I have been holding onto this Vanilla Malt Cake with Mocha Buttercream for a while as it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. That is not to say that it wasn’t delicious. The cake was extremely moist and full of malty vanilla flavour and the buttercream was lusciously thick and creamy without being too sweet. However, it wasn’t the cake I had planned and like every excellent workman before me, I blame my tools.
Namely, my 1M piping tip which has obviously been through the mill once too often since over the years one of his little teeth has become slightly crooked which I found out in the middle of decorating this cake. Due to his slight imperfection it was rendering every malted buttercream rose into a mangled earthworm. It leads me to a very excellent point that if you are going to mess up some carefully piped buttercream then the rose is very easy to scoop up with a small palette knife and pop back into the top of the piping bag without damaging the crumb coat underneath. However, this tip is only any good if it is you who have messed up the application of the rose, if the issue is with the piping tip then the situation is not going to improve no matter how many times you pipe that damn rose back on… is what I wish someone had told me. I stubbornly persevered until I barely had any malted buttercream left before I decided to swap the tip for one that worked and so was left to fill in the blanks with mocha roses. You see, totally the piping tip’s fault and in no way mine.
Now, the dramatic look I was going for was beautiful straight mocha sides, pouring forth with bright white malted vanilla buttercream roses on top. That was the dream. The result was pretty enough but it did impact the flavour a little as the malted buttercream flavour didn’t come through as much as I wanted it to and this is why I have put off sharing it. But when my husband asked me yesterday why I hadn’t included it in my blog yet and I explained my reluctance he said I was stupid as it was delicious.
So please learn from my mistakes, if you have a faulty piping tip do buy a new one and don’t presume it will fix itself midway through your precious piping work.
Vanilla Malt Cake with Mocha Buttercream
160g plain flour
2 tbsp cornflour
3 tsp baking powder
185ml milk, at room temperature
4 egg whites
1 vanilla pod
3 tbsp horlicks
285g caster sugar
½ tsp salt
135g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Grease two 18cm cake tins and pre-heat oven to 180°C.
- Sift together the flour, cornflour and baking powder at least 3 times so everything is very well mixed. This is important to keep the cake light. Set aside.
- Whisk together the milk, eggs whites and vanilla lightly in a jug then set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, or an electric mixer set onto a slow speed, beat together the flour mixture, horlicks, sugar and salt.
- Add the butter and continue beating at a slow speed until the mixture looks like wet sand (If you’re doing this by hand, sift the dry ingredients together and rub in the butter).
- Add ¾ of milk mixture and beat at medium speed until just incorporated. Add the remaining milk mixture and beat until just incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary. Do not overmix.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two cake tins then bake for 20-25 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the tins for 15 mins before removing. Leave to cool completely before frosting.
Basic French Buttercream:
8 large egg yolks
Pinch of salt
340g unsalted butter, room temperature, cooled
225g caster sugar
4 tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Mocha Buttercream:
80g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
1 tbsp instant coffee mixed into 2 tbsp boiling water
For the Malted Buttercream:
3 tbsp Horlicks
- Add the yolks and pinch of salt to the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed using the whisk attachment until pale and thick.
- Then make a sugar syrup by combining the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over a gentle heat. When the syrup reaches the softball stage, about 114°C, remove from heat.
- Immediately pour the sugar syrup into the egg yolks, mixing on a low speed.
- Once all the syrup has been incorporated, beat on high speed until the mixture has cooled to room temperature and has thickened.
- When the mixture and the bowl are at room temperature, switch to the paddle attachment and beat on a slow speed. You can now start adding the butter, one cube at a time. Towards the end of adding the butter the mixture may start to look slightly curdled, don’t worry this will happen but by the time all the butter has been added the buttercream will have come back together.
- Once all the butter has been added and the mixture is a thick smooth buttercream consistency add the vanilla extract.
- Remove ⅓ of the buttercream and place in a separate bowl, this will become the malted buttercream, the remaining ⅔ will become the mocha buttercream.
- Melt 250g of milk chocolate in 2 tablespoons of hot coffee. Stir to combine and cool to room temperature. Add to the ⅔ portion of the buttercream and beat well.
- To the ⅓ portion of the buttercream, add the Horlicks and beat well.
- Use the mocha buttercream for the crumb coat, the middle of the cake and the sides. Use the malted buttercream for piping roses on top of the cake.