Friday, October 28, 2011

Malt Ball Madness

Growing up, my sister and I loved Whopper Malt Balls. Sometimes our dad would buy us a carton and tell us we’d have to share.  We intended to ration it out so the carton would last all weekend but would inevitably eat so much the first day the roofs of our mouth were so sore we couldn’t eat any the following day. You’d think we’d lose our love of the malt ball (or learn not to eat so many at one time) but never did. 
I loved the idea of making cupcakes inspired by the malt balls we loved so much as kids-even better, these won’t scratch up the roof of your mouth so feel free to eat as many as you’d like!
Malt Ball Cupcakes
Adapted from Baked’s Milk Chocolate Mall Ball Cake Recipe 
Yield: 24 cupcakes
2 cups cake flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup Carnation malted milk powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups ice cold water
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (if using non-stick pans, preheat oven to 300 degrees). Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. 
Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Whisk in the malted milk powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the ice water, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Do not over-beat. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
Fill the muffin liners no more than 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center of cupcake comes out clean. Transfer pans to cooling rack, let cool for about 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
Yield: Enough to frost 15-20 regular cupcakes  
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon 2% reduced fat milk, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until it has completely melted and is quite smooth. Leave to cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, milk, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth-this can take several minutes with and electric hand mixer (I mixed mine in my standing mixer with a paddle attachment). Add the melted chocolate and beat again until thick and creamy. If it looks too runny, simply keep beating-this will thicken the frosting and improve its consistency. 
Frost and decorate your cupcakes. I loved the ones decorated with chopped up malt balls, they had just the right amount of crunch.

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