Ben and Jerry of Ben & Jerry's are freakin' geniuses, for many reasons.
Obviously, they've figured out how to have successful careers doing something amazingly exciting. Plus, their flavor combinations are almost always sensational and the names of those combinations are loads of fun. Yeah, I'm a little envious.
I've taken a cue from one of those tremendous flavors, hilariously dubbed Chubby Hubby. It's essentially vanilla malt ice cream with hunks of pretzel and swirls of chocolate and peanut butter. My cupcake version consists of vanilla malt cupcakes filled with a chocolate ganache and topped with a peanut butter cream cheese frosting. If I had had some pretzels on hand, they would've been featured prominently on top of the frosting, but alas, I did not.
So, these are Almost Chubby Hubby Cupcakes, or alternatively...
Pleasantly Plump Chump Cupcakes
(makes 24 cupcakes)
2 cups cake flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup malted milk powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 ounces butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups cold water
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup
7 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 ounce butter, room temperature
Peanut butter frosting
Prepare the ganache first, so it can begin to set up as you make and bake the cupcakes. Bring the cream and corn syrup to a simmer, remove from the heat, and add the chocolate and butter. Let it sit for a few minutes, then whisk until melted and blended.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake tins with 24 cupcake liners and lightly spray the top surfaces with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, malted milk powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and shortening at medium speed. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla and beat at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the ice water and occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter. Using an ice cream scoop or measuring cup, fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full of the batter.
Bake the cupcakes for 20-22 minutes, switching positions halfway through, until they are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the tins for 10 minutes and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely, then carve out a cone-shaped bit from the top. Squirt or spoon in some of your semi-soft ganache. Make the frosting and apply it to the tops of each cupcake. Eat!