Quick Malt Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes


Malt chocolate cake was what I was craving as I wanted a delicate, light chocolate cake smothered with malteaser buttercream icing.  So I set off to the kitchen to indulge my chocolate fix dragging my Son with me promising him he could lick the bowl. Now as this recipe is quite quick it will be no time before you can also sit down with one in hand and enjoy the story at the end of this post about ‘How to upset a cupcake’.  It’s nearly easter and these are perfect to decorate with eggs if you wish.

Malt Chocolate Cake

This malt chocolate cake is light and fluffy and is an adapted version from Peggy Porshen’s book Cake Chic (buy it here).

Malt chocolate cake

I choose to make 12 large cupcakes but this would also make a fantastic quick bake in a 20cm (round or square) tin with malt chocolate buttercream icing spread over the top. Decorate it with chocolates or malteasers and you are ready for a children’s party, cake sale or for when time is short but you still want a light fluffy chocolate fix.

I made a chocolate buttercream and added malt powder to compliment the cake flavour.  Crushed malteasers (whoppers) were mixed into the buttercream and more sprinkled on top for decoration.  This works well if you are eating the cake on the same day as it gives you a satisying crunch to the topping.  If the cakes make it past 24 hours (give yourself a pat on the back) you will find the crunch melts beautifully into the buttercream leaving gooey pools.  Due to the bits of malteaser in this buttercream it will not pipe unless you use a large round plain pastry nozzle so instead just put it on with a palette knife and smooth it round and enjoy less washing up.  Now is the time to either scroll for the instructions or read the tale below…

Malteaser cupcake

 Storytime – How to upset a cupcake (a tale of dating, technology and oops)

One evening whilst immersed in my marking I’m interrupted by the laughter and animated chatter of my Husband and his friend gossiping in the kitchen.  Let’s call these two Ron (Friend) and Ronald (Husband) for ease as when together are truly like two old women who have not seen each other for a lifetime instead of at the weekend.  They have little comedy duo spats and arguments over how to fix the (more manly) camper van but mostly they banter with each other each trying to out do the others in wittiest stakes.

Tonight’s conversation will be about Cupcakes

Tonight’s topic of conversation got my attention as I heard the word ‘Cupcakes’ rather than clutch repair so I began to listen whilst tapping furiously on my keyboard to make it look like I was not listening (naturally).  After a few minutes I realise Cupcake is a pseudonym used by a lady Ron met recently on a dating site and not the edible cake kind I love.  They discuss in great detail the second date, descriptions of flirty text messages are analysed by the two boys men and the kiss was relived in second by second sloshing detail before googling the next possible date location.  The conversation finally veered off to their good old days when Ron apparently used to be a bit of a man whore (their words not mine).  Now I was bored by the notch on the bedpost nostalgia and returned to my marking.

I looked up when Ron’s loan phone (the other had died) beeps, he pulls it out from his pocket whilst  laughing at the last smutty comment.  Ronald chuckles like a crazed hyena but Ron has gone strangely quiet.  I see Ron’s face drain of colour, sweat beads spring across his forehead quicker than a chicken pox rash and his cheeks glow in a reminiscent shade of a telephone box.  Ron looks up from his phone and with a loud and drawn out ‘ooohhh’ and we wait for the next words:
‘What is it?’ asks Ronald impatiently.
‘It’s a text from Cupcakes’
‘OK, so what does it say?  No hang on don’t tell me she is organising the wedding cars already!’
‘Umm, no.  Not exactly’ replies Ron shaking his head.  ‘I don’t quite know what has happened.  Let me read you the text. He takes a big breath ‘I have just listened to a four minute voicemail message from you talking to your friend and I am not impressed’.

The two of them look at each other and their little brains are working overtime to work out what could have happened.  Sadly the loan phone that Ron had did not have a keyguard lock and it accidentally rang the lady from his pocket.  She replayed the voicemail conversation and listened to every single word that was said on more than one occasion.  Poor Ron  never made a next date so I gave him an extra cupcake to make up for it.  The moral of the story is to never share your secrets with a friend unless your are absolutely sure your phone has keyguard lock on.  Oops!

