Monday, June 11, 2012

Chocolate Malt Ball Cake

This cake I most recently made on Easter. We always have the same things for Easter dinner, and I like to broaden things a bit and make something different for dessert. Last year we had a carrot cake, and we almost made that again, but my sister had been bugging me to make this malt ball cake I had made before. I wasn't really happy with the cake, it was a bit dry but the malt flavor was great and very fun, especially with the ring of malt balls around the edge. The frosting is termed as an 'American' buttercream, which means it isn't a French buttercream, or a Swiss meringue buttercream, with eggs, double boilers, and a whole lot of whisking, but this is simply butter, a bit of hot water, some powdered sugar and flavorings. I changed the cake recipe to one of my favorites and just added the malt flavoring to it. These would be great and so cute as cupcakes, perfect for a little get together. This is really an easy cake. The sides don't get frosted, but I don't think it needs it. My sister, on the other hand, after she had quickly devoured her slice of cake, promptly told me it needed to be frosted on the side. So, I guess that would be up to you, but you would need a bit more frosting than this recipe makes.
It is not a fancy finished cake, with these malt-balls all around the top in a hap-hazard way, but it is delicious!

For the cake:
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
2 tablespoons malted milk powder
1 cup luke warm water, divided
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups cake flour (spooned into cups to measure, then leveled)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten to blend

For the frosting:
2 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup malted milk powder
1 stick, plus 1 tablespoon soft butter
2 tablespoons boiling water
malted milk balls (about 2 oz)

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Butter three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper rounds; butter parchment. Whisk cocoa, malted milk powder, and 1/2 cup warm water in small bowl. Whisk buttermilk and 1/2 cup water in another small bowl. Sift flour, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat both sugars and butter in large bowl until pale yellow and fluffy (mixture will appear granular), about 5 minutes. With mixer running, gradually add beaten eggs, then beat until smooth and fluffy, about 15 seconds. Add cocoa mixture; beat to blend. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 2 additions, beating to blend after each addition. Divide batter among pans (about 1 3/4 cups each).
·         Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, reversing pans halfway through baking, about 18 minutes. Cool completely in pans on racks.

For the frosting:
You can make the entire frosting in the food processor if you want, otherwise, use a hand mixer. In the food processor, combine the sugar, cocoa, and malt powder and process until the lumps are gone. Add the butter and process again. Stop, scrape down, and start the motor again, pouring the boiling water down the funnel until smooth.
Frost and top with malt balls as desired.

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