Monday, 2 April 2012

Vanilla Malt Cake with Sprinkled Chocolate Bark

Today is my baby brother's 16th birthday. I was excited to try an make a new cake, so I showed him a bunch of different recipes I had saved up and this was the one he picked. I was really excited to try this recipe out, it was one I had been eyeing for a long time and now I finally had a reason to make it!

But this story is not a happy-go-lucky tale about how everything went smoothly. No, my friends....this is an epic journey of a tale...

The cake looked simple enough to make, but there were some new ingredients on the list. Malt powder? Caster sugar? Vanilla Bean? While the list was a bit daunting, I was not initially phased, and I headed to the grocery store determined to find every ingredient on that list!

Vanilla bean was a cinch to find, most Sobey's and Superstores carry it no problem, though it is a bit hidden and hard to locate on the shelves. It comes in this crazy little glass tube and I had never even seen it there before. But I suppose if you're not looking...

Anyway, next was the malt powder and caster sugar. I had my hopes up that these would be as easy to find as the vanilla bean, but no such luck. Let me tell you, I drove all over town searching for these things. I went to Bulk Barn, Walmart, and every Sobeys and Superstore that I could think of.


So I went to bed that night, discouraged but not broken. I woke up the next morning and decided to head to Pete's Frootique which is my typical go-to store for all things exotic. Wouldn't you know it, SUCCESS!!

Or, at least, partial success. They had the malt powder I was looking for (the brand is Horlick's, or Milo for a chocolate malt flavor. Both are at Pete's).

I never did find the castor sugar anywhere but thank goodness for Google. I discovered that you can MAKE your own castor sugar but putting regular granulated sugar in a food processor! It makes the sugar superfine and works great. I finally got to successfully use my Magic Bullet!

Anyway, once I finally had all the ingredients in order, the cake actually turned out great. The chocolate bark that decorates the outside of the cake was definitely the star of the cake-show. It was super delicious and could be made just as a treat on its own!

All in all, my brother was happy with the cake and everyone devoured their pieces. I hope that, should you decide to try this cake, I have been able to save you some of the trouble!

Hope you all have a great Monday and a good start to your week!

Last Month: Pomegranate Fizzy Refreshers

Vanilla Malt Cake with Sprinkle Chocolate Bark
Bake Time: 30-35mins     Yields 14-16 pieces
180 grams high quality dark chocolate (approx 2 big bars)
320 grams high quality white chocolate (approx 4 big bars)

1 cup butter, room temp.
2/3 cup caster sugar (or granulated sugar, put through the food processor)
3 eggs
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup malt powder
60 ml milk
60 ml boiling water

1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
1 Tbsp milk

**I suggest you make the chocolate bark in advance. It is quick and simple to make and can be stored in the freezer until you're ready to decorate the cake. **

1) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
2) Microwave the dark chocolate on high in 30sec increments, stirring in between each time frame, until completely melted and smooth. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and even out with a knife or straight edge spatula. Put baking sheet in the freezer for 15-20 mins, or until chocolate has set.
3) Microwave the white chocolate on high in 30sec increments, stirring in between each time frame, until completely melted and smooth. Pour on top of dark chocolate and smooth out. Be careful while smoothing, as the hot white chocolate may start to melt the dark chocolate base. Once the white chocolate is smoothed, pour sprinkles on top.
4) Return the baking sheet to the freezer and let chocolate set for another 15-20 mins. Once set, break the chocolate sheet into pieces. Can be stored in a freezer-safe container until cake is ready to decorate.

1) Preheat oven to 355 F. Grease and line the bottom of two round 8-inch baking pans. Set aside.
2) Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until fully combined. Add vanilla bean and vanilla extract.
3) Sift together the flour, baking powder, and malt powder. Add dry ingredients slowly to the egg mixture, folding them together until completely combined. Fold in milk until fully combined. Fold in boiling water until fully combined.
4) Divide batter equally between the two prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out mostly clean.
5) Remove from oven and cool in the pans for about 10 mins. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

1) Cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla bean and mix until fully combined.
2) When the cakes are completely cooled, ice the top of one of the cakes. Set the other one on top, and ice the top and sides of both cakes together. Decorate with the chocolate sprinkle bark.

(Recipe adapted from Spicy Ice Cream)

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