Nigella Lawson's Malteaser cake

Posted on 02/23/2008 by afeitar
slice of cake

cut cake...hmmmm!

nigella's malteaser cake (again!)

I made this cake with my friend last week for her sister's birthday but I never got to try a proper slice :( so I decided to bake it again yesterday because my mum & dad were coming back from their holiday. It is so delicious, quite dense and rich really. The buttercream is delicious. It has 'horlicks' in it, which I'm not sure you can get outside the UK. It's malt powder I think? Anyway, mixed with the cocoa it gives it a taste like malteasers! So so good. The recipe is from here - but it's actually from Nigella Lawson's Feast.

Chocolate Malteser Cake

From "Feast", Nigella Lawson (2004)

For the cake
150g soft brown sugar (muscavado sugar is best for flavour)
100g caster sugar
3 large eggs
175ml milk
15g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Horlicks powder
175g plain flour
25g cocoa, sieved
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For the icing and decoration
250g icing sugar
1 teaspoon cocoa
45g Horlicks
125g soft unsalted butter
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 x 37g packets Maltesers

Take whatever you need out of the fridge so that all the ingredients can come to room temperature (though it's not so crucial here, since you're heating the milk and butter and whisking the eggs.

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3/170C. Butter and line two 20cm loose-bottomed sandwich cake tins with baking parchment.

Whisk together the sugars and eggs until light and frothy. Heat the milk, butter and Horlicks powder in a small saucepan until the butter has melted and the mixture is hot but not boiling. Beat the milk mixture into the eggs a little at a time. Fold in the dry ingredients thoroughly. Divide the cake batter evenly between the two tins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, by which time the cakes should have risen and will spring back when pressed gently. Let them cool on a rack for about 5-10 minutes and then turn them out of their tins.

Once the cakes are cold, you can get on with the icing. I use a processor just because it makes life easier: you don't need to sieve the icing sugar. So: put the icing sugar, cocoa and Horlicks in the processor and blitz to remove all lumps. Add the butter and process again. Stop, scrape down, and start again, pouring the boiling water down the funnel with the motor running until you have a smooth buttercream.

Sandwich the cold sponges with half of the buttercream, and then ice the top with what is left, creating a swirly pattern rather than a smooth surface. Stud the outside edge, about 1cm in, with a ring of Maltesers or use them to decorate the top in which-ever way pleases you.

Makes 8-10 slices.
mactavish 23rd-Feb-2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
My guess is that the closest thing in the US to Horlicks is Ovaltine, which would make a nice icing.
afeitar 23rd-Feb-2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, we have Ovaltine here too, it's pretty much the same :) the icing is really really nice, I couldn't help but lick the bowl
liuna 24th-Feb-2008 01:49 am (UTC)
"the icing is really really nice, I couldn't help but lick the bowl"

I agree, the icing is really nice... I couldn't help but lick my monitor.

I'm in America, and your recipe made me curious: British recipes so often list things by grams rather than volume measurement. When you're cooking do you actually weigh all the ingredients on a scale? Just curious...
whatisbiscuits 24th-Feb-2008 10:19 am (UTC)
I weigh everything on the scales, but you do get used to how much butter 25 grams is, how much 100 grams of flour is, although I rarely trust myself on that! When making a cake I weigh the flour, sugar and butter.

Do you measure everything in your cups?
liuna 25th-Feb-2008 12:37 am (UTC)
On this side of the Atlantic, butter in stick form has measurements printed on the wrapper so you just cut off the right sized hunk. Butter or margarine in tubs, you have to measure with a spoon or cup and it is very messy. I've accumulated a lot of measuring spoons & cups so I don't have to keep washing them between dry, oily and wet ingredients.

Weighing seems much more scientific and precise. Maybe America is still stuck on volume measurement because we are so resistant to the metric system.

Thanks for the info!
afeitar 24th-Feb-2008 01:21 pm (UTC)
yeah, just pour it into the bowl and stop when it gets to your amount you want. i find it easier than using cups and teaspoons, which i've used for american recipes and i find it really messy!
ireaa 24th-Feb-2008 01:12 am (UTC)
I think it's more an equivalent of Carnation's Malted Milk.

Edited at 2008-02-24 01:13 am (UTC)
mimi_fasola 24th-Feb-2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
you can typically find Horlicks in Asian grocery stores. ovaltine is chocolaty where horlicks is just malty.
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