Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Impressive Malted Milk Black and White Pound Cake...

Boy, do we have a fun cake to share with you today - for the Weekly Wednesday Treat Day, we went all out and prepared this monster Malted Milk Black and White Pound Cake!

It's hard to go wrong when you use this much butter and sugar while working in malted milk powder and chocolate syrup into the mix! This cake has a very tender crumb from the use of cake flour - if you take it upon yourself to make this cake, do yourself a favor and pick up some cake flour for the best delicate texture.

When you're mixing together the batter, take note of the time needed to incorporate all of the ingredients. You need plenty of time to beat air into the butter, sugar and 7, yes count that 7, eggs because there really isn't much leavening in the form of baking powder or baking soda. Also, be sure that the butter is soft, yet not meltingly so (the sticks should have a slight bend to them, but they shouldn't be so soft that they are very squishy) and that the eggs are at room temperature. If you want to completely geek out a bit, I find that the butter incorporates best when it is around 66 to 68 degrees.

When the light and billowy pale malted cake batter has been combined, about half of it is scooped out to be put into the tube pan while the rest is given a few wicked additions in the form of rich chocolate syrup, a few drops of almonds extract and just a sprinkle of baking soda. Pour this milk chocolate-colored batter right on top of the lighter batter already in the baking pan, but don't swirl them together - just spread the top smooth and place into the oven. As it bakes, the now heavier chocolate batter will slowly be enveloped by the plain batter to create a surprise when you slice into the cake.

Being a pound cake, it is fairly dense, but not in a concrete sense - it is still moist, tender and the (several) eggs gave it a wonder lift. I do have to say that the malt flavor is fairly mild, but we both could easily detect it and it certainly gave the cake an alluring quality. The darker layer was not too intense, so it didn't fight with the plain batter, but it had just enough chocolate to satisfy any craving. Once completely cool, try your hardest to resist the urge to slice into it - let it stand several hours, covered, so the flavors inside have a chance to bloom to make this cake shine.

Knowing that we were going to be indulging in this cake (well, I couldn't send something in unless we tried it first just to make sure!) tonight, I figured it was best to keep dinner on the lighter side. We had picked up some fresh blueberries this past weekend at the market so I tossed together this snazzy Chicken, Endive and Blueberry Salad with Toasted Pecans.

So, this salad was originally supposed to be made with Belgian endive - you'll find this green as a cylindrical head with tightly packed leaves. I needed Jeff to pick this up today and I guess I should have described it a bit more as he actually came home with curly endive! Not his fault as the store didn't have it labeled right, but it does have a different flavor and texture - a bit more bitter and not as crisp.

Rather than wasting a trip to the store to pick up the other endive, we just went ahead as both of us actually like a bitter green. To coat this salad, a dressing made simply of pucker-y apple cider vinegar and sweet, sticky honey is whisked together and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. I prepared that dressing in a big 'ol sturdy salad bowl and then added the chopped endive, tender baby spinach leaves, a couple shredded chicken breasts and a handful of fresh blueberries. This saves a step from the original recipe that has you whisk the dressing in a separate small bowl to drizzle on after the greens are combined. To round out the salad, tangy crumbles of goat cheese are scattered on top along with a few chopped and toasted pecans for a nutty crunch. You could probably stretch this out to four portions if serving this as side, but we divvied it out into two servings for a very filling, but light, dinner. With the sweet and tart dressing, the bitterness of the curly endive was easily tempered - I also surprisingly enjoyed just how well the fresh blueberries paired the creamy goat cheese!


  1. I never worked with malted milk powder but this surely looks great for the treat of the week.

  2. and to "geek out" a lot would be ... giving the temp in Kelvin?

  3. Thats one impressive cake. I love how you baked it in a ring mould, it makes it look even more special.

    Like the idea of adding blueberries to the salad too.

  4. That cake looks great Joe, and with the malted milk powder I believe you it must be impressive!

  5. Sounds nice! Fresh, light and quick.
    I think the belgian endive might actually be a bit too overpowering in relation to the rest of the ingredients, if used raw. I'll have a go at it next week.
    And, by the way, nice job on the new thumbnail look!

    The Netherlands

  6. That cake looks SO good! So does the salad for that matter. I LOVE salads.

  7. That cake looks terrific! I'm completely addicted to malt... so this one might be a perfect one for me to try. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thank you! I heard it got great reviews at the office today too!

  9. Joe, I LOVE malted anything, so that cake has totally slayed me! Not only beee-yooo-ti-ful, but mouth watering! Everything you make is amazing, as well as the photography -- which I asked you about over at egullet :)

  10. Wow, the cake looks amazing, and I am also a big fan of malted milk. This must be a great cake!!
    Oh, and nice salad, I also like how blueberries (and other fruits) pair nice with salads, and you can't go wrong with goat cheese! (I love goat cheese!!)

  11. I make something like this, but I must say this one looks like it rocks! I'll have some malted milk powder left over from TWD and can't wait to try this.

  12. Cake is in the oven right now--first thought is that: WOW! This cake is tall! Can't wait to let everyone at work taste it (no cake for me unfortunately).

  13. Lisa - I'll try and get back over to answer it soon. Thanks for checkin' out the site!

    Ana - Hurray for malt fans!

    Lisa - Give it a go!

    Elizabeth - I hope your co-workers enjoy it!

  14. Ooops - I'm the other "katrina"! Just had to say what a beautiful twosome this is - the cake is amazing! And that salad! Over the top.

  15. that pound cake looks absolutely beautiful. almost too pretty to eat...almost ;)

  16. Katrina - Thanks!

    Megan - Almost is right! No crumbs at all to be found.