Christina’s Chocolate Malt Layer Cake Recipe
Chocolate Malt Layer Cake
Makes 1 (6-inch) layer cake, 5 to 6 inches tall. Serves 8 to 12.
- Put a piece of paper or a Silpat on the counter. Invert the cake onto it and peel off the parchment or Silpat from the bottom of the cake. Use the cake ring to stamp out 2 circles from the cake. These are your top 2 layers. The remaining cake “scrap” will come together to make the bottom layer of the cake.
Layer 1 (the bottom)
- Clean cake ring and place it in the centre of a sheet pan lined with clean parchment or a Silpat. Use 1 strip of acetate to line the inside of the cake ring
- Put the cake scraps together inside the ring and use the back of your hand to tamp the scraps together into a flat, even layer
- Dunk pastry brush in the Ovaltine soak and give the layer of cake a good, healthy bath of half of the oil
- Use the back of a spoon to spread one-fifth of the malt fudge sauce in an even layer over the cake. (Helpful hint: the warmer the fudge sauce, the easier it is to spread.)
- Sprinkle one-third of the malted milk crumbs and one-third of the charred marshmallows evenly over the malt fudge sauce. Use the back of your hand to anchor them in place.
- Use the back of a spoon to spread another fifth of the malt fudge sauce as evenly as possible of the crumbs and marshmallows.
Layer 2 (the middle)
- With your index finger, gently tuck the second strip of acetate between the cake ring and then top 1/4 inch of the first strip of acetate, so that you have a clear ring of acetate 5 to 6 inches tall – high enough to support the height of the finished cake. Set a cake round on top of the frosting, and repeat the process for layer 1 (if 1 of your 2 cake rounds is jankier than the other, use it here in the middle and save the prettier one for the top).
Layer 3 (the top)
- Nestle the remaining cake round into the fudge. Cover the top of the cake with the remaining fudge sauce. Since its a sauce, not a frosting, here you have no choice to make a shiny, perfectly flat top. Garnish with the remaining charred marshmallows.
- Transfer the sheet pan to the freezer and freeze for a minimum of 12 hours to set the cake and filling. The cake will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
- At least 3 hours before you are ready to serve the cake, pull the sheet pan out of the freezer and, using your fingers and thumbs, pop the cake out of the cake ring. Gently peel off the acetate, and transfer the cake to a platter or cake stand. Let it defrost in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours (wrapped well in plastic, the cake can be refrigerated for up to 5 days).
- Slice the cake into wedges and serve.
Malted Milk Crumb
Makes about 375g (2 1/2 cups)
1 recipe Milk Crumb (below)
60 g (3/4 cup) Ovaltine, malt flavor
90 g (3 oz) white chocolate, melted
- Toss the milk crumbs with the Ovaltine malt powder in a medium bowl until all of the crumbs are a light brown
- Pour the white chocolate over the crumbs and continue tossing until all of the clusters are enrobed. Then continue tossing them every 5 minutes until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky. The result will be just like the original milk crumb, but with a cheetah-like spotting of light brown malt powder. The crumbs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Makes about 260 g (2 1/2 cups)
40 g (1/2 cup) milk powder
40 g (1/4 cup) flour
12 g (2 tbsp) cornstarch
25 g (2 tbsp) sugar
2 g (1/2 tsp) kosher salt
55 g ( 4 tbsp, 1/2 stick) butter, melted
20 g (1/4 cup) milk powder
90 g (3 oz) white chocolate, melted
- Heat oven to 250º F.
- Combine the 40 g (1/2 cup) milk powder, the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Toss with your hands to mix. Add the melted butter and toss, using a spatula, until the mixture stuarts to come together and form small clusters.
- Spread the clusters on a parchment or Silpat lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. The crumbs should be sandy at that point, and your kitchen should smell like buttery heaven. Cool the crumbs completely.
- Crumble any milk crumb clusters that are larger than 1/2 inch in diameter and put the crumbs in a medium bowl. Add the 20 g (1/2 cup) milk powder and toss together until it is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
- Pour the white chocolate over the crumbs and toss until your clusters are enrobed. Then continue tossing every 5 minutes until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky. The crumbs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 1 month.
Makes 1 quarter sheet pan cake
115 g (8 tbsp, 1 stick) butter, room temperature
300 g (1 1/2 cups) sugar
110 g (1/2 cup) buttermilk
40 g (1/4 cup) grapeseed oil
4 g (1 tsp) vanilla extract
155 g (1 1/4 cups) cake flour
70 g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona
6 g (1 1/2 tsp) baking powder
6 g (1 1/2 tsp) kosher salt
Pam or other nonstick cooking spray (optional)
- Heat the oven to 350ºF.
- Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and mix on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more.
- On low speed, stream in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and paddle for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is practically white, twice the size of your original fluffy butter-and-sugar mixture, and completely homogenous. There should be no streaks of fat or liquid. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the fudge sauce and mix on low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- With a spatula, stir the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. On very low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix for 45 to 60 seconds, just until your batter comes together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix on low speed for another 45 seconds to ensure that any little lumps of cocoa powder and cake flour are incorporated.
- Pam-spray a quarter sheet pan and line it with parchment paper, or just line the pan with a Silpat. Using a spatula, spread the cake batter in an even layer in the pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The cake will rise and puff, doubling in size, but will remain slightly buttery and dense. At 30 minutes, gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger: the cake should bounce back slightly and the center should no longer be jiggly. Leave the cake in the over for an extra 3 to 5 minutes if it doesn’t pass these tests.
- Take the cake out of the oven and cool on a wire rack or, in a pinch, in the fridge or freezer (don’t worry, its not cheating). The cooled cake can be stored in the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 5 days.
Makes about 150 g (1/2 cup), or enough for 4 or more sundaes
30 g (1 oz) 72% chocolate, chopped
18 g (2 tbsp) cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona
0.5 g (1/8 tsp) kosher salt
100 g (1/4 cup) glucose
25 g (2 tbsp) sugar
55 g (1/4 cup) heavy cream
- Combine the chocolate, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Combine the glucose, sugar, and heavy cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir intermittently while bringing to a boil over high heat. The moment it boils, pour it into the bowl holding the chocolate. Let sit for 1 full minute.
- Slowly, slowly begin to whisk the mixture. The continue, increasing the vigorous of your whisking every 30 seconds, until the mixture is glossy and silky-smooth. This will take 2 to 4 minutes, depending on your speed and strength. You can use the sauce at this point or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Do not freeze.
In a pinch, substitute 35 g (2 tbsp) corn syrup for the glucose
Malt Fudge Sauce
Makes about 450 g (1 3/4 cups), or enough for 12 or more sundaes
60 g (2 oz) 72% chocolate, chopped
80 g (1 cup) Ovaltine, malt flavor
5 g (1 tsp) molasses
1 g (1/4 tsp) kosher salt
200 g (1/2 cup) glucose
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
110 g (1/2 cup) heavy cream
- Follow the recipe for the fudge sauce, substituting the Ovaltine for the cocoa powder and adding the molasses along with it
Substitute and dark cane syrup for the molasses. In a pinch, substitute 35 g (2 tbsp) corn syrup for the glucose
Makes about 65 g (1/4 cup)
55 g (1/4 cup) milk
10 g (2 tbsp) Ovaltine, malt flavor
- Whisk together the milk and Ovaltine in a small bowl until the Ovaltine is completely dissolved. Use immediately
Makes about 150 g (2 3/4 cups)
- Spread the marshmallows out evenly on an unlined sheet pan and char them to hell and back with a blowtorch. Transfer the pan to the fridge or the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up the marshmallows and make them easier to handle. Use immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.