I've been wanting to make a Malteser cake for ages. I'm not entirely sure why it has been on my mind - but I'm glad it was as this cake is a little bit awesome.
Malt is one of those flavours I was never entirely sure I liked, but I've finally been convinced. The cake batter tasted fantastic, and I even had Horlicks in a cup of hot milk to help me sleep the other night.
While contemplating this cake, I thought about making Nigella's recipe for Chocolate Malteser Cake from her book 'Feast'. I decided against it because I wanted to have a pale cake to match the inside of the Maltesers and to showcase the malted flavour without the chocolate getting in the way. I didn't want the malted flavour to be very strong, but I wanted it to be just noticeable and not fade into just another chocolate cake.
I decided that the best recipe to adapt would be our family favourite Chocolate Birthday Cake, as it uses hot chocolate powder and I thought the Horlicks would work best in a similar recipe. The milk and boiling water added at the end seems to sort of activate the flavour in both of them.
Although Maltesers are really about milk chocolate, I decided to make a dark chocolate ganache to ice the cake as I didn't want it to be too sweet. I also made it in my lovely little 5" tin, so I could get height without making a massive cake. I found that the crispy centres of the Maltesers will go soft and sort of disappear overnight as the moisture gets to them, so try and eat it the day you make it if you want the texture contrast.
I was very pleased with this - the malted taste was subtle but there, the dark ganache complemented the sweet light cake and the crispy Maltesers. Each bite had a lovely balance to it.
NOTE: This cake recipe won the Maltesers Recipe Competition!
Malteser Layer Cake
For the cakes:
130g room temperature butter
130g golden caster sugar
130g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp boiling water
Note: As I wanted a tall cake, I used a 5" tin. I only had one so I made a half batch of the above, baked it, and then repeated the process. If you want to use normal 7-8" sandwich tins, just make the above and split between the two tins as usual (it'll make a shorter cake than the one in the pictures but will taste the same).
Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter and line the bottom of the tin(s). Cream the softened butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add an egg, beat in, then add the other and beat again. Sieve the flour, Horlicks and baking powder into the bowl and then fold in until nearly combined. Add the milk and fold again, then finally add the boiling water. Quickly spoon into the tin(s) and put in the oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until deep gold and a skewer comes out clean.
For the ganache:
150g dark chocolate
150 ml double cream
Break the chocolate up into small pieces and put into a bowl. Heat the cream until it starts to steam then pour over the chocolate. Leave for a few minutes and then stir in until you have a smooth, glossy ganache.
2 packets of maltesers
Split the cakes carefully into two. Sandwich them with some of the ganache, then cover with a crumb coat (a thin layer of icing to trap the crumbs and make it easier to ice). Put it the fridge to set slightly. While it is cooling, chop the maltesers - I found using a sharp knife in a quick decisive motion worked best. Remove the cake from the fridge and use the remaining ganache to cover the cake. Starting from the top, arrange the maltesers in the desired pattern, then go down the sides, being careful when placing the pale-side-out halves. Put in the fridge for ten minutes or so, then serve. Best eaten on the day, due to the malteser insides getting damp and disintegrating!
Three more chocolate recipes:
Salted Caramel Brownies
Two Ingredient Chocolate Mousse
Super Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls