2 cups malted milk powder
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus more for coating cake pans; I prefer to use unsweetened cocoa powder for a prettier look on chocolate cakes
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil, plus more for coating the cake pans
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 recipe Vanilla Malt Frosting (recipe follows)
1 cup malted milk balls, coarsely chopped
Truly the sum of its parts, this recipe comprises elements that are each delicate in their malt flavor—the cake, Vanilla Malt Frosting, and malted milk balls—but together, they form a treat even the best soda jerk couldn’t top. Believe it or not, even with all that chocolate and malt, it is not overly sweet. It’s very tasty indeed.
What to buy: Malted milk powder is a natural sweetener made from barley malt, wheat, and milk, and is the key ingredient in malted milk shakes. Look for it next to the powdered chocolate milk and other drink mixes at your local grocery store. This recipe uses most of a new jar of malted milk powder.
Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat 2 (8-inch) cake pans with oil and flour or unsweetened cocoa powder, and tap out any excess. I like to use Bakers Joy and parchment paper, then spray again. Set aside.
Combine the malted milk powder, measured flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps. Next time I plan to simply sift the dry ingredients. I think it will do a better job breaking up lumps. Set aside.
Combine the eggs, sugar, measured oil, and vanilla in a separate large bowl and whisk until combined and smooth. Add a third of the flour mixture and whisk until just incorporated. Add half of the cream and whisk until smooth. Continue with the remaining flour mixture and cream, alternating between each and whisking until all of the ingredients are just incorporated and smooth.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cakes start pulling away from the sides of the pans, about 45 to 50 minutes. I used the baking strips (first time) and they did a good job. When pouring into the cake pans, I was concerned that the batter might be too thick. I guess I’m just used to box mixes. The cakes looked great. I do not have any 8 inch cake pans only 9 inch pans so the cakes looked a little thin and flat. One more thing to add to my wish list.
Remove the cakes from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the outside of each pan and turn the cakes out onto the racks to cool completely.
VANILLA MALT FROSTING:
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup malted milk powder
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and beat until mixture is light and whipped, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Add remaining ingredients and return to low speed until ingredients are incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and continue whipping until frosting is evenly combined and light, about 3 minutes. Use to frost cakes, cupcakes, or cookies. Again, surprisingly, not overly sweet.
To frost, place a cake layer on an 8-inch cardboard round and/or a cake plate. Evenly spread about a third of the frosting over the top of the layer. Stack the second layer and evenly spread another third of the frosting over the top and sides of the whole cake.
(Don’t worry about looks at this point—this is just a base coat, or crumb layer, and it will be covered up later.)
Place in the refrigerator until the frosting is set up and slightly hard, about 15 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, ensuring it’s as even as possible.
Press the malt balls into the frosting around the sides of the cake (harder than it sounds) and serve. I left off the malt candy on one section of the cake to accommodate Mr. B’s 88 year old mother.
On another note, Mr. B makes it possible for me to have this blog and does a great deal of the work baking or cooking. He’s learned a lot having to plan and cook all the meals and treats. I couldn’t accomplish very much without his help. Thanks Mr. B, I couldn’t do it without you. Even after 48 years, you’re still the one. ?
Adapted from Chow Hound.com