Crunchy Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

This recipe comes from an article called “I Want Candy” in the January/February 2010 issue of The Food Network Magazine that gave recipes for cupcakes which mimicked the flavor of candy bars.  This one was intended to taste like a Nestle Crunch bar.  Bob had a work party today so I made these last night for the party.  He took about 2 dozen of them to work (the recipe made about 3 dozen) and he didn’t come back with any so they must have been good.  I haven’t tried one yet but I’ll tell this, the cupcake batter smelled incredible!

frosting:

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon light corn syrup

3 cups heavy cream

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

7 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

(Or, if you don’t have time to make their frosting, you can make my favorite Vanilla Buttercream Frosting like I did which you can find under the blog in a post titled “Chocolate Chip Mint Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting”; to make it chocolate just take 1/2 cup of powdered sugar out of the 2 pound bag and add 1/2 cup cocoa with the powdered sugar)

cupcakes:

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon fine salt

1 cup malted milk powder (such as Carnation)

3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder

1 1/3 cups sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 eggs, at room temperature

1 3/4 cups half and half

1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal

1  Make frosting:  Sprinkle sugar evenly in a large skillet and add corn syrup.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring once or twice.  Continue to boil, swirling the pan but not stirring, until the caramel is amber.  Carefully pour in heavy cream (it can splatter) and add butter.  Simmer, whisking constantly, until caramel is smooth, about 2 minutes.

2  Combine both chocolates and salt in a medium heatproof bowl.  Pour hot caramel over chocolate and let stand until melted, about 5 minutes.  Whisk until smooth and shiny, then cover and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.  (The frosting can be made up to 2 days ahead.)

3  Make cupcakes:  Heat oven to 375.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in bowl.  Sift malted milk and cocoa powders into another bowl.

4  Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes.  Add malted milk powder mixture and beat until combined.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with half and half in 2 parts, beginning and ending with flour.

5  Divide batter evenly among prepared cups, filling about 3/4 full.  Bake until toothpick inserted in cupcake comes out clean, 15 – 20 minutes.  Let cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to racks to cool.

6  Beat chilled frosting with mixer or whisk until thick, about 2 minutes, but don’t over whip.  Spread on cupcakes or transfer to a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe on top.  Refrigerate until ready to serve, then sprinkle with cereal.

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