Someone once said that the cupcake is merely a vehicle for frosting. That is certainly the case for these Malteser Cupcakes. This malt frosting is out of this world. I ate it by the spoonful. It tastes exactly like the inside of a Malteser (or 'Whoppers' in the US) so if you are a fan of those little chocolate covered malt balls you have to try these Malteser Cupcakes!
At C's work, there's a tradition of bringing in something sweet to share around on your birthday. C's bday was last week and since he likes to keep me on my toes, he surprised me by asking me the day before if I could bake him something for him to take into work the next day. He was in luck...we happened to have a jar of Horlicks and one of my homemade cake mixes in the pantry and so he got to take Malteser cupcakes as his birthday treat.
Maltesers rank highly on my top 10 favourite chocolates of all time. In fact, they are second only to the greatest chocolate invention of all time: Cadbury's Dairy Milk Black Forest. I bought them for pretty much every Fun Food Friday I was rostered on at work and I always have a bag with me at the movies (even if I do sneak in supermarket bought packets because I'm el cheapo).
I've tried Martha Stewart's recipe for Chocolate Malted Cupcakes before, but found you couldn't really taste the malt. So, a little while ago, when I saw this recipe on my regular trawl of tastespotting, it went straight to my must bake list.
Since I was a little pressed for time, I used one of my homemade cake mixes I had in the pantry. As you probably know by now, I love my wee homemade cake mixes. Or even store bought ones in a pinch. Oh don't get me wrong, if I have time on my hands I would definitely go the whole hog and start from scratch but these wee premade mixes have are so convenient, easy and consistent, they have saved my bacon quite a few times!
The icing, as I mentioned is insanely good. I could eat a whole bowl of the stuff. But I was really gutted to find that the incredible malty flavour gets drowned out by the chocolatey-ness of the cupcake. So next time I think I will combine the malt frosting with Martha's cupcake recipe and see if we can't get the malt to shine through. I would also top the cupcakes next time with chopped up Maltesers (we didn't have any in the house at the time, packets of Maltesers do not last long at our place). Although, do remember to only add the chopped up Maltesers just before serving as they will melt into the frosting if you sprinkle them on the night before.
Chocolate cupcakes with malt frosting
adapted from cake mix doctor recipe
2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp shortening
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil (canola)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla essence
Makes 24 cupcakes
1. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to mix. Add shortening and beat to mix until there are no lumps. You may need to get your fingers in there to rub out some of the lumps. (You can keep this mixture in a ziplock bag or jar for several months)
2. Preheat oven to 180oC. Line two 12 cup cupcake tins with cupcake wrappers.
3. Add buttermilk, oil, water, eggs, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and beat for 1.5 minutes till combined. Fill cupcake wrappers to 3/4 full.
4. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes (rotating pans, back to front and top to bottom at 15 minutes) or until skewer comes out clean. Remove from pans immediately and cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
Malt Buttercream Frosting
adapted from Sugar Cooking
225g butter, softened
2/3 cup Horlicks (malted milk powder)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
4 cups icing sugar
1. Cream butter till light and fluffy. Add Horlicks and beat. Add vanilla, then milk and beat to combine.
2. Add icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Add more icing sugar if the icing is too oozy.
Optional: Sprinkle cupcakes with chopped up Maltesers just before serving, or grate chocolate on top.