I’m a bit funny about frosting, I find it can be a bit hit or miss. All too often it’s too sweet and sugary or it can be grainy rather than silky smooth, or worst of all it can become crusty with a hard sugar […]
These yummy treats have a lovely rich, slightly sticky, moist sponge sitting underneath that swirl of thick, creamy, fluffy buttercream.
I’m a sucker for malt and chocolate together and the subtle background of coffee really brings them together nicely. Because the sponge is made with malt extract rather than powder, it has a lovely rich texture, a bit like a golden syrup sponge. It’s slightly more dense (but not heavy) and sticky than a classic cupcake sponge. In general, I’d say that these lovelies have a bit more going on than your average sponge and frosting affair…
makes about 8 big cupcakes or 6 large and 6 mini
50g malt extract
100g plain flour
15g cocoa powder
1/2 tbsp baking powder
50ml of very, very strong coffee
30g dark chocolate
140g unsalted butter
120g icing sugar
2 tbsp cream (or a splash of milk)
50g malt extract
melted white and dark chocolate and malteasers to decorate.
Pre-heat your oven to 190°c and line a cupcake tin with wrappers.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl and then beat in the malt extract. Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder and beat it together with an electric hand or stand mixer until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Lightly beat together the coffee, milk and egg in a separate bowl or jug and then add it in two or three batches, to the dry ingredients and beat it well until you have a nice smooth batter.
Divide this evenly between the wrappers and pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes. They should be well risen and feel springy to the touch once they are done. Leave them to cool on a wire rack.
To make the frosting melt the chocolate and then set it aside to cool. Beat together the butter, icing sugar and cream until it is nice and fluffy. Mix in the malt extract and then divide the buttercream into two batches. Stir the melted chocolate into one of these.
Carefully spoon the two buttercreams into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, so that they are side by side and both flavours will be squeezed out of the nozzle at the same time. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cakes in pretty swirl and then decorate each one with the crushed malteasers and a little drizzle of melted chocolate.
Have we talked about how good my mums carrot cake is? She claims that she just slings all of the ingredients into her Kenwood chef and then tips the resulting batter into a tin before baking it but I’m sure that there must be more […]
I was looking back through some of my older recipes recently and came across my yummy green tea and lemon Swiss roll, https://coriandercooks.com/2014/01/17/green-tea-and-lemon-swiss-roll/. I’ve been seeing matcha used in a lot of recipes of late so I though I might have another bash at baking […]
It’s my Birthday at the weekend, which of course means that there will be cake! Now I’m sure that if I asked nicely Mr Colonial Cravings would no doubt have a stab at making me a birthday cake but, judging by the turmoil that always greets me in the kitchen after he’s made pizza, it would not be worth the clean-up!
So instead of donning a pair of marigolds I’ve donned my apron and come up with these little beauties. Indulgent, creamy Nutella flavoured Swiss meringue buttercream smothering fluffy hazelnut sponge. Just wonderful. The cakes develop a lovely slighty crisp chewy crust and the Nutella buttercream is absolutely sublime. But you didn’t need me to tell you that.
I know that making Swiss meringue buttercream takes a bit more effort than just beating together butter and icing sugar but I promise you it’s totally worth it. It’s also very forgiving so you shouldn’t feel daunted by it. The first time I tried this particular one my butter was a bit too soft when I added it so the buttercream ended up too runny to pipe. I just shoved it in the fridge for 15 minutes and then whipped it again and it was perfect.
If you’re feeling especially extravagant then you could even top them with Ferrero Rocher…just a suggestion.
70g plain flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
60g toasted hazelnuts, finely ground
pinch of salt
2 egg whites
3 tbsp Nutella
1 tbsp Frangelico (optional but it’ll really boost the hazelnut flavour)
Pre-heat the oven to 190°c and line a cupcake tin with pretty wrappers.
Put the butter, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl and then sift in the flour and baking powder. Beat this together so that it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the ground hazelnuts.
