As Mini Mouse reported last Friday, for the last couple of weeks I've been confined to my sickbed with only Season 5 of Gossip Girl and extra strong pain killers for company... When I finally managed to remove my onesie and leave the flat for some fresh air, I decided an exciting excursion to the supermarket was in order. En route to the healthy, immune system boosting section, I happened to pass the Easter chocolate and bam! - all thoughts of vitamins and good stuff out of the window - my MaltEaster addiction was reignited...
If you don't know what I'm talking about, you really haven't lived, get yourself to a shop immediately and pick yourself up an Easter bunny shaped slab of Malteser amazingness...
The thing about seasonal chocolate is that you know that it's only going to be about for a short time. This incites in me a deranged need to eat as much of it as I possibly can before it's taken away from me for another year (not ideal just before my Easter beach break). Fellow addicts, you'll probably have already cottoned onto the fact that Maltesers have now also added some teeny, tiny, baby bunnies to the MaltEaster range - yup, whole bags of them! Too sweet not to snap up, I popped a pack into my basket and let's just say they didn't last much beyond the till...
Another downside of being sick was the fact that I was tucked up in bed all last weekend which meant missing out on the biggest party weekend in the Hong Kong calendar - the Rugby Sevens. Despite the fact that I wasn't planning to head to the rugby, I had big plans for a big boozy brunch with all my favourite girls and I was super sad to miss out.
Feeling very sorry for myself and figuring that I was saving thousands of calories by not drinking six bottles of champagne and twenty five cocktails with the girls, I decided that a bit of baking might cheer me up. Having had MaltEasters on the brain for a couple of days, I thought that a bit of Easter baking with mini MaltEasters as the star of the show would be a fantastic idea (and a great excuse for nibbling a few stray bunnies while I baked...).
After a little scoot around Pinterest, a few baking blogs and a couple of recipe books I concocted a little recipe, compiled a shopping list and headed back to the supermarket. An hour later and I was back home with a ridiculous amount of malty chocolatey things...
This was just a fraction of my loot.
Ingredients bagged, I began to lay everything out before having a little panic as I realised that I hadn't really got much clue what to do next. The last time I'd baked cakes, they were butterfly cakes, I was seven, and I was strictly on icing duty... Grabbing a restorative MaltEaster I steadied myself before having a little laugh about what I'd have said two years ago if someone had told me I'd be baking Easter cupcakes over Sevens weekend rather than drinking Pimms in the South Stand while wearing fancy dress...
But I have to say that I actually thoroughly enjoyed it! A couple of hours later I'd successfully managed to produce twenty seven mini cupcakes all ready to bundle up and send out as little Easter gifts.
If you fancy making yourself a batch this weekend, you will need...
For the Cupcakes
90g pack of Maltesers
75g of chocolate Ovaltine (or other malted milk powder)
300g plain flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
375g of unsalted butter (make sure you whip this out of the fridge in advance so that it's room temperature)
200g muscavado sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
240ml single cream
For the Icing
440g of unsalted butter
900g of icing sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
4-6 tablespoons of double cream
90g pack of Maltesers
For the Final Touch
6 packs of Mini MaltEasters (probably advisable to buy a couple of extra bags too just in case...)
And here's what you do with all that lovely butter, sugar and malty chocolate...
First up the cupcakes:
Get your oven on and getting nice and toasty at around 180C. The first step's great if you're feeling a little stressed - grab a ziplock bag, empty your Maltesers in (that's Maltesers, NOT MaltEasters), seal the top of the bag and find yourself something bashy...
Bashy thing in hand, set about smashing the Maltesers into smithereens...
Tip the Maltesers' dust into a bowl together with the Ovaltine, the flour, the baking powder and the salt - set aside.
Next up, cream your butter and sugar together. This step is much easier if you have a electric whisk, sadly I don't, cue very achey arms... If you're stupid like me, you'll have forgotten to take the butter out of the fridge before you start and you'll be faced with an even more Herculean task. Panic not, you can save your arms a little by grating the butter into your mixing bowl.
Once the butter and sugar is light and fluffy add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture well after you add each one. Add the vanilla and beat the mixture a bit more. Now alternately add spoonfuls of the dry ingredients that you set aside earlier and spoonfuls of the single cream while all the while beating the mixture. By now your arms should be ready to fall off, but give the mixture one last stir just to make sure that its nice and smooth.
Grab a baking tray and lay out your paper cupcake cases. Fill each case just a little over half full and pop the tray in the oven for 20 minutes (or until you can skewer the middle of a cake without any mixture sticking).
Cakes done? Pull your baking tray out of the oven and put them on a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile time to get your whipping arm at the ready again, it's time to make the icing...
Put the butter and little pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl and cream it until its light and fluffy. Now add the icing sugar about a cup at a time (make sure you sieve it to get rid of any lumps) and beat it into the butter. Once you've whipped in all the sugar, add the vanilla essence and beat some more... Now add the cream (start with four tablespoons and add more if the consistency isn't right) and you guessed it... beat your icing a little bit more!
Now it's time for a bit more bashing action. Grab your second pack of Maltesers and repeat the bashy ziplock bag trick (we're still talking Maltesers - do NOT bash your MaltEasters that would be very cruel). Add the decimated Maltesers to the icing and beat the lot once more - I promise this is the last of the beating, so give it all you've got...
Now for the fun part! You can either spoon the icing onto each cupcake and smooth it down with the back of your spoon or you can pipe it on. If you haven't got nozzles and piping bags and other clever baking kit, don't worry, grab another ziplock bag, spoon your icing in, zip it up and then snip off one of the corners - et voila the perfect icing piping bag!
Pipe swirls of icing onto each cake. The cupcakes I've seen on Pinterest are always super neat, mine were less so...
If your icing also falls into the messy camp, this is where your little MaltEaster buds come in... Free them from their little red packets and pop one on top of each iced cake.
And that's it! MaltEaster Cupcakes ready to yum up... ahem... I mean, to put in boxes all tied up with pretty ribbon ready to give to all your favourite people!
And if these don't take your fancy (then you probably need to get your head checked but...), here are some other delicious looking Easter recipes that I've spotted around the blogosphere...
Image via: www.thelondoner.me
Image via: www.stickypinny.wordpress.com
Image via: www.raspberricupcakes.com
And that's it for this week!
We're all away for the long weekend so we're taking a little blog break. The London Mice are donning their Barbours and flat caps and heading down to Devon for the long weekend. I'm branching out beyond the supermarket and zipping off to Koh Samui for some recuperation in the sun (I may well be smuggling a few packs of MaltEaster mini bunnies...). Whatever your plans are, we hope you have a lovely long weekend and a very, very happy Easter!