Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Chocolate Malted Milk Cake.

Today, April 24th …

The famous Las Vegas resort the Desert Inn opened on this day in 1950, and the menu for opening night was recreated in 2000 for the fiftieth birthday celebration.

The menu was pure 1950’s:

Louisiana Prawn Cocktail
French Onion Soup
Endive Salad
Baked Baby Lobster Thermidor & Filet Mignon
Chocolate Malted Milk Cake.

Chocolate Malted Milk Cake seems a strangely ‘homey’ choice for a resort in the glittery city of Vegas - I would have expected something sparkly and multicoloured and highly decorated like an ice-cream parfait.

The cake is a good choice for a recipe today, given that the recent story about Lady Baltimore Cake provoked some interest.

As far as I have been able to make out, Chocolate Malted Milk Cake seems to have made its appearance in the USA in the late 1920’s. The first mentions that I have come across are for bakery-made cakes, but I am sure that lurking in someone’s grandma’s cookbook there is a recipe for a home-made version earlier than the one I give you today, from a newspaper article of 1937. If you know of an earlier recipe, do please let me know. I think an archive of "First Recipes For … " might be a very nice feature, but I will need some help.

This recipe is also interesting in that it highlights some of the inherent difficulties in accurate recipe-writing.

Chocolate Malted Milk Cake.
2 ¼ cups cake flour
1 cup chocolate malted milk [appears to refer to the powder, not the made-up drink!]
3 teaspoons tartrate baking powder OR:
2 ¼ teaspoons double-action baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup soft shortening
1 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanila
½ cup evaporated milk
½ cup water.

Light oven and set at moderate (350deg) [refers to Fahrenheit!] temperature. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Sift before measuring the cake flour and re-sift with the chocolate malted milk, baking powder and salt. Cream together until light and fluffy the shortening and sugar. Beat in vigorously the egg and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture alternately with the evaporated milk diluted with water. Begin and end with the flour mixture, beating until smooth after each addition. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 25 minutes in moderate oven (350deg) or until cakes shrink from the sides of pans. When cool, put together with;

Chocolate Malted Milk Topping.
1 ½ teaspoons plain gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup evaporated milk
6 tablespoons chocolate malted milk [again, appears to mean the powder]
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
Soak the gelatin in the cold water for five minutes. Scald [the evaporated milk, presumably] over boiling water. Add soaked gelatin and stir until dissolved. Pour into bowl or freezing tray of mechanicial refrigerator and chill until icy cold.Whip until stiff with rotary beater or electric mixer at high speed. Fold in the malted milk and sugar. Spread between and on top of cake. Chill.

t.w.barritt over at Culinary Types has made this exact recipe, and posted pictures and commentary. If you want to learn some 1920's slang, hop over and check out the post!

Tomorrow’s Story …

An Aussie War Cake.

This Day, Last Year …

We found out about the Lord Mayors Easter in 1848

Quotation for the Day …

No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers. Laurie Colwin


T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Chocolate Malted Milk Cake sounds like a true retro delight -- if it's good enough for Las Vegas, it's good enough for Long Island. I'm in the kitchen and on it -- I'll let you know the results. If we're going to recreate food history, cake is the best place to start!

The Old Foodie said...

Hi t.w.
I knew you'd like this one. The sad thing is, I'm too far away to taste your re-creation.

Melinda said...

This cake sounds delicious! I'm looking forward to trying it. I've found the same confusion with old recipes - the writer tends to assume a lot of knowledge on the cook's part, which is fine for experts but not so good for novices! I also loved your quote of the day.

Sally said...

Yes Janet - malted milk is a powdered substance that you mix in with your milk (along with a good dash of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup) or put in a blender with ice cream to make malts. They don't sell that over there?

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Sally - Yes, we do get malted milk powder here,although I suspect it is more popular in your country. The confusion was that I read "malted milk" as meaning the made-up drink, whereas the recipe clearly meant the powder - would an American have made the same assumption? (two countries divided by a common language!)

Anonymous said...

Chocolate Malt Cake
You can also frost the cake with chocolate or vanilla frosting. Add nuts if desired. Or top with whipping cream.

Yields about 16 smaller pieces of cake.

1 1/2 Cup Soda Fountain® Malted Milk Powder
2 Tbsp. Cocoa
1 Cup Sour Cream
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 Cup Flour
1 tsp. Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt

how to make
Mix all ingredients and blend with a beater. Bake in an 8 x 8 inch pan at 350° for 30 - 35 minutes.