Chocolate Malt Christmas Cake

Turn the classic Yule Log on its side to create a decadent, chocolate malt Christmas cake. It’s a new twist on an old fashioned dessert.

Chocolate Malt Christmas Cake
6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
1 1/4 cups milk
1 box (18.25 oz) chocolate cake mix
1 recipe Butter Cream Frosting (see below)
1/4 cup malted milk powder
16 malted milk balls, crushed
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup)
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two large 12×17 baking pans. Line both with parchment paper (sheets large enough to hang over 1-inch on all sides). Butter the parchment paper and dust lightly with flour. Position oven racks in center of oven.

Separate egg whites from egg yolks, place whites in large stand mixer oil-free bowl. Beat whites until stiff.

Beat yolks, milk and cake mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Gently fold approximately 1/4-egg whites into cake mix batter at a time until all whites are folded in. Spread batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Place both cake pans in oven; bake 8-9 minutes, switch pans from top to bottom and bake 8-9 more minutes or until cake is springy to the touch. Place pans on racks to cool.

While cake is baking and cooling – prepare Butter Cream Frosting (recipe below) using either Classic (creamier) or Quick recipe. Set 1 1/2 cups frosting aside. To remaining frosting: dissolve malted milk powder in 1-tablespoon hot water. Whisk dissolved malt and crushed malted milk balls into frosting.

To reserved frosting: Melt bittersweet chocolate in microwave at 50% power, in 10-20 second intervals, stirring until melted. Whisk melted chocolate into reserved 1 1/2 cups frosting.

Sprinkle top of cakes lightly with flour, cover cake with a clean sheet of parchment paper and invert cake. Peel off top parchment paper. Using a ruler, cut cakes in half lengthwise to create 4 equal strips approximately 6×17 inches; cut through bottom parchment paper. Spread malt frosting evenly over the 4 strips. Roll one strip into a coil, jelly roll fashion; place coil on next cake strip and continue to roll each strip around the coil creating a large fat jelly roll. Place roll, coil side up, on serving plate (I like to refrigerate at this point to firm up the cake; cut a thin slice of cake across from top to even up the roll). Frost outside of cake with chocolate frosting; refrigerate 8 hours to completely firm up (cover and may refrigerate up to 4 days). Allow cake to stand at room temperature prior to service. Garnish with holly, rosemary sprigs, meringue mushrooms, cranberries, etc. Cut into 16 wedges to serve.
Quick Butter Cream Frosting
1 1/4 pounds butter (5 sticks), room temperature
6 1/4 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy (30-60 seconds); reduce speed to low and slowly add powdered sugar; beat until smooth. Add cream and vanilla, beat on high until light and fluffy (4-8 minutes). Use immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. To use, let stand at room temperate then beat to re-fluff.

Classic Butter Cream Frosting (richer, smooth texture)
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 pound butter (4 sticks), room temperature

Combine eggs, sugar and vanilla in standing mixer bowl; place bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir constantly until foamy and mixture reaches 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Place bowl on stand mixer and beat on high until light and fluffy and cooled to room temperature (about 5 minutes). Reduce mixer speed to medium. Cut butter into pieces and add one piece at a time to sugar mixture. Beat until light and fluffy. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. To use, let stand at room temperature then beat to re-fluff.

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