about bliss

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

twd: cocoa-buttermilk cupcakes with malted chocolate frosting

Happy Birthday to TWD! While I haven't been a member from the beginning, and while I've missed my share of recipes, I am a proud to be part of this baking blogging group. I've met many inspired and inspiring bloggers who are passionate about baking, and generous in sharing their experiences online.

To celebrate this special anniversary, TWD members voted on recipes. Tarte Tatin was the winner, with the cocoa buttermilk cake a close runner up. Laurie, our spirited leader, allowed us to choose from either recipe. After a caramel fail on Christmas Eve (using the caramel recipe from Dorie's Tarte Tatin), I was not eager to try again. Caramel is my Waterloo...

I decided to make 12 cupcakes. One half of the cake recipe made a perfect dozen standard sized cupcakes. And, I roughly halved the frosting recipe, which was more than enough frosting for the cupcakes, the freezer, a graham cracker, and my fingers. Mmmmm.

A few interesting notes about my baking adventures: While I set the butter out to soften, I forgot that Wisconsin kitchens in January (or January kitchens in Wisconsin) are just chilly. My butter never quite blended well into the cake batter, despite my best efforts at creaming, and little butter bits remained un-emulsified in the batter. This made for interesting spots of runny goodness in the finished cupcakes.

When I made the frosting today, I discovered that my Carnation Malted Milk Powder, purchased for those delightful chocolate whopper cookies in the fall 2008 baking rotation, had a best by date of September 09. A little research on the internets showed me that my King Arthur non-diastic malt powder, purchased for bagel making and stowed in my freezer, would be a fine substitute. Hooray! Several bakers noted that the brown sugar in the recipe made the frosting grainy. I used some of my favorite Florida organic cane sugar instead, which was still a little grainy. However, because I like the soft malted creaminess of the frosting so much, I don't mind the graininess this time. Next time I'll omit the sugar altogether.

These cupcakes are delightful, simple, and delicious. Everything a cupcake should be.

Here's to another fabulous year with my favorite baking friends:)


  1. Funny comment about the butter not softening in your chilly kitchen - I have the same problem here! I usually wind up microwaving it on 10 or 20% power for a bit. Great job on the cupcake - it looks terrific. I went the cupcake route too but I skipped the malt frosting after reading about the grainy issues.

  2. Anonymous9:55 PM

    That looks like a lot of chocolate goodness! Of course, since I made the tarte tatin, I'm looking at all the chocolate cake and wishing I'd made that.

    I'm glad you're enjoying the group. I think it's so much fun!

  3. It seems that those who did cupcakes were much happier with the results than I was with the cake version. Yours look great!

  4. Looks scrumptious!

  5. Your cupcakes look tasty! Im glad you enjoyed the recipe and the frosting too!

  6. those look delightful. nothing wrong with a little loose butter running around in a cuppy!!!

  7. Love your cupcake and glad you loved it too! I skipped out on the malt frosting because I was too lazy to do the research you did (I have diastatic malt powder - and malt syrup too) and truth be told I'm not the biggest malt fan. Glad we've gotten acquainted through TWD

  8. I'm glad you had a good result with these. Caramel needn't be scary. I did a caramel post a few months back if you want to check it out. http://lethallydelicious.blogspot.com/2009/09/hitting-sauce.html

    I'm in California, and my kitchen counter isn't warm enough for butter to soften. I stick it in front of the TV. Well, if it's on!