Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Double Chocolate Malt Shop Cupcakes with Cherry-Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

This recipe won the Ultimate Recipe Showdown on the Foodnetwork

NOTE: I made some minor modifications, found in blue.

For cupcakes:1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar **Modifications: added an extra 1/3 cup of sugar making a total of 2/3 Cup of sugar1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup whole milk **Modification: I used heavy whipping cream in place of the whole milk.
2/3 cup malted milk powder (recommended: Carnation brand)
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
2/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

For buttercream:4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
**modifications: I also added 1 teasp of Almond extract3 to 4 tablespoons whipping cream
2/3 cup tart cherry preserves **modifications: I used approx 1 cup of Cherry preserves.
**Modification: I added approx 3 tablespoons of Meringue powder to thicken frosting for piping.Malted milk balls or maraschino cherries, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 2 regular 12-cup cupcake tins with paper liners (makes 18 cupcakes)
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until well blended.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, malted milk powder, and espresso powder.
Add the canola oil and eggs; whisk to blend. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and beat until smooth.
Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until well combined.
Stir in the miniature chocolate chips.
Divide the batter among the prepared cupcake tins, filling only halfway full.
Bake the cupcakes for 15 to 17 minutes, until they spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean.

Prepare the buttercream:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and the butter on medium-low speed until well blended. **Personally I beat the butter for approx 10 minutes before adding in the sugar then add in the sugar a little at a time and revving up my mixer for a few seconds between each add.
Add the vanilla and whipping cream and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light, spreadable and fluffy. Add in meringue powder at this point if needed (will make your frosting crust just a little bit).
Beat in the cherry preserves until well incorporated.

When the cupcakes have finished baking, let sit in the pans for 2 minutes and then transfer the cupcakes to wire racks to cool for 10 minutes more.
While the cupcakes cool, transfer the buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.**I used a 1M tip & placed the filled pastry bag in the fridge for a few minutes before frosting.
Garnish the top of each cupcake with a malted milk ball or cherry and serve.
**I would say overall this is a good recipe, I love the cupcakes but need to tweak the butter cream a little more, still not able to get that Cherry topping taste without all that sugar flavor.
The next time I make these cupcakes I am going to try and bring up the flavor of the Malt a bit. Yummy!

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