Thursday, April 2, 2009


I am a very casual cook and an average baker. I just love to do it. It makes me happy. I am not spectacular at it. Growing up in a restaurant family makes me appreciate not only the people that seem to make music in the kitchen but can also re-imagine the basics.

If you haven't heard about the bakery and the book "BAKED" you need to. Their brownies have been on Oprah's favorite things.
Martha Stewart & Jacques Torres have raved.
They definitely re-imagine the basics and beyond.

With delicious stuff like Malt Ball Cake, Chipotle Cheddar Biscuits, Vanilla Bean Caramel Apples, Sour Cherry Slump and Sweet & Salty Cake (among many delicious others) how can you NOT fall in love a little with these recipes and bake shop? Seriously.

The founders, RENATO POLIAFITO & MATT LEWIS, have a very
interesting back story and have created a storefront and cookbook that manages to breathe new life and fun into the very crowded world of flour, butter & sugar.

Here's the recipe for their very tasty MILK CHOCOLATE MALT BALL CAKE:

2 1/4 cups cake flower
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup malted milk powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups ice cold water
4 large whites, at room temperature

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into 1-inch pieces

Malted milk balls for decoration

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment paper. Dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.

Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg together into a large bowl. Whisk in the malted milk powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the ice water, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Do not over beat. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes unto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Place both chocolates in the bowl of an electric mixer. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil, then remove from the heat and immediately pour the mixture over the chocolate. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Starting in the center of the bowl and working your way out to the edges, whisk the chocolate mixture until completely smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

With the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, on medium speed gradually add the butter pieces and mix until thoroughly incorporated. The frosting should be completely smooth and have a silky look.

Refrigerate the frosting for a few minutes (but no more), until it can hold its shape. Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface and evenly spread about 1 1/4 cups of the frosting on top. Top with the next layer, trim and frost the top, then add the third layer and trim. Crumb coat the cake (essentially a very thin layer of frosting applied to the cake to keep the light crumbs suspended so they won't appear in the final layer of frosting. It's like the first coat of paint; it lays the foundation for the next final coat. A crumb-coated cake should be refrigerated for at least 15 minutes prior to applying the next frosting layer.) After refrigeration frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting. Garnish the cake with the malted milk balls and refrigerate again for 15 minutes.

This cake will keep beautifully in a cake server at room temperature (cool and humidity free) for up to 3 days. If your room is not cool, place the cake in a cake saver and refrigerate for up to 3 days. remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.


angelo surmelis


mrsben said...

The cake sounds devine for the taste buds! As the frosting itself sounds so light I think I may try it on a (low-cal) Sponge Cake.

I love make-a-head recipes. Thank you Angelo.

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

This recipe sounds wonderful. You should join us for Foodie Fridays.
Gollum is the hostess.

imjacobsmom said...

Thanks for the recipe, Angelo. I'll have to look for that cookbook. ~ Robyn

Trish said...

I have this book. I have been to their bakeshop, waaaaay too many times, and I can tell you n one world; DELISH! These boys know what they are doing. Thank you.

Monrel said...

So is the way to your heart actually through your tummy? (I do have great legs, BTW!)

Are you single? Available? Looking?

Nancy said...

A little bit obsessed with their cookbook. Just a little. Love the recipes. One of my favorites is this cake. Their brownies are incredible. Have you made them? OH!

Deanna said...

Easy there Monrel. LOL! I have been a fan and admirer for years and would like to be in the front of the line. Seriously though. This cake does look and sound delicious and it seems obvious that the way to your heart is through your stomach and probably your brain as well. Huge fan and HUGE CRUSH!

Marie Anne said...

Oh ... my ... goodness ...

Susan lm said...

I need this cake! My mouth was just beyond watering reading this recipe. Getting the book today. Going into a sugar coma this weekend.

Jillian said...

No! No! This is bad news. Bad, I tell you. So I am going to HAVE to buy this book and I am going to HAVE to make this cake as well a brownies (among other things) and I am going to HAVE to blame you. Why Angelo? Why do this to us?

It looks soooooo good.

Have a great weekend.

Sean said...

