Firstly, apologies for the little break – life has been catching up. But expect some more recipes over the coming weeks. More cakes and some savoury treats, too. Perfect for picnics and the summer, wherever you may be. I promise a wider selection of recipes, soon. I know there have been a lot of cakes but I’ve just been feeling mega British and enjoying experimenting with new tricks i’ve learned in the last few months.
Sometimes cakes should be a classy affair. The type you’d serve as an Afternoon tea. Sometimes, they’re luxurious – a one slice only kind of cake. They can be over-the-top, ostentatious, even. But get away with it. And sometimes, and these are sometimes the best times, cakes should be fun. Just fun. A cake that reminds you of your childhood, or a family member. A cake to celebrate your favourite thing, and one that doesn’t take itself to seriously. This is that cake. And boy, is it nice and simple.
Yields: 15 slices.
500g caster sugar
430g self-raising flour
250g unsalted butter, softened
30g cocoa powder
30 malt powder
5 medium eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g butter, softened
30g malt powder such as Ovaltine
2 tbsp milk
12 x Maltesers
14 x Maltesers
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and prepare two deep 6″ cake tins. I usually brush with a thin layer of butter and then dust over flour, shaking off the excess. This has never failed for me and saves on parchment paper.
This is a “one bowl” cake mix, incorporating everything together. Cream the butter in a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer until it’s pale. Next, sieve the flour, cocoa powder and malt powder and add the sugar. Mix this together until you’re left with a dark brown soil-like texture. Next, in a jug add the eggs, vanilla, buttermilk and water and whisk to combine fully. Pour this into the flour and butter mixture and beat together until all is fully combined and you’re left with a shiny, smooth consistency.
Divide this evenly into the two cake tins and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Test with a skewer.
Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Beat the butter until pale and fluffy – for around 5 minutes. Add half the sugar and beat again, until incorporated and smooth. Add the remaining sugar, beat. Add the milk and mix to combine. Divide – about 1/2 and 1/2. In one bowl, add the cocoa and ovaltine and incorporate. In the white buttercream, add some vanilla extract and mix. Blitz the Maltesers in a food processor and set aside.
When the cakes are cooled and levelled, pipe a circle around the edge of the vanilla buttercream and fill in the middle with the chocolate. Level out. Sprinkle on some of the Maltsers. Repeat with all layers. For the top layer, flip upside down to the bottom becomes the top. Give the cake a thin crumb coat with the vanilla buttercream and use a cake leveller to scrape off much of this, leaving most of the sponge visible.
Set in the fridge for about an hour.
Once the buttercream has set, place the remaining chocolate buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe stars around the edge of the cake and place a malteser on each.
Cut and enjoy. With friends, family or just by yourself. But beware – it’s calorific!
While you are here, I’m happy for any suggestions on what you’d like me to conjure up next – let me know in the form below and I’d be happy to try out some new things. Learning from other bakers, cooks and bloggers is something I try to do, so have your say!