Malt Chocolate Cake Ingredients (makes 12 large cupcakes, 1 x 20cm cake)

150g dark chocolate
200ml milk
450g brown sugar (I use light muscavado)
150g salted butter softened
4 eggs lightly beaten
300g plain flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder ( I use Green and Blacks)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tbsp malt powder (like ovaltine or any other malt flavoured powder drink)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 160 C / 150 / Gas ?? / F
2. Line your muffin tin with muffin cases (I like large cupcakes)
3. Beat the butter and sugar until ight and fluffy (about 5 minutes)
4. Put chocolate , milk and half the sugar in a saucepan and stir until all contents are melted and then leave to one side until cooled.
5. Sift the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and bicarbonate of soda onto a tray (this gives it air)
6. Slowly add the eggs one at a time then adding a quarter of the dry mix (above) repeat until all eggs and mixture are fully combined
7. Start to add the hot mixture slowly into the batter by pouring down the side of the bowl
8. Once combined – pour into cases tin and place in the oven until cooked (approx 15 mins)
9. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 – 15 mins and then remove and place on a wire rack

Malt Chocolate Buttercream

175g soft butter (but not too soft it is squdgy)
350g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder ( I used Green and Blacks)
1 tbsp malt drink powder (like Ovaltine)
4-5 tbsp of milk
100g crushed malteasers

Instructions

1. Mix together the butter and icng sugar using light and fluffy (about 5 minutes) in a stand mixer or using a hand whisk
2. Add the milk until the consistency is spreadable
3. Add the cocoa and malt powder and mix until fully combined
4. Add crushed malteasers (leaving some to sprinkle on top) to the mixture and give a final mix until it is fully combined
5. Spread onto your cupcakes and then use a palette knife to smooth around the edges
6. Top with a malteaser and sprinkle over the remaining crushed malteasers and then eat!

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Quick, Money Saving, Yummy Baking (am I the only person who can’t remember what noise a goat makes?)


PastryTwists
What’s your flavour?

The ultimate Pastry Twist

I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it!
Last week the trio of dancing melting moment biscuits was exciting enough for me that I did not think it was possible to get overly entusiastic over a humble pastry twist.  This simple recipe has truly unleashed the creative baking banshee from deep within my inner madness.  In four short days I have gone from 1 idea to over 60+ flavour combinations for this recipe which is perfect for any occasion but even more so for Christmas as there is a flavour for everyone.  Puff pastry twists are winters little soft comforting pillows of buttered air with devilishly tasty fillings in sweet or savoury formations depending on one’s mood and what you have available.  They are so moreish that I now play the obsessive nutter that shouts out pastry twist flavour combinations randomly in the most inappropriate of places (e.g. shouting meatballs and marinara in the toilets is not always the best plan) or an idea will take hold and I’ll yell out ‘Oh Yes!’ as if I have a winning lottery ticket followed by full on air punching and then I turn into Churchill the nodding dog as I continue to think about it.
Merry Twistmas
Merry Twistmas

Beat the Food Price Hike
In truth pastry twists are a winning ticket in their own right as with rising food prices we all have to think smart this year to reduce our shopping bills and not pay the astronomical prices they put on party foods.  With this recipe you can afford to be the smug party host with a secret stash of goodies in the freezer instead of embracing trolley rage aisles of supermarkets foraging for flavourless snacks only to be charged a small fortune for them.   You need no special equipment, little and no baking know how.  This is a simple succesful recipe anyone can have a go at and at this time of year that’s all I want!

Quick, simple and adaptable
You can make these in less than 10 minutes with a nice cold glass of wine nibbling the ingredients as you go which is a necessary part of cooking.  You can also make these with the children in your life and create varieties that everyone will enjoy which makes them perfect for those who follow special diets and fussy eaters.  I have a whole batch of Santa’s Swizzlers (see top 10 below) in the freezer ready to bake in memory for Jo’s event as well as on the morning of December 25th to help fuel the family with enough energy for paper slaying like a real life game of fruit ninja (game app) but with less messy wrapping paper. 
 

