This week's SMS was chosen by Nicole of Sweet Tooth: chocolate malted layer cake! In the past few months I've gotten into the habit of baking for Sweet Melissa Sundays on Saturday morning when I wake up. It's a fun way to start the weekend, but if the recipe is time consuming, it might easily be after noon by the time I make the recipe, clean up and photograph the treats. This week I was on the ball, completing the recipe on Thursday night, which freed up yesterday morning, a gorgeous Saturday, for a 3-mile walk and some yard work. Today is supposed to be another lovely sunny day and I can't wait; I feel like a new person since winter ended - so much happier and far more productive!
Obviously, I did not make a layer cake, opting instead to go with cupcakes this week since they're easier to transport and give away. My real motivation for baking on Thursday was to get the cupcakes ready for Shane to bring to work on Friday. Chocolate treats are always a big hit at this office so I knew these would probably go over well. I made 1/3 of the recipe, which yielded 9 cupcakes - the baking time was 20 minutes. The cupcakes are made with oil rather than butter and they get their chocolate flavor from both unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder. Additionally, the recipe calls for hot coffee, an ingredient often used in chocolate recipes to intensify the chocolate flavor. We don't drink coffee and don't even own a coffee pot so I substituted hot water along with instant espresso powder (I used 1/3 teaspoon, which would have been 1 full teaspoon had I not scaled back the recipe).
The frosting is made using milk chocolate, malted milk powder, heavy cream, butter and a bit of corn syrup. I didn't want to spend the money on malted milk powder, which I knew I'd probably never use after this recipe, so I took a chance and instead added some Ovaltine that was hanging out in my pantry. Fortunately, it seemed to work! My frosting was a bit thin after I mixed it up, but a little bit of time in the fridge firmed it up and gave it a wonderful consistency for piping. I only made 1/4 of the frosting recipe and had just enough to add a little swirl around the outer edge of each cupcake. To the middle of each cupcake I added 3 malted milk balls.
Not surprisingly, the cupcakes were a hit with Shane's coworkers. I also thought they were delicious! The cupcake was moist and incredibly fluffy - it reminded me of a little pillow it had such a nice light texture. The frosting was very sweet and paired well with the dark chocolate flavor of the cupcake. That said, I'm not a huge fan of chocolate frosting paired with chocolate cupcakes (it's a bit too much chocolate for me - who knew there was such a thing?) so I'm not sure I'd make the combo again, but I can definitely see making these cupcakes and topping them with some peanut butter frosting :) Thanks to Nicole for hosting this week! You can find the recipe on her blog or in the Sweet Melissa Baking Book.
Updated: I noticed that Nicole never posted the recipe on her site so I wanted to update to link to the recipe. Caitlin over at Engineer Baker made the cake and loved it too. You can find the recipe on her site here. Thanks Caitlin!