Malted milk (or we might know it better by Horlicks) is one of my favourite drinks, it evokes a lot of childhood memories for me and reminds me of having Iced Horlicks in Hong Kong cafes in the scorching heat. It has a slight nutty caramel flavour and that made me think it would work wonderfully in a cake. This is my Teatime Malted Milk Cake!!
The cake is a fairly standard recipe, obviously with the addition of malted milk powder. I thought that the flavour of malted milk would work well with ground almonds and I add some into the sponge for extra moistness and flavour, although this can be omitted if you can’t find it, simply replace the ground almonds with extra flour. Similarly I use a mix of both soft light brown and granulated sugar but you can use all granulated sugar if you don’t have brown. The cake is simply topped with double (or heavy) cream that is whipped with some more malted milk powder until it holds soft peaks and it is swirled on top of the cake. It might well be a simple cake to make but it sure does taste delicious too!
This is the perfect little cake to accompany a cup of tea or coffee at teatime (or should that be coffee time). The cake is the ideal size for a little mid-afternoon pick me up and during my recipe planning stage, I was debating doing a 3-egg batter in the same size tin and actually it would have been too much. The tin I use is a deep 20cm round tin with a loose bottom so that the cake can be easily lifted out. I line the base with a round of baking parchment and grease the sides.
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For the malted milk sponge:
- 100g margarine
- 50g soft light brown sugar
- 50g granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 15g instant malted milk powder (aka Horlicks), plus extra for dusting
- 15g ground almonds, optional (see above), plus extra for dusting
- 100g self raising flour
For the malted milk cream topping:
- 150ml double cream
- 15g malted milk powder
Preheat the oven to 160˚C. Grease the sides and line the base of a deep 20cm loose bottomed round tin with baking parchment.
In a medium sized bowl, beat the margarine until softened. Add the two sugars and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy and even. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after adding each egg. Add in the malted milk powder, ground almonds if using and self raising flour and using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until the dry ingredients are incorporated and the cake batter is even and well mixed.
Transfer the cake batter into the lined cake tin and use the back of a spoon or the spatula to level out the surface. If you like, you can sprinkle some extra ground almonds on the cake before baking. Bake the cake on the middle shelf of the oven for around 18 – 20 minutes until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the sponge comes out clean. Leave the sponge to cool in the tin for about 30 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the cake and removing the tin, metal base and the parchment from the cake and placing it onto a cooling rack to cool fully.
For the cake topping, whisk together the double cream and malted milk powder until the cream just holds soft peaks. Spread the cake in an even layer on top of the cake, leaving a slight border. Use the back of a spoon to create a swirl pattern or by pressing on the surface and lifting to create peaks. Dust the surface lightly with more malted milk powder and serve the cake alongside a hot drink!
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