Toffee Crunch Cupcakes Recipe adapted from Alice Medrich for Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker Makes 12 cupcakes | Preparation: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Ingredients: Cupcake: 1 cup (4.5 ounces) all purpose flour 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7.3 ounces) sugar 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) SCHARFFEN BERGER Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 tablespoon instant coffee (recommended: Starbucks Via) 1/2 cup hot coffee 1/2 cup chocolate covered toffee bits Caramel Frosting: 5 large egg whites 11/2 cup sugar 4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon vanilla 1/3 cup caramel sauce (click here for a homemade caramel recipe) Chocolate Dipping Sauce: 2/3 cups dark chocolate 2 tablespoons heavy cream 4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted 5-8 tablespoons water, warm Instructions: Cupcake: 1. Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a blow and mix thoroughly to combine. Add the butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for one minute. Add the butter and egg mixture and beat for 20 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the hot coffee. Beat for 20-30 seconds until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thin enough to pour. Divide it evenly among the lined cups. Bake 18-22 minutes just until a toothpick inserted into a few of the cupcakes comes out clean. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool. Store and serve at room temperature. TIP: For light tender cupcakes, spoon flour and cocoa lightly into measuring cups (instead of dipping the cups into the flour or cocoa) and then sweep the measures level without tapping or shaking them. Caramel Frosting: 1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 150 degrees F while whisking constantly. 2. Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume. 3. Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking-this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine. Add caramel sauce and mix to combine. Chocolate Dipping Sauce: 1. Place chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. Let chocolate and cream sit for 2-3 minutes to melt without stirring. Then slowly stir mixture to combine. Add powdered sugar and mix to combine. Add water one tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until pouring consistency is reached. Set aside and let sauce cool to warm. To assemble cupcake: 1. To frost the cupcakes: Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and start piping from the outside working in to the center to create one even layer. Freeze cupcakes for 20 minutes before dipping in warm chocolate sauce, so that the frosting does not melt. Remove cupcakes and dip in warm chocolate sauce, and then rim with chocolate covered toffee bits. Return cupcakes to freezer for five minutes for chocolate to set. Remove from freezer and finish piping frosting on top.