This creamy, malted, chocolatey cake is as it implies…it is a whopper of a cake.
It’s everything a cake should be. First and foremost,
for it to be ALL THAT, it MUST BE chocolate
So for all of you out there trying to tell me that there are some outrageous vanilla, fruit or other flavored cakes that are on par with chocolate, you may as well check out now. We weren’t really meant to be friends. It was a rather short relationship anyways so there’s no hard feelings on my part. Feel free to move along to the next blog on your to do list…one that does not have a chocolate crazed maniac as its author.
At this point, I feel compelled to explain to you that my life as a foodie was not my own choosing…it almost happened in utero if you will. My dad is the true foodie of our family who just let me ride shotgun on the food loving escapade I call my childhood. Every year since I could remember, my dad would eagerly await the annual Los Angeles Magazine’s top 100 eats issue.
This was before the Food Network ever existed. There was no “Best of..”, or “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” This was way before it was hip to like food so much. There was just our trusty LA Mag and their food critics, who would give us our food road map that we set out to tackle over the course of the year (not all 100 though, we weren’t THAT insane).
We ended up at “Aunt Kizzy’s Back Porch” in Marina Del Rey where we ate the world’s best homestyle Mac n’ Cheese–no truffle oil, or lobster–just cheesy noodle magic. Then there was “Pie and Burger” where, you guessed it, they had the best pie and burgers. There is a long list of these ma’ and pa’ style places where we ate the best something or other.
This cake is one of those something or others. As luck would have it, this chocolate malt cake was baked by a restaurant in our own lovely downtown Burbank, and every now and then, when we would have a midnight hankering for chocolate cake perfection, my dad would run down there and get a slice to go. A slice would suffice for the whole family because it was BIG AND RICH AND A CALORIC MONSTER!
We are actually fairly health conscious if you can believe it. I know, you’ve read my blogs, and frankly you did not fall off the turnip truck and were not born yesterday…you don’t believe it. But that’s OK…you don’t have to…I won’t hold it against you…only your opinion on chocolate is important to me–and, hm, well, no that’s it.
Well, of course, it was my duty to replicate this cake once our beloved provider of the cake closed their store. I do have to say, it really fills in quite nicely. Try it out and let me know if you think it’s a Whopper of a Cake! Apparently, my guests thought it was all right from the photo above! 🙂
Important note: Do NOT make this same day for an event unless you start in the morning. The cake is fairly easy but the frosting requires at least two hours of refrigeration before spreading it on the cake!
Chocolate Malt Cake
1 c. boiling water
7 oz (just less than a cup) vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 c. granulated sugar
2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa (I used dutch process)
1 T. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
Prepare your two round 9 or 8 inch baking pans by spreading a pat of butter all over the bottom and sides of each pan. Then drop a tablespoon of flour in each pan and tap the flour all over the pan, sideways and upside down at the end (over the sink) to remove excess flour. IMPORTANT: Make sure there are NO ungreased, unfloured spots on your pan. If there are, add a little more butter and flour on those spots. Heat your oven to 325 degrees.
In a stand mixer or mixing bowl, combine oil, buttermilk, yolks, and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer at medium speed. In another bowl, sift together (or use a wire whisk like I do to avoid sifting) sugar, flour cocoa, baking soda and salt. With mixer on LOW speed, add one third of the sifted dry ingredients to oil mixture and beat until blended. Then add one third of the hot water and slowly combine these (you don’t want the hot water to splatter on you…ouch!). Continue this process, scraping down the bowl often until all ingredients have been add and mixed. Pour equal amounts of batter into the two greased cake pans. Bake at 325 for 35 minutes, testing the cake for doneness (clean toothpick and cake should be springy when you lightly touch it). Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack, remove cakes and cool completely. Wrap each layer in plastic wrap and FREEZE until your are ready to assemble. This will help you cut it into four layers later. It will be firmer and easier to cut.
Chocolate Malt Frosting
This will make an ample amount of frosting with some left over. I think it’s better to have too much frosting at the end of frosting a cake then just a bit too little (was my case in the one pictured above…therefore I increased the recipe by a half for ampleness).
1 1/2 twelve ounce bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips (please use good quality if possible! Really makes a difference)
3 c. heavy cream (oh MY!)
3/4 c. malted milk powder (like Carnation)
3/8 c. (or 1/4 c. + 1/8 c.) granulated sugar
6 ounces cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat…it was great)
1 t. vanilla
1 box of Whoppers candy for garnish. See above picture.
Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler. In a stand mixer or mixing bowl, with a wire whip, combine malt powder and cold cream. Whip on high speed until stiff but not dry. Transfer to another bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator while you do the next steps. In a mixer bowl with a paddle attachment, put sugar, cream cheese and vanilla. Beat on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute and scrape bowl. Add melted chocolate to cheese mixture and beat 1 minute on medium speed. Remove bowl of malt cream mixture from fridge and add 1/2 of the mixture to the mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until it is incorporated Fold in the remaining whipped cream until the mixture is a uniform color. Transfer the mixture to another bowl, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Assembling the Cake:
Carefully slice each layer of cake in half to create four equal(ish…I am not an exact type of person…just do your best here). Use 1/4 of the frosting to CAREFULLY frost each layer and place one layer on top of the frosting as you go. Go ahead and use a serrated knife to level your layers so you don’t have a dome on the layers. My awesome teenage niece, Hannah, saw me struggling with this part. If you must know, I am not known for my great assembling of cakes. She told me to carefully transfer my sliced cake layer onto a plate and then turn the plate upside down over the top of the cake, lowering the cake layer and doing your best to center it perfectly on top of the bottom layer. Mine was fairly crooked as it turns out…look shocked if you don’t mind….but when I was done, I dropped the “whoppers” on the top, shaved a little extra chocolate over the whole thing and voila…it was just fine. Just look at it with your head tilted a bit..that will help.