I LOVE this book and this is one of my favorites. I have almost made everything in it. Also went to their shop when I was in NYC. SO TASTY! You would love it, if you haven't been. I'm sure you have. As you would say, "It's good times & who doesn't love it?"

Giselle said...

You honestly have got to find a way to combine your love of food and design into a show. I would SO WATCH you do that. It seems like a no brainer, right? Am I crazy here? Love you show btw.

Have a stupendous weekend.

Ashley said...

Love this place and their cookbook. Wonderful pictures. Now if I ever ran into you there, the day would be complete. Let me buy you a cupcake.

Kyle. said...

This is a wonderful cook book. I have dog eared it and it has gotten plenty of use. This is an excellent recipe. Yes, you should do a food&design show.

The Raggedy Girl said...

I am such a cook book junkie that I almost start shaking when a new one is mentioned. Thanks for the heads up.

Have A Fabulous Friday
From Roberta Anne
The Raggedy Girl.

Julie said...

I WANT that cake. If you deliver it, that would be even better.

Sandra said...

You, food & design in TV? I'm there.

Stephanie said...

I have their book and it's wonderful. Great show btw.

taylor said...

That looks so good. I am getting this book tomorrow!

Michelle, All Home and Love said...

The cake looks great! I'll have to try that recipe.

And I didn't realize blogger was a dating site. lol

Red River Interiors,LLC said...

I'm making this cake tomorrow.
I know it will be good... Fay

Fillian said...

Gorgeous and very tasty cake.

Anonymous said...

THNX for the recipe! I gonna make it tommorow for my friends!

Michael said...

I will check their book out...thanks for sharing!

STK said...

I think you should just stop all this fooling around and do a food show. You are clearly talented and brilliant at design (love you & your style, not the show idea) and you have a passion for food. Combine my friend. COMBINE. Do what you love.

Jess said...

I just bought the book and I want to make everything in it! I am going to start with their brownies. Thank you. LOVE your show.

Anonymous said...

The cake looks and sounds delicious. It also seems complicated. I fear advanced baking the way some fear color. Irrational, I know; I'll stay where I'm comfortable for now - COOKIES!!


JJ said...

This book is just genius. And yes, I a too am crushing...

DesignTies said...

YUM!!!! That recipe sounds uber-decadent!!

I'd love to head over to Baked right now and pick up some goodies!! But heading over to chapters to pick up the book would be a bit more practical ;-)

Kelly @ DesignTies

bg_garden said...

I am glad I found you on twitter. Can't wait to try this cake recipe.
Happy Spring - stop by my garden in the Midwest sometime!

Trev. said...

Made it this weekend. My family has almost finished it. Crazy good!!!

Emily said...

mmmmmm… can't wait to try it! Love the look of that book and bakery!

leah - moxiethrift on etsy said...

i love everything about this post.

TL said...

I made this cake yesterday. OMG! it is incredible and I am having some right now for breakfast. Is that wrong? Possibly. I don't care. Too good.

Also, you are incredible as well. Your talents are phenomenal. I know what it takes to do what you do. I have an insider secret. I'm not telling. You're a rock star. Cannot wait for the furniture line. Have a great day.

Apples and Butter said...

I love this recipe! I made this for a friend's birthday and then I turned the recipe into cupcakes for another friend's going away party. People always rave about it! I have not picked up the book yet, but you may have inspired me to do so. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Would you ever consider doing a cooking-type show? I think you'd be great! The only drawback that I could think of would be having to vocalize every single thing that you did. That might make it less than fun for you.

So, post-furniture line launch, you can get to work on the book and cooking show that will further showcase your brilliance. *s* Did you say you planned to sleep within in the next five years? Didn't think so!

Hope you're having a great Monday!


Nani said...

Dangerous post for a preggo woman!!! who, BTW, already loved baked goods :)

The Food Girls said...

Okay THIS is the perfect cake for a kid's birthday. I am filing this one away for future use! Thanks.

William Newton said...

Angelo, given your interest in baking I am surprised you do not have the blog "Cake Wrecks" listed among the blogs you follow. It is absolutely hilarious and sometimes I have laughed so hard I cried, at the terrible, terrible cake decorating errors people send in. The site is at:

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