It was a familiar situation: it was Thursday evening and I had committed to bringing a cake to school. Instead of going home and baking, we went out to dinner. So then it was 10 pm on a Thursday, I still had a cake to bake and frost, and I had to get up at 6 the next day.
So I decided to try a new recipe from Vintage Cakes to use up some of my frozen ripe bananas and make the cake seem “healthy.” The batter was easy to make and in no time my cakes were in the oven. Then I turned the page to the buttercream recipe. It wanted me to grind the walnuts into a paste, then it called for corn syrup and bourbon. Looked like a good recipe, but not a good one to attempt at 11 pm on a school night. So instead I turned to a stand-by buttercream from Baked and added a couple of additions. Below, I’ve included both buttercream options.
On the search for an easy, go-to chocolate cake – and because we were late in accepting a dinner invitation so I needed to bake something I had the ingredients for – I thought I’d try this one from Vintage Cakes. So far I’ve been very impressed with her other recipes and this one looks very pretty (prettier in her picture than ours, but ours survived 50 minutes of transportation which included a bus, a transfer to the tram, and a 10 minute walk).
When I get married again, I’m having these “cupcakes” as the dessert. When I fantasize about opening a bakery, I think through the logistics of selling something that’s made in a ramekin.
When my friends offer to share a serving because there are only two left, they can’t; it’s so good everyone needs one to themselves.
This recipe is so good it should be the featured recipe of Vintage Cakes. In fact, it should be the only recipe in Vintage Cakes. It’s that good.
Plus, it’s a bit of a scientific mystery. You put in two layers, but when you eat it there are three layers. I reread the recipe about a hundred times the first time I made this because I was so sure I was missing something. Nope. It’s just chemistry, keeping some of its baking secrets.
Two of my new cookbooks feature recipes calling for malted milk powder. In fact, the Baked Boys consider it one of their essential ingredients. It evidently has a long history as an ingredient in American desserts, as Julie Richardson included a malted milk chocolate cupcake recipe in her Vintage Cakes book, as well.
Julie Richardson specifies in her recipe that the malted milk powder not be Ovaltine. Ovaltine, of course, is the only kind of malted milk powder available in regular Belgian grocery stores, so I imported Carnation brand malted milk powder from ShopRite. The container holds 13 ounces and the recipe called for a whopping 10 of those ounces. So this experiment has pretty much depleted my reserves… here’s hoping I can find another supplier!