This is a cake of success. This is also a cake of failure. This is mostly a cake of celebration.
At the end of the day, this is a cake that is following its dreams.
Spoiler alert: I am the cake.
I made this cake three times before I got it right. I mean I was getting it WRONG for a minute. To date this cake has been the only thing to physically explode in my oven. After it was done with that clean and lovely phase it proceeded to bubble away like an out-of-control lava flow for 55 minutes. I was too curious to put an end to the experiment but I found out the hard way that malt powder sure is a sneaky little buddy.
I realized after a few rounds of testing that it likes to hang out in a lil’ bit of milk before it gets mixed into cake batter. When malt powder is happy it bakes into a dream of a cake and makes the chocolate flavor taste better (as if that was possible).
Now is the time in our program where I take a break for exclaimation marks:
Then this turned into a celebration bundt. I made this cake several days before I received an email that made me burn a batch of cookies out of pure shock.
Butter Me Up Brooklyn was nominated as one of six Best Baking and Desserts Blogs in the 2012 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards!!!!!! (I just did a fancy blog trick there so you can’t see but that is actually 1 billion exclamation marks!)
This is a cake for you! Thank you for reading. Thank you for being here. Thank you for looking at pictures of cookies that I make in my cupcake-sized kitchen. (Nitty gritty: voting ends April 26. To prevent duplicate voting there is a quick sign-up process but it only takes a minute to vote!)
This is really about a cake following its dreams.
It is still hard for me to believe that less than a year ago I left my job at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to pursue a love affair with all things butter and sugar. Dream-following is about working hard every day at something you love. In my case that is thinking about baked goods 92% of the day. 4% is spent organizing my date book, I devote 3% to cocktails, and everything else falls into the 1% etc catchall category.
It is hard to quantify success, failure, and celebration all at the same time but I think that this chocolate malted bundt cake is up to the task.
What is not up to the task however is my counter top. This is what I am working with my friends. On the left is my stove; on the right is the sink. That tiny blip in the middle is my workspace. Good thing this recipe only needs two bowls, a spoon, and a bundt. [The under watched spin-off of Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place?!]
Come on – that was a good one!
Have you ever had a bundt stick in the pan? You know, just a quarter or so of the cake staring up at you like, “Oh what, you wanted me to leave this nice and cozy little bundt of a bed that I had going on? Yeeeeah. Right! Nice try.”
Solution: let your cake rest for 30 to 45 minutes and then Do The Flip. Also butter and flour (or in the case of the chocolate cake – cocoa) are required.
The icing on the cake – in fact, a nice chocolate malt variety – elevates this cake to a celebration cake. Make it for a fancy occasion. Make it to celebrate something. Make it because it is Tuesday.
Chocolate Malted Bundt Cake
Makes one bundt cake
1 1/2 cups (187 grams) flour
1/2 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (110 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking soda
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
2/3 cup (160 ml) milk
2/3 cup (84 grams) malt powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) espresso powder
2/3 cup (160 ml) vegetable oil
2/3 cup (180 grams) sour cream
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350. Generously butter a bundt pan and dust the sides with cocoa powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, malt powder and espresso until the malt powder has dissolved. Whisk in the oil and eggs and beat until smooth. Stir the malt mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. In a small bowl (or measuring cup – one less dish!) stir the vanilla into the sour cream and then gently fold into the batter.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let the cake rest in the pan for 30 to 45 minutes (this helps to make sure that half your bundt doesn’t decide to stay in the pan).
Turn onto your fanciest plate and frost with malted chocolate frosting (recipe below).
Malted Chocolate Frosting
Makes enough for one bundt cake
1/4 cup (32 grams) malt powder
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
1/4 cup (15 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 60 grams) butter, softened
2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar
pinch of salt
In a medium bowl, whisk together the malt powder, milk and cocoa. Let the mixture sit for several minutes until the malt powder has dissolved. Add the butter, powdered sugar and salt and beat until the frosting is smooth and irresistible.