Monday, May 1, 2017

Malted Milk: A Twisted Romance

It's hard to follow up a very serious post about FGM with my usual la di da about cake and life in the chubby lane. Here goes.

Do any of you remember malted milk powder? Carnation made it in the states, and it added a yeasty sweetness to a normal glass of milk. My grandparents kept a jar of it on hand, and I did love loading some into my milky drinks. Surreptitiously. Quietly.

This, as with anything to do with  my grandmother, was fraught and fucked up. Always.  Many of us have a relative in our lives who caused us immeasurable harm, and one of mine was my grandmother. However, if I presented her talcum powdered presence as always malevolent, I'd do her a disservice. Doris had moments of generosity and kindness, and this may have been her downfall. She agreed to epic sacrifices in order to help her children, and thus ruined what should have been a more relaxed old age. But make no mistake. She was an angry, bitter woman who found fat on a woman's body worth gagging about. Yes, I said gag. . She'd yip in horror, eyes agoggle from the safety of the car in the grocery store parking lot, over a woman with rolls of fat. "Look at how fat she is!" She'd kind of bark out an amazed laugh. "Disgusting!" It was a spectacle of vitriol and malice. 

I was fat. I was sitting there. She'd make these comments, then go home and feed me.

"There's pie. There's leftover casserole in the refrigerator. You can make some tuna salad; there's plenty of bread." My grandmother made homemade bread twice a week, and it was delicious. So yah...I ate the pie and the sandwich. Along with a glass of malted milk. I ate a lot sometimes. She was my primary caregiver after my parent's calamitous divorce, and to this day I think she was incredibly conflicted. She loved me, yet found me revolting. She did. It must have really sucked being her. 

"Great day in the angels Felicia. You are getting very stout. Why must you eat so much? You have rolls!" And on and on and on.

It's a wonder I don't weigh 400 pounds.

So what can you take from this? How is hearing about my mad granny helpful? For one, if you are fat yourself, take heart. You can learn to love yourself, despite what some daft mare said. The size of your bum is just that...the size of your bum. It ain't fair, but it's the body you have, and you can learn to get along with it.  Despite what your partner says. Despite what anyone says. You can look in the mirror and see a person worth loving. Easier said than done? Oh my yes. I read books. I surround myself with positive people. I have a loving husband (I got rid of the one who wasn't). The struggle is still real; I still hear my grandmother's voice, and am always aware of myself as a person who simply takes up too much room. I write. So can you. 

If you are reading this and know, deep down know, that you are rather an asshole toward the fat people in your life, consider stopping that shit right now. You aren't helping anything. Back off and leave that person alone, because you are doing inestimable damage. If she wants a glass of fucking malted milk, mix it up and hand it over with a smile. Practice acceptance. Practice an acceptance that encompasses everything you love about your child, your partner, your parent...whoever. Accept that this person may never be thin. Like...ever. Because that is reality. Most of us never, ever lose that weight. If we do, it comes back with interest. And is isn't our fault. It might even be yours, mad grannies of the world. It might even be yours.

Mad Granny Malted Milk Cake

I did modify this recipe a bit...I think it's very heavy on malted milk powder.

4 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 t. vanilla extract
1 3/4 c flour
1/2 cup malted milk powder (I used Horlicks)
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 cup of butter, room temperature

Adjust the rack of your oven so it's in the middle. Butter and flour 3 eight inch cake pans, and line them with parchment. If you're lazy like me, you can spray them with a special bakers spray. Really though, the old fashioned way is best. 

Whisk the eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla in a small bowl. Combine the dry ingredients in your stand mixer, and whisk using the paddle attachment. Drop pieces of the butter in one at a time. Your dry mix will combine into pea sized pieces as well as looking like wet sand. Add half the egg mixture and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the remaining egg mix and beat another 30 seconds. 

Divide the batter between the three pans. They make thinner layers than a 2 layer cake (which you can certainly do-not everyone keeps 3 cake pans on hand). 

Bake about 20 minutes until toothpick clean. 

Cool completely on wire racks.


1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup of malted milk powder
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
pinch of salt

Heat the coconut without boiling it. Stir in the malted milk powder. It makes a very thick paste. Cool that completely.

Using your balloon whisk, cream your butter for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, malted milk paste, and pinch of salt. Mix completely. Add the confectioners sugar slowly until it is of spreading consistency Then keep whipping it for about 5 minutes. Yes, I know it's scary but American buttercream tastes better if it's whipped silly.

Using an offset spatula, spread about 1/2 cup between layers. Spread the remaining over the top and sides of the cake.

NOTE: I crumb coated then cooled the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes before finishing the top and sides of the cake. 

Purty cake init?

Coffee station! Cake time!

Don't mind if I do.

Bon appetit. I know the recipe looks a wee bit involved, but it's a really easy cake to make. Unusual and tasty! 

Until next time.....


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