I got the book a few months ago and I really like it. The recipes are accessible, different and look amazing. The photographs in the book are fabulous and I love that it is set into occasions working from Valentines Day right through to Christmas, incorporating fruits such as raspberries and blood oranges according to season. I tried their basic vanilla cupcakes first and the cakes were beautifully light but I used my own buttercream recipe as 500g of icing sugar seemed a bit excessive. I plan on trying many more and will let you know how my first whoopie pies go when I finally get round to it. In the meantime, you should definitely try these... and let me know how it goes if you do!
Malted Chocolate Cupcakes
Ingredients for the sponge:
- 150ml sunflower oil
- 75ml whole milk
- 75ml buttermilk (I actually couldn't find buttermilk in my local supermarket so I followed these instructions and mixed up a substitute using lemon juice.)
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 240g plain flour
- 25g cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 330g caster sugar
- 150ml boiling water
Ingredients for the frosting:
- 200g dark chocolate chips - minimum 70% cocoa solids (I chopped up a bar of Green and Blacks)
- 240ml double cream
- 115g malted-milk powder (When I opened our Horlicks it had set rock solid so I used Ovaltine instead, which had some cocoa powder in it too.)
- 50g full fat cream cheese
- 35g caster sugar
- 36-48 Malteasers to decorate (I brought a sharing bag and had some spare too. I normally gobble up Malteasers so fast I have no clue how many is in a bag.)
1. Preheat the oven to 190 C/gas mark 5, and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.
2. Using an electric whisk beat together the oil with the milk, buttermilk, egg and vanilla essence on low speed until well blended. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, then stir in the sugar. Add a third of the boiling water, followed by another third of dry ingredients to the oil and milk mixture and beat slowly until evenly incorporated.
3. Beat in a third of the boiling water, followed by another third of the dry ingredients then repeat with the remaining ingredients, mixing together until they are all combined. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition, to ensure well-mixed batter. (I didn't read this properly, their instructions can be a bit lengthy - I like short and snappy - so I ended up pouring the boiling water in after all the dry ingredients. Still tasted good though.)
4. Divide the mixture between the paper cases, filling each by two thirds. Any remaining batter can be used to fill one to four more cases in a separate tin. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until springy to the touch. Allow to cool a little before removing from the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. To make the frosting, place the chocolate chips in a bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water to melt, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
6. Meanwhile, using the electric whisk, whip the cream with the malted milk powder until it forms soft peaks. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese with the caster sugar until combined, then add the cooled chocolate and mix again.
7. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, adding half the whipped cream at a time. Divide the frosting between the cupcakes, smoothing and swirling with a palette knife, then decorate each cupcake with 3 Malteasers. (I almost wished I'd crushed them and sprinkled to add to the Malteaser taste overall but they were divine none the less and looked pretty all arranged on top.)