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milo cupcakes with condensed milk frosting
I never know what to give people for birthdays. I'm really bad at gifts, and so whenever I have to come up with something to give to someone I always turn to baking. Who doesn't like cake? Problem solved. So I made these cupcakes for one of my boyfriend's best friends' birthday recently. I was trying to decide between chocolate cake and these, which are wonderfully reminiscent of our childhood and everything good - I put it to the vote and these won unanimously. I got the recipe from Raspberri Cupcakes [love her blog! Go check it out]. This particular baking session was not without its misadventures, as usual - but it all turned out alright in the end!

Milo is a malted chocolate beverage from Australia that many would know as the 'drink of champions'. Coffeeshops here in Singapore make the best Milo - steaming hot and sweet with condensed milk mixed in, it's the perfect comfort drink. My mother has been making it for me every morning since I was born. <3 As you can see, being what it is, Milo carries a lot of memories and significance with it and I wanted these cupcakes to be all that - comforting, familiar, and most of all, delicious.

Verbatim from Raspberri Cupcakes - Makes 10-12 cupcakes depending on your paper cases
200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
100g Milo
1 tsp vanilla extract
180g sour cream
170g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs

For the condensed milk icing
150g slightly salted butter (or unsalted + a pinch of salt)
300g icing sugar, sifted
5 tbsp sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Fill cupcake tray with liners. If using a food processor, place flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb, Milo, vanilla, sour cream, butter, sour cream and eggs in the food processor and pulse until the mixture is combined and smooth. If not using a food processor, sift flour, bicarb and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl and then beat in eggs one at a time until combine. Add sour cream, vanilla and milo and beat until just combined. Add flour mixture and beat on low until just combined. Fill cupcake liners until 3/4 full and bake for approx 15-20 mins or a skewer inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. For the best texture, the cakes should be dark golden brown on top and firm to the touch and after cooling for 1 minute out of the oven. Cool on a wire rack. To make the icing, remove butter from the fridge 30 mins ahead of time. Beat butter until light and fluffy and then beat in icing sugar until combined. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until combined. Pipe or spoon over the top of cupcakes when they are cooled and drizzle some extra condensed milk over the top. Finish with a sprinkle of Milo. Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge overnight.

Being as impatient as I am, I kept opening the oven door to check on them because they definitely were not done after 20mins [my fault, because I'd filled each paper case too full] and so , very predictably, this was the result:

Sigh. Cue damage control - I removed them from the cases [the crusty bits stuck to the cases were super delicious though! Like really good chocolate chip cookies. Every cloud has a silver lining, as they say.] I put them into prettier cases, iced them with the frosting, and sprinkled over colourful, multi-shaped sprinkles. I love these sprinkles - they come in shapes like bears, stars and moons, dinosaurs, cows and dolphins. You can get them from Wilton - HUGE variety of decorating tools and products as well as many many other baking things.

Fixed :) As for the taste - personally, they weren't Milo-ey enough. Next time I'd increase the Milo to 150 or even 200g, and reduce the sugar. They tasted to me like a really nice chocolate/malt cupcake even though while they were baking the entire house smelled like a Milo factory. Also, take care when making/applying/eating the frosting - this frosting is insanely sweet. Either leave out the sugar altogether, or use very little frosting. Sprinkling Milo powder over the frosted cupcakes like in the original recipe would also be a very good idea [we've all eaten Milo powder straight from the tin, so I found this really cute]. They kept really well too as they were only eaten the day after they were made, and they were still really moist. This is love in a cupcake.

i haven't visited in a while and wow you're making me hungry. go baker helen! make me something non-chocolaty sometime (:

i will! when are we meeting? hehe.

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