Friday, January 13, 2017




For the Vanilla Malt Cake:

    1 1/2 cups cake flour
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon malted milk powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    3/4 teaspoon (scant) kosher salt
    3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    3 large eggs
    2/3 cup milk
    1/2 cup Greek yogurt
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (extract may be substituted)

For the Frosting and Topping:

    3 egg whites
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
    1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (extract may be substituted)
    about 1/3 cup salted caramel sauce
    about 1/2 cup whole roasted cashews


To Make the Vanilla Malt Cake:

    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and mist three 6-inch diameter x 3-inch deep cake pans with non-stick spray.  Cut three circles from parchment paper, and place them in the bottoms of each pan.
    Place the flours, sugar, malted milk powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Add the butter, and mix on medium-low speed, until the mixture resembles damp sand.  Stir in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula after each addition.  Add the milk, yogurt, and vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed for about 1 minute, to aerate the batter and strengthen the cake's structure.  Transfer the batter to the prepared pans, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when gently pressed and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.  Cool for twenty minutes, then unmold and place on  wire racks to cool completely.

To Make the Frosting and Assemble the Cake:

    Place the egg whites and sugar in a large metal mixing bowl and whisk together.  Set the bowl over a small pot of simmering water, and heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture becomes translucent and no longer feels gritty when rubbed between the thumb and forefinger.
    Remove from heat and whip on high speed until the meringue becomes glossy and thick.  Cool completely (there should be no hint of warmth when the hand is place on the side of the bowl.  Place in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes, if necessary.)  Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, while whipping on medium-high.  When all the butter has been added, fold in the vanilla.
    Place one of the cooled cake rounds on a serving platter.  Top with a layer of vanilla buttercream, smoothing to a thickness of about 1/2-inch.  Place another cake layer on top, and repeat.  Top with the final layer of cake, and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.  Drizzle the caramel sauce about an inch in from the outside edge of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.  Top with cashews.