On Wednesday it was my birthday and, yes, I made my own cake. It was one of the highlights of my day. I'm that much of baking nerd (is there even such thing as baking nerds?)
This year I decided on a chocolate malt cake. I love maltesers, they are by far my favourite chocolate, so I decided to try and replicate the flavour in cake form. I went all out and threw a hefty helping of malt powder into both the cake and the buttercream icing.
I asked for a new camera for my birthday since I've been having to borrow my brother's to take photos for this blog. It's a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30EB-K and whilst I'm only just getting to grips with it and learning how to use it properly, I'm already in love with it.
Back to the cake;
60ml sunflower oil
2 large eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
220g self-raising flour
100g caster sugar
150g soft light brown sugar
95g cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
3tbsp malt powder (I used horlicks)
100ml freshly brewed coffee
Preheat the oven to fan 160 and grease and line 2 9-inch cake tins.
Whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
Sift together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder and malt powder until lump-free.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until everything is evenly combined.
Pour in the coffee and mix again. It will be a very wet batter but don't panic, it's meant to be.
Divide between the two tins and bake for between 20 and 30 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to shrink away from the tin and the top springs back when touched, but the cakes are still moist and fudgy.
Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack.
500g icing sugar
5tbsp malt powder
2tbsp cocoa powder
100g dark chocolate, melted
Cut the butter into smallish chunks and drop into a food processor. Blitz for about 30 seconds until well softened.
Add the icing sugar, cocoa powder and malt powder in batches of roughly thirds, blitzing each time until fully incorporated.
Lastly, pour in the melted chocolate and blend again.
At this point, the buttercream will be quite soft so you might want to put it in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up a little before spreading on the cake.
Once the cakes are completely cool, it's time to ice. Place one of the cake layers on your serving plate and spread about one third of the icing on top, going all the way to the edges. Put the other cake layer on top and spread another third of the icing on that. Use the last third of the icing to cover the sides.
If at any point your icing is getting too soft, bung both the cake and icing in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up a little. It might also help to build the icing up in thinner layers, rather than spreading it all on at once.
For the chocolate shards around the edge, I followed these instructions.