many describe childhood as tasting like strawberry poptarts, animal crackers, and crustless pb&js. to me, it tastes like ovaltine powder scooped straight from the jar. i skipped the milk and relied on saliva to keep me from choking, allowing the powder to moisten into a thick, fudgy paste in the back of my throat.
ovaltine is normally stirred into milk to create a whopper-esque chocolatey drink, but this recipe incorporates the powder into the cake batter, fudge sauce, and malted milk crumbs.
i’ve tweaked this recipe from how it was printed in the momofuku milk bar cookbook. christina’s cake recipe is… astonishingly dry. a bite of it left me PARCHED. i’ve substituted my own chocolate cake recipe. i also found the fudge sauce to be pretty gummy (i think it was all the glucose) and the number of marshmallows to be excessive, so i’ve altered both of those.
this would make a fantastic birthday cake (ode to childhood!), or holiday dessert (add some crushed peppermint candies to the filling).
- 1 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup hot coffee
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup ovaltine
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 60g (2 oz) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 80g (1 cup) ovaltine
- 1g (1/4 tsp) kosher salt
- 100g (1/4 cup) glucose or 50g (2 tbsp) corn syrup
- 50g (1/4 cup) sugar
- 110g (1/2 cup) heavy cream
- 55g (1/4 cup) milk
- 10g (2 tbsp) ovaltine
malted milk crumbs
- 1 recipe milk crumbs
- 50g (3/4 cup) ovaltine
- 90g (3 oz) white chocolate, melted
- 75g (1 1/2 cups) marshmallows
for the cake, preheat the oven to 300º. grease a quarter sheet pan and line with parchment paper. mix the chocolate with the hot coffee and set aside (don’t stir). whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, ovaltine, baking soda and powder, and salt. in a stand mixer, beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. add the oils, buttermilk, and vanilla. stir the chocolate-coffee mixture and add it to the wet ingredients. add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat for twenty seconds. bake for about 25 minutes – just keep an eye out and check it with toothpicks until it comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. let cool for five minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a rack and let cool for at least an hour (or stick it in the freezer for 15 minutes).
for the fudge sauce, combine the chocolate, ovaltine, and salt in a bowl. combine the glucose, sugar, and heavy cream in a saucepan and stir while bringing to a boil over high heat. the moment it boils, pour it into the bowl holding the chocolate. let sit for a minute. whisk the mixture, increasing the vigor of whisking until the mixture is glossy (2 to 4 minutes). set aside until ready to use.
for the milk crumbs, preheat the oven to 250º. combine the 40 g (1/2 cup) milk powder, the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. toss with your hands to mix. add the melted butter and toss, using a spatula, until the mixture starts to come together and form small clusters. spread the clusters on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. cool completely. put the crumbs in a bowl, add the 20 g (1/4 cup) milk powder and toss together until it is evenly distributed throughout the mixture. pour the white chocolate over the crumbs and toss until your clusters are enrobed. set aside.
spread the marshmallows out in a single layer on a baking sheet. use a kitchen torch to toast them until they’re mostly black on top (or stick under the broiler for a few minutes).
stir together the milk and ovaltine in a cup for the soak.
to assemble, use the cake ring to cut two full circles and two half circles out of the sheet cake. wipe the ring clean, place it on a baking sheet, and put a cardboard circle or cake board in the bottom. line the ring with the strip of acetate. place the two half circles in the bottom of the ring, adding additional scraps if needed to make a complete layer. brush some of the soak over the cake. use the back of a spoon to spread on 1/5 of the fudge sauce, and top with half of the marshmallows and a third of the milk crumbs. repeat with a whole circle of cake. to finish, place the third circle of cake on top and spread with a smooth layer of the remaining fudge sauce. decorate as desired; i used marshmallows to make a circle and filled it with the leftover milk crumbs. freeze for at least 12 hours; when ready to serve, remove the ring and acetate and bring to room temperature.