Use it as a question on speed dating

Pastry twists stir up conversations about flavour combinations. Try it out – show this post to your friends and colleagues this, stand well back as you just have lit the conversation touch paper and watch the ideas explode.  Friends and I will randomly proclaim a flavour idea in mid flow of unrelated conversation and everyone will pause for a moment, visualise it and then nod enthusiastically (yes we should get out more!).  You can tell a lot about a person just by the types of flavours they suggest so perhaps the pastry twist flavour question should be used on dating sites or job interviews to detemine someone’s real personality. 
What’s your flavour?

What noise does a Goat Make?
Just for fun I thought I would make up names for the Top Ten Pastry Twists ideas (see below) and I was trying to think of name for one with goats cheese but I could not remember what noise a goat made?   I asked my Husband about this he laughed which made me laugh and then I was snorting with laughter. ‘No dear’ he said ‘that’s the noise a a pig makes!’ but he did tell me and that’s how the ‘Get meeeeeeh to the Greek’ pastry twist was born!

See below for flavour ideas I warn you it is addictive one you start thinking…

Basic Recipe

1 x ready to use pre-rolled puff pastry

1 x egg ( for brushing pastry)

Fillings

Equipment

2 x lined baking trays , rolling pin (optional) and a knife

How to make Pastry Twists

Yummyness made in less than 10 minutes

Cakeboule’s Top 10 Pastry Twist Ideas

Use up your Christmas left overs (and then bake them for new years eve parties)  – think Christmas pud & custard , turkey & stuffing, sausage & bacon with cheese or roast potatoes and sausage,  bubble & squeak etc ..

Be creative  – grab what is in your fridge and do a Jamie Oliver with it – go on whack it all in and create! 

Cheesecake inspired– whip 50g of cream cheese with 50g of icing sugar and spreas on.  Sprinkle broken digestives/grahams crackers, and add spoons of jam or fresh fruit and dust with icing sugar

Use an old favourite for inspiration – pizza flavours, subways, desserts you name it you can pastry twist it (even pickled eggs and ready salted crisps if that’s your thing!)

Make them as you cook  – as you cook meals on the run up to Christmas you can create a lot of flavours such as bolognaise, curry etc which can easily be used in twists.  Keep a small portion (approx 3- 4 tbsp)  to one side and then spread it inside as a filling.  No extra effort required!

On a stick– Insert a wooden skewer inside the twist before baking and you have a twist on a stick  – no messy hands! Or cut the twists in half and do mini ones on cocktail sticks (don’t get me started on things that go on sticks as I won’t calm down from the excitement for hours!)

Freeze & bag them – freeze them on a baking sheet and then once frozen bage them up ready for the party season or when you get unexpected guests or just fancy a snack.  Take them out of the freezer and leave at room temperature for 10 mins before baking.

Christmas morning
Christmas Morning (ready for paper slaying)

Cakeboules’ Top 10 Patry Twists

Santas Swizzler – mincemeat , chunks of chocolate and balls of marizipan dusted with cinnamon sugar – these are well tested and loved!

Passionate Peroni Pizza (shown left) – pizza sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella and sprinkled with mature cheddar and cracked black pepper

Bologs to it: bolognaise sauce sprinkled with parmesan

Turkish Temptress – Turkish delight, chocolate spread and chocolate chunks dusted with icing sugar

App for that:  raisins, brushed melted butter and apple sprinkled with cinnamon sugar

Choccywockydoodah Explosion – nutella, chunks of chocolate (any bars), crushed oreo biscuit,  marshmallows and dusted with coco powder and popping candy

Get meeeeeeh to the Greek – Goats cheese, spinach and pesto

Sweet Hot Bird: Sweet chilli sauce & strips of cooked chicken

Reece’s Peanutbutter Cups: Dulce du leche (caramel sauce), small spoonfuls of peanut butter, chunks of chocolate with pieces of honeycomb (or use crunchie if it’s Friday)

Homemade Jacuzzi: Baked beans, grated cheese & bacon

I could go on for days ….

Whatever you have wrap it lovingly in a pastry twist, freeze, bake, take the credit and enjoy a stress free holiday because you’re worth it.

Why not comment with your flavour ideas…