Have you ever gotten a magazine, been flipping through, and then…BAM. There it is. The recipe. The picture. The one thing you MUST make immediately? Well, in the latest issue of Bon Appétit, I had that experience.
Towards the back of the magazine, the picture of Christina Tosi’s Chocolate Malt Cake pulled me in. There was no escaping it’s gooey, marshmallowy, chocolaty influence! Christina is the mastermind of desserts at Momofuku in New York City, a restaurant you have probably heard of at one time or another, whether you’ve had the privilege of eating there or not. Perhaps you’ve seen their best selling cookbook? (I need to get a copy of that myself!) Or maybe you could care less about all that – you just love chocolate cake!
Last Wednesday is the day I saw the cake for the first time. On Friday, it was baking.
I’ll be honest – this cake has a LOT of steps. In fact, the recipe was so long and daunting, I almost decided not to make it. But I really, really wanted to. And I am very glad I did. Because now I have made it, and I know some secrets about it that I can pass along to you, to make it so much less daunting.
Daunting? Yes. The fact that the recipe states that this cake needs to set up overnight, then rest at room temperature for 3 hours before eating? I didn’t like that part. Who wants to wait 11 hours before they can eat a cake? Not me. Well, maybe I did it all wrong, but I didn’t have to wait 11 stinking hours. I made it Friday during the day, we ate it at 8 that night. As cake SHOULD be eaten.
Another thing I learned? The bake time for this recipe is off, at least in my kitchen. I bake cakes. Lots and lots of cakes. And a 9 inch cake with three layers tends to bake in about 23-25 minutes here at 335 degrees (Yes, I bake at strange temps, but it works for me.) This recipe called for three 8 inch cake pans. I used 9 inch pans, because my springform pan that was clean is 9 inches. Yes, I could have washed the 8 inch springform, but I didn’t. So sue me. Anyway, the 8 inch rounds were supposed to bake for 20 minutes at 350. Since I used 9 inch pans, I though, well, I’d cut the time by a minute, just so they didn’t get overdone.
At 19 minutes, I had three 9 inch pans full of chocolate soup. At 25 minutes, I still had cakes that were nowhere near done. At 30 minutes, I was able to pull one of the pans out. At 31 minutes, I yanked out another. At 32 minutes, Seven ran up to the oven door right as I was pulling out the third pan and we managed to DUMP the entire cake into the hot oven. Yep – gone. And my oven still hasn’t recovered from it, probably because of my half assed attempt at cleaning it up.
I decided to forge ahead, though, with the two layers. These cakes were very brownie-like in my opinion, and had a great chocolaty flavor. The texture was also very good. The recipe calls for malted milk to be poured over each layer, which really increased the moisture content, and added a nice gooey factor to the cake. I used the entire amount of malted milk on the 2 layers and it wasn’t too much, so, were I to have had all three layers, I would have had to made more malted milk. So bear that in mind if you make this cake.
Another issue I had with the recipe, other than the baking time and amount of milk to pour over, was the amount of fudge sauce. I didn’t spread mine thick – in fact, I would say I was fairly chintzy with it. But it was supposed to have been for THREE layers, not just the TWO I had. So I would have definitely run out of fudge sauce. Increase the recipe. Increase it. Just, do it! When it comes to the milk crumbs, though – I had WAY too many. The recipe states that it is just enough for the cake. I had more than double the amount actually needed – even as stated later on in the recipe. So, either make the full recipe and keep the extra for another recipe, or, halve the recipe. It is enough.
I will certainly make this cake again, with the changes I mentioned above. Please don’t be put off by all the steps and additional recipes required to make this concoction. The milk crumbs are simple, and made in about a minute hands on time, and they bake for 10 minutes. You can be making the fudge sauce while the crumbs bake. I think the fudge sauce is actually easier than making icing, so, for me – that’s a plus. The assembly is simple as well, and who doesn’t LOVE using the torch? Browning the marshmallows was easily my favorite part.
Final thoughts? The cake is best, in our opinion, served a little warm. We nuked ours for 10 seconds before eating it. Had we had vanilla ice cream – it would have been even better. I thought the malt flavor would be overpowering, considering how much was in it, but I really didn’t pick up on the maltiness at all. If you are a marshmallow maker – I think this cake would be AMAZING with coconut marshmallows. I still need to try my hand at making them – but I’ve been a chicken. Soon, though. very soon. If any of you have made them, please share any helpful tips or tricks with me – I would really appreciate it!
Here are some links you may want – and until next time, have a great week!
The cake recipe…
And, in case you want to start getting this great magazine yourself, you can get Bon Appétit for $15 for a year at Magazines.com, or by clicking this link…
And maybe you’d like that Momofuku cookbook (as a gift to me? haha) or some fantastic cake pans (I LOVE Fat Daddio products, and wish I owned 2 sets of every pan they offer. Yes, really. Best I have used to date.)