Malt Shop Cupcakes
I'll gladly go on record as stating that Golden Spoon frozen yogurt is one of the best kinds of frozen yogurt in the United States. I know that it is the best available in Las Vegas, but I can't honestly say that I have sampled all the frozen yogurt brands that these 50 states have to offer (although I am trying, believe me, I am definitely trying), which is why I say that it is "one" of the best. I risk starting a heated fro-yo lovers argument otherwise.
There are many reasons why I cherish my daily, sometimes twice daily, dose(s) of Golden Spoon. One of these is their vast selection of enticing flavors that really taste like they are supposed to. Baskin Robbins has nothing on Golden Spoon's 42 smooth and creamy options. From Raspberry to Root Beer Float, Pistachio to Pumpkin Pie, and Espresso to Egg Nog, they amazingly manage to deliver a decadent-tasting dessert for a mere 16 calories an ounce. I'm not sure how they do it, but I'm not sure that I want to find out either. As a fitness freak with a sweet tooth, it's probably clear now why I am so enthusiastic about this place.
The one complaint that I do have about Golden Spoon, is that they never seem to have my favorite flavor, Vanilla Malt, on their daily roster. I don't know if I am just missing it in the rotation, or if their nutritionists discovered that it really has (gasp!) 17 calories an ounce, so they are working on it in the lab. Whatever the reason, I have been malt-deprived over the past few months, so I have had malt on the brain on several occasions.
One such occasion occurred today, when I was planning to bake cupcakes for Eric to take into work. I found a bag of malted milk powder in my pantry, and the idea formed in my head to base the cupcakes on a classic vanilla malt shake with chocolate shavings. In this case, the shavings are represented by a rich chocolate frosting, and the entire thing is topped with a Whopper malted milk ball. The malted milk powder gives the cupcakes that familiar nutty flavor, which pairs well with the frosting. I'd love to tell you that these too are only 16 calories an ounce--maybe, if we're lucky, Golden Spoon will move onto cupcake making next! Here are my extra tips for making these candy topped cupcakes:
- I buy my malted milk powder from The Baker's Catalogue, but it can also be found in some specialty foods and grocery stores. Look for it in the baking aisle.
- Don't be alarmed if the cupcakes don't bake up nice and rounded. They should be a bit flat on top. Because the batter is made with egg whites, the texture is very delicate and light, as opposed to the denser cupcakes, which use the entire egg. I actually prefer cupcakes to bake with flat tops, as this makes them easier to decorate.
- The cupcakes can be stored at room temperature or refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days. If refrigerated, bring the cupcakes to room temperature prior to serving.
- This recipe will also make one 8-inch, 3-layer cake. Line three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper, and butter and flour the pans. After the batter is made, divide it among the pans and bake for 40-45 minutes. Decorate with the frosting as desired, and garnish with the malted milk balls.
- If you like an even more intense chocolate flavor for the frosting, then stir 1 teaspoon espresso powder into the melted chocolate prior to adding it to the creamed butter.
Malt Shop Cupcakes
Makes about 30 cupcakes
For the cupcakes
2 cups cake flour
1 cup flour
1 cup malted-milk powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups cold water
4 large egg whites, room temperature
For the frosting
1 pound butter, softened
3 tablespoons heavy cream
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to lukewarm
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners' sugar
Malted milk balls for garnish
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, malted milk powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and shortening at medium speed. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla and beat at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the ice water and occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter. Using an ice cream scoop or measuring cup, fill the cupcake liners a little more than halfway with the batter. Bake the cupcakes for 20-22 minutes, switching positions halfway through, until they are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the tins for 10 minutes and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat the baking process with any remaining batter.
Prepare the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and beat until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract. Gradually add the sugar and beat on low speed until creamy and of desired consistency.
Use a piping bag fitted with a large star tip to frost the cupcakes, or swirl the frosting on with a spatula or butter knife. Garnish the cupcakes with malted milk balls.