Sunday, June 21, 2015

Malted milk chocolate cake

Turn back time with a cake featuring malted milk powder! This chocolate cake will remind you of those wonderful malted milk balls from your childhood (or adulthood). It's topped with an irresistible, smooth and silky chocolate malt glaze.

This malted milk cake is the cake that my husband originally requested for his birthday that I wasn't able to make (so I made this vanilla malt one instead). Here's the full story.

My husband found this recipe in a recent issue of Bon Appetit magazine and wanted me to bake it for his birthday. I thought I had all the ingredients on hand but realized that I didn't have any coffee (thus me baking the vanilla malt cake as a temporary substitute). Being the non-coffee drinker I am, I had no idea how to brew my own even though I own a basic coffee machine and coffee granules. So I did the next best thing - I went out to buy myself a small cup of coffee.

Seemed like a simple task, right? Well, we were out and about running errands one day when we decided to stop by a fast food place on the way home to buy the $1 cup of joe. My husband decided to go through the drive-through so Addie could experience it, and it also seemed like a fun activity at the time.

Well, this turned out to be quite the experience because the workers at this particular restaurant were incompetent. The person taking our order mistakenly thought my husband had ordered chicken instead of coffee (does "coffee" sound like "chicken"? Maybe. Please educate/amuse me.). We paid our $1.05 (including tax) and drove forward to the next window. The person there asked if we ordered coffee. My husband said yes, and the person told us to pull up to the "waiting spot" a few feet forward. Someone would bring out our coffee once it was ready. It had already been a 5 minute ordeal at this point.

Another 5 minutes tick by and car after car leave the drive-through window with their orders. I'm baffled at this point because I just wanted a simple cup of coffee for this cake. I got impatient and walked into the restaurant to find out what was going on. The workers were just standing around, with no customers in sight, and I saw 2 full pots of coffee just sitting there. I talked to the cashier and said that I had been waiting 10 minutes for my order. He apologized and poured a cup of coffee immediately. Then a manager came by to ask if she could help me, and I told her that it was ridiculous for me to wait 10 minutes for my coffee order. I promptly left and went on my way.

This was the most frustrating experience for a simple $1.05 cup of coffee. Regardless, I am glad I finally got my order and was able to make this cake for my husband.

He did enjoy his birthday cake and liked that the coffee flavor wasn't too strong (I only used ½ cup of coffee and subbed milk for the remaining ¼ cup). The glaze was smooth, silky and full of deep, dark chocolate flavor. The malt flavor in the cake and frosting were a bit more subtle than I wanted, so I'd increase the amount of malt powder next time (and add more liquid to make up for the increase in dry ingredients). He was a happy birthday boy, which was the most important thing. And I learned my lesson - never use the drive-through at that restaurant again.

Malted milk chocolate cake
Cake
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup malted milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • cups plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup coffee, cooled, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
Glaze
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup malted milk powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Directions
Make the cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease or line a standard 9"x5" loaf pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

In a separate owl, mix together the eggs, egg yolk, and cups of granulated sugar. Add the buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract, and ½ cup coffee, until just incorporated. Slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the large bowl with the dry ingredients, until just combined. The batter will be lumpy, which is what you want. Do not over mix the batter.

Bake in your preheated oven for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Make the syrup: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, the remaining ¼ cup coffee, and remaining 2 Tablespoons of  granulated sugar in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the syrup on top of the cake after it has come out of the oven. Make sure you use all of the syrup. Allow the syrup to completely soak in before transferring the entire cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the glaze: Put the chocolate and the vanilla in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan set over medium heat, warm the cream, malt powder and salt until it has come to a simmer. Do not allow the liquid to boil.

Turn off the stove and pour the cream into the bowl with the chocolate. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes (do not stir until after the 5 minutes). Stir until everything is mixed completely. Allow the glaze to sit for another 5 minutes to thicken up. Pour the glaze over the cooled cake and decorate with candy pearls, chopped malted milk balls or other decorations if desired.

Cake should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. It will keep for several days.

Yield: One 9"x5" loaf; about 8-12 servings

Source: Bon Appetit magazine, May 2015 issue

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