Chocolate Ovomaltine Daim Cake

by Meeta Wolff

This chapter is a free excerpt from What's For Lunch, Honey?.



Although there were certain things that I did not like about the British way of life when we were first introduced (like the excessive drinking, smoking and swearing), there were some things that got my attention very quickly. One of them was the chocolate variety Britain had to offer. Leaving the overly sweet Hershey bars, Baby Ruth’s and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups behind, my chocolate addiction found new divine richness to nibble on. Cadbury’s Bournville, Galaxy Caramel and Malteser’s were just a few of the regular products I would spend my pocket money on.

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Although there were certain things that I did not like about the British way of life when we were first introduced (like the excessive drinking, smoking and swearing), there were some things that got my attention very quickly. One of them was the chocolate variety Britain had to offer. Leaving the overly sweet Hershey bars, Baby Ruth’s and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups behind, my chocolate addiction found new divine richness to nibble on. Cadbury’s Bournville, Galaxy Caramel and Malteser’s were just a few of the regular products I would spend my pocket money on.

However there was one product that provided me with my chocolate satisfaction on a daily basis. I would indulge in its soothing malty and chocolaty caress, wrapped up in the rich, sweet aromas as I did my homework or chatted with my girlfriends on the phone. The warmth of the mug and the sweetness of the delicious scented milk would wash away most of the day’s troubles, and Ovaltine quickly became my favorite chocolate indulgence of choice.

For me Ovaltine was always an iconic British product that accompanied me through my teenage years and I believed this misconception for most of those years. I did not realize that it wasn’t just me that had to make language adjustments. Apparently Ovomaltine is a product of Switzerland where it was developed in Berne. In the early 1900’s Ovomaltine was exported to Great Britain, where a misspelling in the trademark registration led to the product being called Ovaltine in English-speaking countries. When I moved to Germany in my early twenties, finding my old/new Ovaltine/Ovomaltine in the stores helped me get through being in a foreign country alone for the first time.

Today I enjoy seeing Soeren sharing the same affinity for Ovomaltine as I did and still do. When he said that he wished he could have a birthday cake with his two favorite chocolate treats—Ovomaltine and Daim candy—I thought, why not? A birthday cake made of your favorite childhood candy, now that is a real treat.

Ingredients:

For the cake
  • 150g muscovado sugar
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 15g butter
  • 175ml milk
  • 2 tablespoons Ovomaltine
  • 175g all-purpose flour
  • 25g cocoa powder, sieved
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
For icing
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 45g Ovomaltine
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
For decoration
  • 1 packet of 300g Daim candy chocolates

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC (338ºF). Butter and line 2 springform pans (approx. 20 cm each) with baking paper.
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars and the eggs until light, creamy and frothy.
  1. Heat the milk, Ovomaltine powder and butter until butter melts and steaming. Make sure it does not boil. Then carefully pour the Ovomaltine mixture into the egg-sugar mixture in a steady stream, beating all the while.
  1. Fold in the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder with a rubber spatula until all the ingredients are blended. Divide the cake batter into the springforms evenly and bake for approx. 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middles of the cakes comes out clean. The cakes will be springy and light. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto cake racks and let them cool completely before icing them.
  1. Put the sugar, cocoa and Ovomaltine in a food processor and pulse a few times to remove any lumps, then add the softened butter and process. In between, scrape down the sides then process again this time pouring a bit of the hot water through the funnel. Keep processing until you have a smooth and thick cream. You might not need the entire 2 tablespoons of water, so add a little at a time.
  1. Reserve enough of the mini Daim candy bars to line the edge of the cake, then coarsely chop the rest.
  1. Spread half of the icing on one of the chocolate sponges, sprinkle with the chopped Daim bits, then gently sandwich with the other. Spread the remaining of the icing over the top swirling with the spatula.
  1. Line the edge of the cake with the reserved Daim candy bars, and sprinkle Daim praline buts in the center of the cake.
  1. Refrigerate until it’s time to serve the cake.
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