1 For the cupcakes: heat the oven to 190°C (170° fan) 375°F gas 5. Place 10 paper cases in a bun tin.
2 Beat the butter in a mixing bowl until soft and light. Beat in the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
3 Beat in the eggs, gradually until well blended. Sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa and fold in gently until incorporated. Stir in the milk.
4 Spoon into the paper cases and bake for about 25 minutes until golden and firm to the touch.
5 For the topping: beat the butter until soft and creamy. Beat in the cream and vanilla until blended.
6 Sift in the icing sugar and beat until thick and smooth.
7 Spoon into a piping bag and pipe on top of the cakes.
8 For the salted caramel sauce: put the sugar into a heavy-based frying pan and stir in the water. Heat gently, tilting the pan, (do not stir) until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bubble for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the cream and butter. Stir in the salt. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool.
9 Drizzle the caramel sauce over the buttercream