Suzi's Blog

Malted Milk Chocolate Sauce

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Early in the 1900s, in Switzerland some people made a product from egg [Latin ovum] and malt. They called it Ovomaltine and you mixed it with milk and drank it. When the product was exported in 1909 to Great Britain, someone made a spelling mistake on the trademark registration. Thus was born Ovaltine.

The beverage quickly spread to the United States and was heavily marketed to kids before and just after World War II. The US children's radio series Little Orphan Annie  (1931–1940) and  Captain Midnight (1938–1949), and the subsequent Captain Midnight TV series (1954–1956), were sponsored by Ovaltine. Every kitchen had a container of one of the Ovaltine products [some with cocoa and malt, some only with malt, some only with cocoa]. The popularity spawned great factories for manufacturing the product. Today, some of those factories survive and are still in production, some are legacy buildings beloved for their architecture and converted into apartment buildings, some demolished for super highways.

While it's popularity is past its peak, Ovaltine is still on store shelves and still well enjoyed. Chefs and cookbook authors, in search of old-fashioned malt flavor, are now incorporating Ovaltine into all sorts of recipes. With the 4th of July holiday approaching, with the chance you'll have a cake or ice cream on the table, here's an old fashioned malted milk chocolate sauce that you can put to multiple use.

From the cookbook and Brooklyn milestone Bakery Baked, this is a riff on the classic thick hot fudge sauce you may have grown up on. The folks at Baked have added that very chocolate malt to achieve an old-fashioned toasty flavor and increased richness over "normal fudge sauce." [Is there such a thing?].  The sauce is ideal, of course, for ice cream but you can top pies or pound cakes with it. Yes, pecan pie with chocolate sauce is fervently allowed on holidays. Or, or, add a tablespoon of the sauce to a glass of Coke or Pepsi for a “chocolate coke” that will be memorable. [Not to be done after 10 PM, please; we are not responsible for any induced insomnia].

Lastly, some malted things taste like malt, which would be a bad thing with ice cream. This sauce tastes like chocolate with just some background tones that you would have to be a tasting expert to identify. The sauce has body and flows richly in your mouth.

In short, you'll like this.

Malted Milk Chocolate Sauce

Yield: 2 cups


  • 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup chocolate malt Ovaltine
  • ¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


In a large saucepan, bring the cream, corn syrup, Ovaltine, brown sugar, salt, and 4 ounces of the chocolate to a boil over medium heat. Stir until smooth and the chocolate has melted. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and, stirring very slowly, cook for 5 minutes.

Removed from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, and the remaining 2 ounces chocolate. Let sauce cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

To store, cool the sauce completely and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in a microwave or over low heat on the stovetop.


Source: Baked [New Frontiers in Baking] by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito and Wikipedia


Fudge Icing from Seattle Circa 1960

This is a two part blog: cake and frosting. Of course, frosting comes first and tomorrow you’ll have the cake. Frosting deserves to be first. Well, icing should come first. Icing, frosting, which is it? Even in the recipe from The Great American Cookbook by Clementine Paddleford the two terms are confused. She calls this a Fudge Icing but refers to the mixture as a frosting. Oh, and it’s not fudge. It’s Mocha.

What is going on here? In mid-century, Clementine Paddleford toured America, writing for magazines and cataloging the “best” in local recipes. Those recipes were collected into her book How America Eats, which has now been republished as The Great American Cookbook. The book provides “typical but great” recipes region by region, state by state.

It is assuredly American. And it is great. Most importantly, this book captures how Americans cooked over 50 years ago. That was a different America. The terminology was different: hence using “icing” and “frosting” interchangeably. The styles of cooking were different. There is a recipe here for Hungarian Meatballs, something you’d expect to come from Pennsylvania or Ohio. No, it’s from Florida, which had a much smaller population in the 1950’s with a radically different ethnic mix.

There are recipes here with terms you’ve never heard of: Montauk Berry Duff from New York.

Today, the hottest restaurant in New York City is just two block from where I live on Worth Street. The chef is from Portland, Oregon, now listed as one of the food centers of America if not the world. I grew up in Portland. In the 1950’s the hottest restaurant in Portland was Manning’s Cafeteria where you pushed along a tray to get salmon croquettes and meatloaf and blue berry pie. For me, the close connections and yet the enormous increase in culinary complexity, well, it makes me shake my head and smile and the same time.

Ah, if you want to smile, then make this icing. It is an icing, thin and shining, not deep and thick like a frosting. But you won’t care. You can use this icing on cakes, on cookies, or even on your fingertips.

Tomorrow comes the cake that Clementine recommended.

Fudge Icing from Seattle Circa 1960

Servings: covers one 9 X 13” sheet cake


  • 2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons [¾ stick] unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons hot coffee
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract


Sift the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa into a medium bowl. Stir in the butter, then the coffee, followed by the vanilla, mixing well with a wooden spoon after each addition, until the frosting is smooth. Ice the top and sides of your cake with frosting.

Source: The Great American Cookbook by Clementine Paddleford