Thursday, January 15, 2015

Horlicks Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Milo Ganache

My parents go to cell every Friday and I love volunteering to make dessert for the pot luck after. It gives me the chance to experiment with new recipes and get honest feedback after. The crowd being of age 50 and up are quite picky though and are united in their stand against desserts being overly sweet.

Was flipping through books for some cupcake inspiration and chanced upon this recipe from Sidney and VOILA! We have Horlicks cupcakes topped with a dark chocolate Milo ganache and finished with chopped maltesers. Milo is such a Southeast Asian / Australian household treat for kids and adults alike, it’d be pretty hard to resist these malty munchkins.

The cupcakes’ texture is sublime – light and fluffy because of the folded egg whites and with a slightly crunchy golden exterior. The ganache is EPIC, creamy and rich without being too sweet. Using milk chocolate the next time would be a good idea, to really allow the milo flavor to shine through.  

Malted Horlicks Cake  (Makes 18 cupcakes)
Adapted slightly from  from Baked : New Frontiers in Baking
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Cake Flour
3/8 All Purpose Flour
1/2 tbsp. Baking Powder
1/8 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¾ cup + 1 tbsp Horlicks
½ cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, at Room Temperature
3/4 cups Sugar
1/2 tbsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
½ cup cold water
½ cup milk
2 Egg Whites
36 maltesers (chopped into half)

To make the malt-ball cake, start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Whisk in the malted milk powder.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed, until light and fluffy.  Mix in the vanilla.  Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the cold water and milk, starting and ending with the flour.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.

In the bowl of another stand mixer, or with a hand-held mixer, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form (starting on low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high).  With a spatula, carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter. 

Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Dark Chocolate Milo Ganache
150ml pouring cream (min. 35% milk fat pure cream)
200g dark chocolate
1/4 heaping cup Milo powder
3/8 tablespoon light corn syrup

Break chocolate up into small pieces and place in a large mixing bowl with the milo. Heat cream gently in a medium saucepan until it just reaches the boil, add milo powder.
Pour hot cream into mixing bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to allow chocolate to melt. Using a whisk, stir until mixture is smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool to room temperature, until mixture is thick and only just pourable.

Spoon a tablespoon of milo ganache onto cooled cupcakes. Use an offset spatula to swirl a rose pattern. Dust milo powder on top and garnish with chopped Maltesers. The cake will keep well in a container at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

Baker's Notes
1.   The original recipe called for a mix of butter and shortening, but just butter is fine. My cake turned out fluffy and soft.
2.   You can substitute the Horlicks / Milo powders for other brands (e.g. Ovaltine) if you have them on hand.

3.   Garnish the cupcakes with Maltesers only when you’re ready to serve, the chocolate candies get stale in open air after a few hours.