Saturday, 7 July 2012

First bake - malted chocolate and vanilla cupcakes

Hi and welcome to my new blog - Cakes, Bakes and Makes.

Here I aim to share some of the things that I make - some regularly, some not so regularly, and if I'm brave enough, I might even share some of the disasters too! I love baking, and love eating the results, and with a hungry husband and 2 young children, I always have willing testers too.

But I don't just make cakes; I like baking savoury things and I like to cook generally. And, I like doing craft activities too - often with the children. So hope to feature all these on the blog at some point soon.

So for my first bake, I want to share my malted chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with you, this recipe makes 12:

For the vanilla cupcakes:
3 eggs
175g margarine
175g sugar(granulated works fine, or caster)
175g self raising flour
vanilla extract (never flavouring)

For the malted chocolate icing and decoration:
2tbs malt extract
9ozmargarine, softened
18oz icing sugar
2oz cocoa
1 bag of maltesers, keep 12 for the tops, but crush the remainder of the packet into sprinkles.

Preheat your oven to around 180° C. 
Line a 12 hole muffin tin with either cupcake or muffin cases.

In a mixer, by hand or with an electric handwhisk, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add one egg, swiftly followed by a dessert spoonful of the flour, beat for a moment. Then repeat the process for the remaining eggs. Add the vanilla and finally beat in the remaining flour.
Divide this mixture evenly between the cases and cook for around 12-15minutes until the sponges are lightly browned and spring back when pressed lightly. Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a rack until completely cold.

To make the icing, first beat together the malt extract and margarine. Then add the icing sugar and cocoa. You and your kitchen will get covered in a cloud of icing sugar if you're not careful - my mixer comes with a guard which helps contain the mix within, but you could also use a dampened tea-towel over the bowl to help lessen the white dusting! If the icing looks to soft to pipe or looks like it might not hold a piped swirl, then add more icing sugar a little at a time. If it looks too stiff, then you could add a dribble of milk until it's the desired consistency.

Now the choice is yours - either fill a piping bag and pipe the icing onto your cupcakes, or spread it on with a spoon or palette knife. Immediately sprinkle over some of the crushed maltesers and top with a whole one. 

There you go, my first bake for you. I'll add that this is my basic cupcake recipe and I tweak it with flavours and textures, but I almost always start with this as a base.
Maltesers as a sprinkle to tend to go a little sticky and lose their crunch within a day or so, so don't make these too far in advance.

The malt icing is quite strong so you can adjust to taste, or you might like to try a stout flavour cupcake with this icing - it can take a lot of flavour underneath.

Enjoy x

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