I and my siblings have inherited a sixth-sense from our da: the ability to sniff out a gram of chocolate at fifty paces. It’s been useful over the years, tracking down lost boxes of Bournville and missing multi-packs of Flake that my mother had put “somewhere safe” and then forgotten. At this stage, we know every chocolate hidey hole in my parents’ home and, although we are by no means chocoholics, if someone mentions the magic word, chocolate of one description or another can be uncovered within minutes.Only... I seem to be losing my touch. I was all set to make a savoury dish for today’s post. The text was written and I was assembling the ingredients when I was ambushed by a giant bag of Maltesers which leapt out of the cupboard at me. I thought I had Spring-cleaned the house of Christmas excess, ready for healthy salads, and fruit. Somehow, this bag of temptation had remained hidden. Perhaps the packaging is sniff-proof. Now what am I going to do?
Well... we all know that mini cupcakes have no calories J... and it is a perfect opportunity to put into practice an idea which I got from pal, Jan Thorpe, over Christmas – a cake stuffed with Maltesers. Thanks Jan, great idea!These mini bites are in the oven as I type and the house smells like a chocolate beacon. Any minute now there will be a knock at the door and I will find my six chocolate-seeking siblings standing there...
Update: these little cakes exist in two states - they are warm and melty from the oven, mmmmmm. However, when completely cooled the Maltesers re-solidify providing a delicious crunchy contrast. You must try both states.
For approximately 36 irresistible little chocolate bites you will need...... mini-muffin trays and paper liners (or non-stick mini-muffin trays)
150g butter at room temperature150g caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
100g plain flour
50g good quality cocoa powder
6g baking powder
approximately 36 Maltesers
a little icing sugar for dusting, (or see note below*)
Pre-heat your fan oven to 160°C and line the muffin tins with mini-muffin papers
|I pipe the mixture in for convenience but a spoon will do just as well.|
1. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter together with the sugar until lighter in colour and fluffy (3 – 5 minutes using an electric mixer). Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing very well between additions. (If you add the egg too fast the mixture will curdle and result in a heavier cake – not the end of the world, but if you exercise patience this can be avoided).
2. When the eggs have been combined with the butter/sugar mixture, add the vanilla extract and sprinkle in the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder and continue beating until these dry ingredients are incorporated into the mixture.
3. Half-fill each mini-muffin cup, and gently press a Malteser into the centre of each. You want to leave a little of the mixture beneath each Malteser to cushion it from the heat. Fill each mini-muffin cup to about two-thirds full, concealing the Malteser in the centre of each cup. Transfer to the preheated oven.
4. Bake for 11 - 13 minutes or until well risen. To test for doneness, prod lightly with a finger. The mixture will spring back if it is cooked. If your finger sinks into the mixture, give the cakes another minute or two in the oven and test again.
5. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Leave to cool before dusting with icing sugar or compounding the sin with chocolate frosting - see note (and link) below*
|Mmmmmaltesers - one is never enough!|
*If there had been more chocolate in the house, I would have frosted these with this chocolate honey truffle frosting or a ganache, or dipped them in good quality melted chocolate. I dusted them with icing sugar and it was enough to elicit a satisfied “Mmmmmm... these are good” from my taste tester.Pin It