In a separate jug whisk together the egg and milk before gradually adding this to the dry mixture. Beat the batter for few minutes, so that it becomes quite fluffy. Divide this mixture evenly between the cupcake wrappers and bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes.
Once they are cooked and nicely browned leave them to cool on a wire rack whilst you make the frosting.
Place the egg whites and sugar in a super-clean mixing bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Use a hand whisk and continually whip the meringue mixture as it heats. It needs to be quite warm and the sugar needs to have dissolved into the egg white. Just rub a little between your fingers to check the temperature and that it isn’t grainy. Remove the pan from the heat and then whisk the egg white until it is fluffy and cool (I switch to an electric whisk for this). Once you’re at this point you can slowly beat in the butter, one small piece at a time. Continue to whip the buttercream until it has emulsified and become smooth and creamy. Finally beat in the Nutella and Frangelico until is well blended. Resist the urge to eat it all now and transfer it to a piping bag, ready to decorate your cupcakes. Alternatively just use a pallet knife to appoint each cake with a generous splodge. Sprinkle with a few chopped hazelnuts or chocolate sprinkles…
I still can’t quite get on board with the St Patrick’s day festivities that occur on this side of the pond (so much green!) I think that I may have been scarred by my experiences back home in Cheltenham where it usually coincides with the […]
A great alternative to traditional Christmas cake, especially for parties, these offer a more subtle take on festive flavours. I’ve based these on the classic Starbucks holiday drink (in spite of the fact that I am very anti-Starbucks. I’d rather support smaller businesses) and […]
The local peaches here are so tasty that they’re easing me over my fear of the fuzz. I’ve been eating them on and in everything so really it was only a matter of time until I put them in a cupcake.
The frosting on these is glorious! I did a bit of research into raspberry frosting and found that a lot of them use jam rather than fresh raspberries but I thought that might be a bit sweet for my palate. Most of them also use colouring, which as you can see from mine is a bit redundant, the fresh raspberries have enough beautiful colour of their own.
I love cupcakes with fillings (you may have noticed) it provides so much extra scope for playing with the flavours. I also like the extra texture that it offers.
I already had some plain almond flavoured cupcakes in the freezer so I used them, but feel free to use any almond or vanilla sponge recipe that you like. The raspberry purée for the frosting is made by simply heating a big handful of raspberries (fresh or frozen) for a few minutes and then pushing them through a fine sieve. This should leave you with a thick juice, like an unsweetened coulis.
12 vanilla or almond cupcakes (2/3 of the sponge mixture for my trifle cake will make about 12 cupcakes -http://coriandercooks.com/2014/05/16/strawberry-trifle-cake/)
100g butter (room temperature)
200g cream cheese
150g icing sugar
2 tbsp raspberry purée
1 ripe peach
2-3 tsp sugar (do this to taste depending on how sweet your peach is)
big squeeze of lemon juice
extra peach slices to garnish
Start by making the filling so that it can cool down whilst you make the frosting.
Chop up the peach into fairly small pieces, not tiny, but so that you will be able to squeeze several into each cupcake. Mix the peach with lemon juice and sugar in a small pan and simmer this over a low heat until the peach has softened. Set this aside to cool.
Use a large mixing bowl and beat together the butter and cream cheese. I like to use a handheld mixer for this as it gets it really nice and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and cooled raspberry purée and stir together so that it’s just combined. Use the mixer to beat the frosting again for a few moments to ensure that everything is well blended and that the frosting has a nice light texture. Put the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a plain round nozzle.
To assemble the cupcakes cut a hole in the top of each one, about the size of a 10p/quarter. Try to remember which little plug of sponge comes from which cake, it’ll look neater when you replace them. Fill each cavity with a little of the peach mixture and then pop its little sponge lid back in place. Finally pipe on the frosting, making sure that you disguise the bit where the ‘lid’ is. Decorate with thick slices of fresh peach or fresh raspberries.
We’ve talked about my addiction to chipotle before. As they say the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. I’m not ready for rehab yet though, to quote (sort of) William S. Burroughs “You become an addict because you do not […]