By Miss South
Until I moved to Brixton, the only malt drinks I’d ever come across were Horlicks or a good old fashioned malted milkshake. Thick, milky and sedating, they were the equivalent of a nap in front of an open fire. I had no idea that malt based drinks elsewhere were designed to give you a boost. For ages, I thought that the cans and bottles of malta drinks were in fact alcoholic beverages and that people had very different ideas about boozing in the street or at lunchtime than I did. This is easily done as malta is basically a beer that hasn’t fermented and is often packaged in a similar style to beer. I didn’t realise my mistake until a friend urged me to try Supermalt when I was hungover.
It certainly perked me up, but try as I might, I don’t love it as a drink. It doesn’t quench my thirst enough, but I rather like the taste. I needed to find something else to use it for. I got my idea when I was introduced to Coca-Cola cake. The idea of using fizzy drinks in baking is designed to make cakes lighter and fluffier and it certainly works for me, but I found Coke too sweet and one dimensional, so decided to sub in the Supermalt.
Supermalt Cupcakes (makes 18)
- 250g plain flour
- 150g sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 125g yoghurt (non sweetened natural)
- 125g butter (salted is fine, don’t add the pinch of salt as well)
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder (not drinking chocolate)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 200ml Supermalt
These are so easy to make. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in one bowl. Put the egg, yoghurt and vanilla in another. Then heat the butter, cocoa powder and Supermalt in a saucepan until melted.
Allow this to cool just slightly and then add to the bowl of flour. Give a bit of a stir and then add in the yoghurt mix and beat together, watching the batter going from thick and fudgy to soft and smooth by the time it is all mixed and combined. It’s one of the easiest cake recipes I know and it’s difficult to over-mix this batter so it’s a good one to do with kids. It’s also nice and thick for spooning into cases so great even if you’re a bit clumsy.
I used cupcake cases that were about half the size of a muffin case and about a third bigger than a standard fairy cake case. Mine were from Ikea and just what I had to hand. Feel free to use the smaller ones if that’s what you have (you can get them in a pound shop), you’ll just have more cakes and you’ll need to reduce the cooking time by about 5 minutes. Whatever size case, only fill them 2/3 full as these rise a lot. Then bake in a 180℃ oven for 15 minutes for small ones and 20 minutes for bigger ones or until a skewer comes out clean.
While I’m a big fan of the bun or the old fashioned fairy cake, I think cupcakes need a frosting to make them a true cupcake and my favourite is a cream cheese frosting which has a slight tang to stop everything being sickly sweet and cloying. But if you can’t abide the idea of cupcakes full stop, divide the batter two cake tins and do a sandwich cake instead. It’ll take 20-30 minutes in the oven.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 2 packs full fat cream cheese (Sainsbury’s Basics does the job cheaply)
- 1 tbsp Supermalt
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
Add all the ingredients together until fully combined and light and fluffy. Taste and add more sugar if needed, but I like it a little bit tangy. Then spread over the cooled cakes with a spatula or pipe with an icing bag. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds for extra prettiness or some grated chocolate if you prefer.
Then put aside all scepticism about these cakes and the idea of eating carbonated drinks and enjoy. They are simply the fudgiest most chocolatey cake around but without being heavy. The dark cocoa makes them a bit grown up, but the kids will love them too and you can make them in less time than a round trip to the supermarket. Supermalt really is super…
Miss South blogs at North/South Food and a version of this recipe first appeared there.