People seem to have one of three responses to malt; they either love it, hate it, or have no idea what it is. I fall into that first category, malt is absolutely one of my favorite flavors. When it comes to malted milk, I like Carnation, and don’t recommend Ovaltine, which I think is more of a drink mix than straight up malted milk powder. With these cupcakes I hoped to bring that out. The recipe I used comes from the book Baked: New Frontier’s in Baking, but I got it reposted over at How To Eat a Cupcake. My addition to the recipe is the filling, which is a vanilla pastry cream with malt. I was hoping for something that would make the whole cake a little creamier, brining the malt back to its milkshake roots.
I made these for May week, which is actually an event for my journal where we have to do a bunch of extra work the week after finals ends (Fun!). Since I needed to make a lot of these for the office, I decided to make them mini. How To Eat a Cupcake’s review of these is definitely correct, they are super tender, and almost fall out of their wrappers. People really enjoyed these, and they received many compliments, including one person telling me that no one ever needs to bother with cupcakes again, as these are their “Platonic Form” (If you know what that means, it should give you a sense of the kind of nerds I hang out with). Even if you don’t understand it, know that these cupcakes come highly recommended.
Because these cupcakes are so small, the cone method I normally use for filling the cupcakes doesn’t work (the cupcakes just fall apart). Instead I injected the filling using a pastry bag. All you do is fit a pastry bag with a small, round tip, fill the bag with the pastry cream, gently push the tip into the cupcake, and squeeze. You just want to squeeze enough in so that the cupcake starts to bulge, or filling comes out the hole. Too much and you risk tearing apart the cake. That said, I’d never done this before, and found it very easy, so don’t let it intimidate you.
Malted Mini Cupcakes
Makes ~60 mini cupcakes
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup malted milk powder
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening 1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup ice cold water
2 egg whites
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line your mini cupcake pan with liners. In a medium bowl sift together the first seven ingredients, then give them a good whisk to make sure they are well blended.
2. Put the butter and shortening in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until smooth, 3-4 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy, 3 more minutes.
3. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add a quarter of the flour mixture, followed by a third of the ice water. Continue alternating, until both are fully added, ending with the flour.
4. In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Add to the batter and gently fold to combine.
5. Fill the cupcakes liners ½ to 2/3 full, but be careful not to overfill. Bake for 14 minutes, or until tops are just golden, and a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
Vanilla Malted Pastry Cream
Makes 2-3 cups (more than you will need)3 egg yolks
2. Combine the remaining sugar, the milk, the vanilla, and 1 T of the malted milk powder in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly with a flat ended spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan.
3. Remove the milk from the heat. Pour ¼ of the milk mixture into the eggs in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Pour the remaining milk mixture into the eggs and whisk to combine. Put the bottom of the pot into cold water to cool it. Place it back on the stove on a cool burner. Pour the mixture back into the pot, and begin heating over medium high heat.
4. Heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until it thickens into a paste. This may take awhile, I found it happened just after 170 degrees. At first you might think your pastry cream is curdling, or that it’s separated, just keep mixing, and it will come together. Make sure you heat the pastry cream over 180, if On Food and Cooking is accurate, you should actually be able to bring it to a boil without burning it, so don’t worry too much.
5. Once the pastry cream is thickened, remove from the heat and pour through a strainer into a clean bowl. You will probably need you use your spatula to push it through the strainer. Quickly whisk in the remaining 1 T of malted milk powder.
6. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pastry cream and refrigerate until cool and set.
Milk Chocolate Frosting4 oz. Milk Chocolate, chopped
1. Put the chocolates in the bowl of a standing mixer, and set aside. Put the cream and corn syrup in a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer.
2. Pour the cream over the chocolates, and let stand for 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk until smooth. Set aside (or refrigerate) until completely at room temperature.
3. Attach the bowl to the mixer set with the whisk attachment. Gradually add the softened butter, whisking on medium speed until totally smooth.
4. Refrigerate for a few minutes, until firm enough to pipe.
As described above, pipe the pastry cream into the cupcakes. Top each cupcake with frosting, and refrigerate.