DEAR SOS: This is an urgent request for the recipe for Chocolate Malted Milk Cake and icing that you published in the 1990s. I have moved back to Canada, and I dream of this cake all the time.
DEAR PAT: This recipe calls for sour milk, or clabber, made by combining the milk and cider vinegar. Pasteurized milk does not clabber the way unpasteurized milk naturally would. But a modern version of sour milk can be made by adding 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. (This works too as a substitute for buttermilk.) Use whole milk, rather than nonfat, in this recipe.
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Chocolate Malted Milk Cake
Active Work Time: 25 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, plus more for preparing pans
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cider vinegar or lemon juice
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon malt vinegar
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 (8-inch) square pans and dust with cocoa powder.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler set over, but not touching, simmering water. Cool.
Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla.
Stir together the cake flour and salt. Combine the cider vinegar and milk and let stand 1 minute. Blend the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the soured milk, mixing well. Add the melted chocolate, blending thoroughly.
Dissolve the baking soda in the malt vinegar in a bowl large enough to accommodate foaming of the mixture. Add to the batter, mixing well. Divide the batter equally between the pans.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, 30 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire racks.
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
4 cups powdered sugar
5 to 7 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over, but not touching, simmering water. Cool.
Combine the butter and powdered sugar in a food processor. While processing, add the milk, vanilla and melted chocolate through the feed tube. Blend until smooth and creamy. (Makes about 2 1/3 cups.)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Place 1 cake layer, top-side down, on a serving platter. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the frosting onto the layer and spread evenly to the edge. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Place the other layer, top-side up, on the frosted layer. Frost the sides of the cake, then top, covering completely.
12 servings. Each serving: 595 calories; 379 mg sodium; 80 mg cholesterol; 29 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 85 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 3.21 grams fiber.