Never before have I given away my trusted recipe. So here it is, tried and tested just today on my lovely work friends. I have to make you aware that I use approximate measurements. I know, I know baking is suppose to be a precise art. And yes I’ve had some disasters (I just don’t publish them) but I can not stress how important it is to experiment. Experiment with flavours, colours, baking times, mixing and methods. It is so worth it when you hit the nail on the head, and catch the sweet tooth of those individuals who sceptically take a suspicious sniff at your baked goods. The experiment is worth the bitten back smile that you catch on someone’s face, just when the frosting you stressed over melts on the tongue and makes their mouth water.
Malt Mocha Madness Cupcakes
Ingredients (Makes around 18 cupcakes, dependent on the size of the paper case)
4 Ounce of Baking Butter (I use stork)
1 Cup of Caster Sugar (and when I say cup, I mean grab a standard size mug out of the cupboard and stick with that particular one)
1 Tea Spoon of Vanilla (I like extract)
1 Table Spoon of Instant Coffee made with aprox. 4 Table Spoons of Boiling Water
1/4 Cup of Cocoa Powder
1 and 1/4 Cups of self raising flour
1 Tea Spoon of Baking Powder
1/2 Cup of Milk
Grab a large mixing bowl and cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and light. Don’t skip this bit! The lighter and creamier you can get the butter sugar mix makes a huge different. I use an electric mixer or hand mix when doing this. Add the eggs one at a time and make sure each is incorporated well, if at this point you get any curdling, just add a little pinch of flour to even it out again. Add the vanilla, along with the coffee and mix again until blended.
This is the part when you turn up the Frank Sinatra you’re listening to, wiggle a little harder and sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder from a great hight without getting it all over yourself and the kitchen. That’s the bit I always get wrong, decorating myself and all the surfaces in sight with the ghostly dust. If you’re really good at making a mess, you wont even notice the light layer of flour clouding your glasses. Anyway, fold this in. Do not be tempted to use the mixer or other equipment at this point, choose a spoon. Please, please, please fold the flour mixture in. The mix will be thick, this is when you need to add the milk. Half a cup normally does the job, makes the mixture into a thick batter consistency. And again, please take the time to mix by hand. Beating it with electric tools will only take the air out.
Once the mix is ready, I line the muffin tin with paper cases. I used muffin paper cases for the Mocha cupcakes, they look good and they are a decent size cake. Good for adult audiences. I put an aprox. heaped table spoon of mixture in each case, make sure you keep the distribution as even as possible. Try not to over fill the cases, they will just over flow, leaving them lumpy and harder to decorate. Whack ’em in the oven and bake until they spring back when lightly touched in the middle. This takes around 20 mins at about 170, but do keep an eye as all ovens are different.
500g Icing Sugar
3 Heaped Table Spoons of Butter
Milk to mix
I’m asked about my frosting all the time. And really, I don’t have a recipe, so like most things that I do this is a guestimate. Something I’ve had to work on to get right over my 5 years baking cupcakes. By taste, feel and the way it moves (yea, I am completely aware that sounds ridiculous, but when you know, you just know).
Cream the butter and add enough of the icing sugar that you physically feel like you can not mix it any more. It dose mean working entirely by hand, but once it right it is so worth it. Add 2 tea spoons of vanilla extract for taste and a splash of milk. Keep up this process till the frosting is stiff but mixable, it should be able to hold it’s shape when you pull the spoon away.
When the cupcakes are cooled, slap on the frosting. Pipe it, spoon it, spread it, anyway you like it. A lot or a little, its utterly divine for those who have an insatiable sweet tooth. Top these cupcakes with crushed maltesers and a whole one to crown it!
Voilà, happy baking!