Recipe (adapted from joythebaker)
For the Cupcakes:
125g unsalted butter
3/4 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tbs apple vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt
For the Ganache:
120g chopped dark chocolate (Callebaut 70.6%)
1/2 cup whipping cream
For the Caramel bits:
3/4 cup packed sugar
80ml whipping cream
50g unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions for cupcakes:
Preheat oven 180 degC.
Cream butter, sugar and molasses for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Meanwhile, combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl, milk, vanilla and vinegar in another bowl
In a small bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds. Set aside.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition.
Add the flour mixture and the milk mixture alternatively in three batches, starting and ending with the flour.
Divide into 12 lined cupcake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until the kitchen smells of cake and a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Directions for Ganache:
Once the cupcakes are in the oven. Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan. Once the cream starts of boil, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Stir to create a smooth and glossy ganache. Allow to rest at room temperature for at least 1/2 hour to thicken before frosting.
Directions for caramel bits:
Once the ganache is done, start on the caramel bits. Combine sugar, cream, butter and salt bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and the caramel will begin to thicken. Stir and simmer for another 2 minutes, or till caramel turns amber. Remove from heat. Use a fork to create chunks of caramel. Pour onto a silicone sheet and cool. When it is cool enough to handle, break up any large pieces of caramel chunks into bits of desired sizes.
To Assemble Cupcakes:
Spoon ganache over cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with caramel bits. (You will have lots of caramel bits leftover!)