Thursday, October 27, 2011

Midnight Chocolate Cake with Magic Ovaltine Icing (12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies - Week 5)

Okay, so this definitely isn't a cookie, but it is a really good cake  - and one that I plan on serving this holiday season - so it makes the list. If it helps, you can call it the 'Mid-Night Before Christmas Cake' (get it? midnight...mid-night? nevermind.).

I think I've mentioned, more than a few times, how fond Matt is of chocolate. Even the prettiest, tastiest desserts to ever grace a kitchen won't have much pull on Matt unless they're spiked with a bit of the sweet, dark stuff. Lucky for him, then, that this cake has chocolate - lots and lots of chocolate.

Dark, rich and very moist, this cake looks sophisticated and chic, but it's easy enough to throw together for a weeknight dessert. That's exactly what I did, and Matt loved the surprise. Sure, we were eating cake for days (it takes a long, long time for two people to polish off an entire layer cake) but I don't think it ever got old for him. My favorite part, of course, was the icing. We were low on powdered sugar - hence the rather skimpy frosting, which I truly regretted - so I had to improvise with a few other sugary items, and, behold, Magic Ovaltine Frosting was born.

Ovaltine by itself is great, but what's magic about this icing is that it doesn't really taste like Ovaltine - it tastes like Cadbury Mini Eggs. Anyone who knows me well, knows of my obsession with these pastel, Easter-themed candies. They're definitely my favorite edible English export, and probably my favorite sweet in the whole world - and you can be sure that I don't bestow that mantle lightly. I've always regretted the fact that Mini Eggs are only available at Easter-time, but now, thanks to this Magic Ovaltine Icing, I can have them any time I want. Even on the Night Before Christmas!

Midnight Chocolate Cake

2 scant cups all-purpose flour (you should sift - if you have the patience!)
2 cups white sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold brewed coffee 
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup plain or Greek yogurt*
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*can be substituted for an equal amount of buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch baking pans (or one 9x13-inch baking pan). Cut parchment paper circles to fit the bottom of the pan and grease them lightly before placing them in the pans. Lightly flour the pans (I use cocoa powder to prevent white, powdery residue!) and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and stir until well blended. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, yogurt, oil, vinegar and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth (batter will be quite thin) and pour into the prepared baking pans. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each layer comes out clean. Remove pans to a wire rack and allow to cool. Invert and remove parchment paper from cakes before frosting.

Magic Ovaltine Frosting
This recipe is entirely original - and it really is magic. It's entirely flavored with Ovaltine (though you could substitute cocoa if you were desperate) but it tastes like Cadbury's Mini Eggs. I don't know how it works, but it's true! Those who know me know that I treat Cadbury Mini Eggs with the utmost seriousness and would never joke about them or make any undue comparisons. Of course, I'll still be queueing up for Mini Eggs come Easter, but this recipe will be my go-to for the rest of the year! Feel free to scale the quantities up - you're going to want a lot of this stuff!

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 Tablespoons Rich Chocolate Ovaltine
2 Tablespoons milk

Cream butter, powdered sugar and Ovaltine together until smooth and fluffy. Add milk gradually, as needed to achieve the desired texture. Will keep for several days in the fridge - if you can wait that long!

This post has been shared at:
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  1. I can't remember the last time I actually made a cake from scratch! But I love the idea of the coffee in this one. Chocolate and coffee....yum!

  2. Ovaltine frosting??? Why haven't I thought of that?!!! Brilliant. Now I have an excuse to buy some.


  3. Your cake looks so yummy. And great improvising on the icing!

  4. Midnight just implies dark and yeah I am a bit of a fan of dark delicious chocolaty desserts myself. This sounds like a cake I could eat a few times over before Santa even begins to pack hid sled.

  5. That looks delicious! Doesn't matter if it's not a cookie. It's still a great sweet treat!

  6. The cake looks delicious! I love the twist on the icing, yum!

  7. Looks so yummy and the frosting sounds amazing! Thanks for linking up with us at Show & Share!


  8. I love it, gorgeous pictures too.

  9. Cake is always a welcome treat during the holidays.

  10. I have never actually had Ovaltine, but I sure love malt flavor and I sure love chocolate cake!

  11. The cake looks yummy. I've never had ovaltine before, but it's chocolate. So I know it must be good.

  12. This looks absolutely delicious. I just love the combination of ingredients. The Ovaltine frosting has got to be out of this world. Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  13. I made my own cake but used this Ovaltine recipe and it's AMAZING! Thanks for sharing :)

  14. FlipFlopChick: So glad you enjoyed the icing. It was one of those happy accidents that sometimes happens in my kitchen, but I'll definitely be making it again...and again!

    Kim: Thank YOU for hosting! I love stopping by every week :)

    Those who haven't tried Ovaltine definitely should - although I quite possibly like it better in this frosting than as a drink!