Malt Cake Madness

There's something magical about celebration cake. I can't put my finger on it. Yah it's cake. But it's celebration cake. One of the key ingredients (and don't roll your eyes) is good intentions. You're baking to express a sentiment... not solely for a sugar buzz. This cake was made for a very dear and near friend. I don't want to put his business out there so we shall call him... Cash Money. 

Recently, Cash Money was promoted from a part-time intern to a full-time employee.  This isn't one of those scenarios where an opening appeared out of the blue or it was a hand out from a family friend. Cash Money earned this promotion. He put in the hours and weekends like any hard worker.

The catch is, Cash Money has a small anxiety thing. I'm not going to call it an "issue" or "disorder" because that would imply something is wrong. There's nothing wrong with him; he's a strapping young man with a great sense of humor and kind heart. It has, however, presented Cash Money with obstacles that few could ever handle with such determination and courage. I've watched him endure the waves of whatever is going on inside and have tried to hug the shakes away. He pushes through every time. Honestly, I don't know how he does it and balances going to school. That's right... he's working hard on that bachelors too. Monster!

Cash Money, I am proud of you and honored to be one of your homies in arms! You're a living legend. Whatever choices you make, know that we support and love you. Go at your own pace. RFMH.DFMH.KFMH! All that being said, onto the celebration cake.

This cake came out of thin air. I was stumped as to what to make since Cash Money isn't a picky eater. My eyes landed on some Class Malt dry mix in the cabinet. That tiny hamster in my brain woke up, lazily took one step forward on its wheel, and went back to bed- enough motion to catch my attention. The result is this Malt Madness Cake.

I used my go-to White Cake recipe (thank you America's Test Kitchen) paired with malt frosting. White Cake is a tabula rassa, it can go with any frosting because of its innocent, clean flavor. It's soft, moist, and generous. And remember, the key to white cake is eggs at room temperature! If you want more of a "whopper" candy flavor, I would go with a German chocolate or any other subtle chocolate cake.  

The frosting is where things got fun. I treated it like any old buttercream but it did not yield the soft frosting I was hoping for. It was yummy, but too thin. I didn't want to add anymore sugar because it would be overpoweringly sweet. I am not a fan of buttery buttercream (irony?) so more butter was out of the question. Heavy whipping cream came to the rescue! It gives volume and a silky texture that cannot be beat. Overall, its a very classy cake. My brother actually asked if it was amaretto frosting! I loooove the color of this frosting! Who knew Malt could be so polished?

Malt Cake Madness

White Cake from America's Test Kitchen

Michele's Malt Frosting

3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream, plus another 1/2 cup
2 tablespoons-1/3 cup Malt powder (I used Classic Malt by Ovaltine)
In a small pot, bring about 2 inches of water to a slight boil.
A few whoppers, crumbled to garnish (optional)

In a heat-proof bowl, cream together butter and salt. Butter mixture will be thick. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add powdered sugar. Turn mixer on low and mix in powdered sugar. Add vanilla extract. As the sugar incorporates, raise the speed of the mixer to beat the frosting. Beat until relatively smooth. 

Place (in the heat proof bowl), over the small pot of slightly boiling water  (double boiler style). Add the flour. Whisk until it becomes silky. Set aside to cool.

In a 1-cup measuring glass, stir together heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of Malt. Turn mixer speed to medium and pour cream mixture into frosting in a slow, steady stream. Taste test. Is there enough malt flavor? If you're not satisfied, keep adding, one tablespoon full at a time. Is it too sweet? Add more flour. You don't want it to be over powering, just subtle! Place in fridge to rest.

While the frosting rests, pour remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream in bowl. Starting a low speed and working your way up, whisk cream until it's thick and billowy. Add half to the butter-malt mixture and fold until smooth. Keep adding until it's right amount of fluff you so desire!

Garnish with crumbled Whoppers!