Saturday, October 22, 2011

Busy Cooking: Malted Milk Ball Layer Cake

My oldest son chose this cake as his special dessert last week.  On his first day at his new school here, he came home, and was asking me if I had ever heard of a whopper.  He told me how the two boys sitting near him were eating them and they looked so good, but when they offered him one, he said "no" because he hadn't finished eating his apples.  They told him to throw them away, but he said I would get mad, so he didn't (ah, yes, my kids do listen sometimes :) ).  Of course, I immediately went to the store to get him a box for his honesty.

As soon as I saw this cake, when flipping through Baked:  New Frontiers in Baking, I knew it had his name written all over it.  I may have convinced him he really wanted this cake because I wanted to make it.  How can you not want to try a cake with three layers of whipped milk chocolate icing sandwiched between layers of vanilla malt cake, topped with whoppers?  How?

Even the baby wanted some- you may have noticed an out of place whopper in the first photo, and some fingerprints.  Here's what happened just before:

Oven:  325

Malt Cake:
2 1/4 cup cake flour
3/4 cup flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup malted milk powder (I got mine at King Arthur Flour- you could use ovaltine)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup crisco (vegetable shortening)
2 cups sugar
1 TBSP vanilla
2 cups ice cold water
4 large egg whites

8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
8 oz milk chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 TBSP light corn syrup
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1)  Preheat the oven to 325.  Prepare the cake pans- 3 round pans, you can use either 8" or 9".  Cut parchment paper rounds for the bottoms of the pans, grease and flour the sides, set aside.

2) Mix flours (I didn't have cake flour, so a substitute I used was 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour  and 1/4 cup cornstarch to replace 2 cup cake flour), baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and malted milk powder together in medium bowl, set aside.

3)  In mixer, using paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening until creamy, about 3-4 minutes.  Add in sugar and vanilla, beat on high until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

4) Prepare a bowl of ice water.  In alternating additions, add flour mixture to creamed butter/sugar, then add 1 cup ice water, then more flour, remaining 1 cup ice water, then the rest of the flour mixture.  Scrape the sides of the bowl, give it another quick mix.

5) Beat the egg whites with hand mixer until peaks form.  Fold the egg whites into the cake batter.

6)  Divide the batter among the cake pans.  Bake 40-45 minutes, be sure to rotate the pans halfway through for even cooking.  When cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, remove from oven.  Let cool on wire rack.  Once completely cool, invert pans and remove cakes.  This cake is a bit fragile and crumbly, so you may want to refrigerate or freeze the cakes for a few minutes before assembling, I did not but they recommended it in the recipe, and I did notice the cakes were a bit more fragile than normal.

7) Make the icing while the cakes are cooling.  Place the chocolate in the bowl of your mixer, with the whisk attachment.  In a small saucepan, heat the cream and corn syrup until boiling.  Remove from heat and pour over chocolate, let sit 2-3 minutes.  Whisk on high until chocolate mixture is smooth.

8) Cut butter into 1 TBSP pieces.  Put paddle attachment on mixer.  Slowly add butter 1 piece at a time and mix until smooth.  Mix on medium and once all butter is added, stop, scrape down sides, then turn up to high for about 5-6 minutes.  It will thicken like pudding.  If it's not thick enough, beat on high for a few more minutes, you can also set in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes to thicken it as well.

9) Put the first cake layer on a plate or cake stand.  Add 1 1/4 cup icing to the top of the layer, spread it out.  Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes to let it set, Repeat with second layer.  With the third layer, add a light coat of icing to the whole cake, so it is coated, but very lightly.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes.  This is crumb coating, so now, when you remove the cake to finish icing it, you won't have any pesky crumbs getting in the way. Garnish the top with malted milk balls and enjoy!

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