...just because it takes a bit of time to cool down.
Start with half a cup of butter (salted or not) and one cup of sugar. Heat on low. It will start to look like this.
After about 10 minutes on low heat you should have a bubble mess something like this.
Add half a cup of heavy cream (whipping cream). Do not try and go low fat because you have a New Year's Resolution. It's not going to work if you do. Probably like that resolution...
Stir as you add the cream. It will bubble and spatter so don't do this in a bikini. A little cream at a time and you're nearly done!
Heat for a few more minutes...
Voila! You should have an amazing smelling concoction similar to what you see here. Let this cool for a bit, I poured it into a Pyrex cup and gave it a few twirls with a whisk until I was ready to use it on the cupcakes.
One cup of white sugar, one cup of brown sugar, one cup of butter...
3 cups of all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder (the magic kind)
The goodness of one fresh vanilla bean (or use 2 teaspoons of liquid vanilla if you want)
4 eggs, ideally left out half an hour before you start, but if you forgot...oh well...
1 3/4 cups of milk (I used non-fat, but use whatever you want. Soy works too)
Blend the sugars and butter on medium speed until it looks like this, and this looks like you wouldn't have any gritty sugar in it (If you do this by hand you are the Bionic Woman).
Add the eggs, one at a time... scrape down the bowl in between eggs (still hoping the paddle scraper thing a ma jiggy makes it to my local stores soon). Sorry, forgot to take an egg adding action shot.
Slowly add the flour/baking powder mixture. Alternate with adding milk. A bit of flour, a bit of milk. Make sure you end with a bit of flour, for some reason (science I'm sure) it blends better that way.
See... blended nicely...
With your ice cream scoop (I use a 1/3 cup scoop) divide the mixture evenly (one scoop each!) between 24 cupcake liners (I use large).
Bake at 350 (and you preheated cause you're smart like that) for 20 minutes. No more! You like a little spring in your step? Well these like a little spring too and 20 minutes seems to give it just the right amount.
Make a basic buttercream (I just don't have the energy to go through it with you. The chihuahua is pawing at me to go to bed and I have to agree, it's time.). Take a bit of the caramel and drizzle it through the mix. It will mix a bit and ribbon a bit... dollop each cupcake with a plot of buttercream and then drizzle more caramel on top. Finish each cupcake with a sprinkle of Fleur de Sel or whatever salt you like. I used a Raspberry Fleur de Sel from Maison Cote. (Love you Jean-Pierre). That's it. Go make them, Maisie and I are tired and going night night.