James Buchanan both started and ended his presidency as a bachelor. Grover Cleveland entered the presidency a bachelor and left it a married man. In fact, he was the first sitting president to be married in the White House. That is the factoid about President Cleveland that takes a second place to the other fact about him that schoolchildren tend to know. Grover Cleveland was the first and only president to serve two non-consecutive terms in the office.
Speaking of what schoolchildren know, we remember President Taft as being a very large man. However, he’s not the only one. Grover Cleveland was right up there with him. At 5′ 11′ at times he weighed around 250 pounds. In fact, one of my favorite things that I read about him was this quote, “I must go to dinner,” he wrote a friend, “but I wish it was to eat a pickled herring a Swiss cheese and a chop at Louis’ instead of the French stuff I shall find.” I don’t love pickled herring, but I do love that quote. He just wanted some food with some regular ingredients. Who can blame him?
I like to think that Grover Cleveland liked candy bars, regular ones like you find at the check out counter. The Baby Ruth candy bar seems the perfect candidate. There is some controversy about how this chocolate covered, nougat, caramel and peanut candy bar got its name. Baby Ruth Cleveland was born in 1891, but the candy bar was born in 1920. Many people believe that it’s obvious that the candy bar was named after famed baseball star Babe Ruth who was at the prime of his career in the 1920s. However, the Curtiss Candy Company, the producers of the candy bar traditionally claim that the candy was named after Ruth Cleveland. There’s a whole sub-story in here about a rival candy bar that was driven from the market called the Home Run bar. Oh, and young Ruth, unfortunately, died in 1904, years before the candy bar hit the market.
I still wanted to play with the flavors in the Baby Ruth candy bar. Chocolate, nuts, and caramel. The cake in this cake is dark chocolate flavored. This chocolate cake is filled with nougat. The cupcake is topped with caramel buttercream and garnished with chopped salted nuts.
This is one of the more time-consuming cupcakes, but worth it even though I over-cooked the caramel for a bit. The nougat here reminded me more of the nougat in a Snickers bar than that of a Baby Ruth bar. In my opinion, however, that is a good thing!
Someone suggested that I post recipes for the cupcakes that I’m creating, so I thought I’d give that a try. You’ll have to let me know what you think!
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
- 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts
- 1 oz dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup hot coffee
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup caramel sauce, room temperature
- 1t vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts
- Heat the sugar over medium high heat in the bottom of a heavy 2-3 quart saucepan. When the sugar starts to melt, start stirring the sugar. When the sugar is melted, stop stirring.
- Continue to cook the sugar until it reaches a deep amber color.
- As soon as the sugar reaches the dark amber color, carefully add the butter. Whisk until butter is melted.
- Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream. Whisk until cream is incorporated and caramel is smooth. Whisk in the salt.
- Let the caramel sauce cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Pour the caramel into a large jar and cool to room temperature.
- Caramel sauce can be stored in the refrigerator.
- Melt butter in medium, heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat. Add granulated sugar and evaporated milk. Stir. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Stir in marshmallow creme, peanut butter and vanilla extract. Add peanuts; stir well. Spread nougat mixture over cookie sheet. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a small bowl, combine dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and hot coffee. Stir until well-mixed and smooth. Add milk and set aside.
- In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition and scraping down the sides as necessary. Add vanilla and beat 30 seconds.
- With the mixer on low, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the chocolate mixture. Repeat until everything has been added. Don't overmix.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared baking cups.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Allow to cool.
- Use an apple corer to cut hole in the top of each cupcake.
- Shape a piece of nougat into a cylinder the size of the hole in your cupcake. Repeat.
- Fill holes with nougat.
- With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium for 1 minute
- Add caramel sauce and vanilla extract, and beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add powdered sugar, and beat on low until powdered sugar is incorporated.
- Increase speed to medium, and beat until smooth and well-combined, about 2-3 additional minutes.
- Frost cupcakes as desired.
- Sprinkle with chopped peanuts