might sprinkle the top with chocolate covered pretzels to avoid this same issue. Either way, these little buggers were ridiculously decadent and ridiculously tasty.
Take Five Cupcakes
A Cara Original
Devil’s Food Cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes about 32 cupcakes
¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
¾ cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoons coarse salt
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 ¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 oz 60 or 70% cacao chocolate –I usually use Ghirardelli
1 ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth.
2. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
3. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined.
4. Melt the 4 oz of chocolate in a double boiler (place a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water) or in microwave – I prefer double boiler method because it reduces the chance of burning the chocolate
5. Add flour mixture in two batches of the butter-sugar-cocoa mixture, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
6. Add in melted chocolate and stir until combined.
7. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
8. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.
From Brown Eyed Baker
Makes about 2 cups
2 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon fleur de sel (or any other flaky sea salt)
1. Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a large, heavy saucepan. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. You’ll see that the sugar will begin to form clumps, but that’s okay. Just keep whisking and as it continues to cook, they will melt back down. Stop whisking once all of the sugar has melted, and swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks.
2. Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber color. It should look almost a reddish-brown, and have a slight toasted aroma. This is the point where caramel can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds, so keep a close eye. If you are using an instant-read thermometer, cook the sugar until it reaches 350 degrees F.
3. As soon as the caramel reaches 350 degrees, add the butter all at once. Be careful, as the caramel will bubble up when the butter is added. Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel. Again, be careful because the mixture will once again bubble up ferociously. Whisk until all of the cream has been incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. If you find you have large clumps in the sauce, put back over low heat and whisk vigorously. Add the fleur de sel and whisk to incorporate.
5. Pour through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl.
6. Set the sauce aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour into your favorite glass jar and let cool to room temperature. You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks. You’ll want to warm the sauce up before using.
7. Once cool, put a long filling tip into a pastry bag, filly pastry bag with caramel and then inject each cooled cupcake with the caramel. Stop filling the cupcake when you see the top bulge out. Reserve left over caramel sauce for drizzling on top of the frosted cupcakes.
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Martha Stewart
18 ounces cream cheese
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 ½ teaspoon salt
3 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural)
1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 cups (or so) crushed chocolate covered pretzels
1. Beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar with a mixer on medium speed. Add salt, then peanut butter, then vanilla.
2. Whisk cream until soft peaks form, and then fold into peanut butter mixture.
3. If using a stand mixer, put on the whisk attachment and whisk the frosting until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
4. Frost the cupcakes as you desire. Sprinkle crushed pretzels on top and then drizzle with remaining caramel sauce.
These cupcakes may cause an instant coronary or possibly a diabetic coma, but they are worth it.