200ml(7oz) golden granulated sugar(I used vanilla sugar)
½tspsea or rock salt(I used pink Himalayan rock salt)
140g(5oz) unsalted butter - softened
125g(4oz) light muscovado sugar
2large eggs(I used duck eggs)
125g(4oz) flour(half wholemeal, half plain)
30g(1oz) cocoa powder
pinchof bicarbonate of soda
3ozsalted butter - softened
In a large pan, dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat.
Bring to the boil and "watch like a hawk" until the mixture caramelises. It will take several minutes, but be careful not to let it burn.
In a separate pan, bring the cream to a near boil then add to the caramel and stir until smooth. If you don't warm the cream first the caramel is likely to seize. If this happens, just keep stirring hard and eventually it should become smooth.
Add the vanilla and salt then stir well. Leave to cool whilst you get on with the cakes.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Beat in half the caramel.
Break in the eggs one by one and beat well.
Sift in the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated.
Spoon into 12 cupcake cases and bake at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 20 minutes or until well risen and the tops are firm to the touch.
Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Cream the butter and icing sugar together until it's very light and fluffy.
Beat in the remaining caramel.
Spread on top of the cooled cakes and decorate with chocolate if you like.
Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.