Thursday 22 May 2014

Chocolate Malt Cake

Chocolate Malt Cake
When Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog announced that this month's We Should Cocoa theme was Chocolate Cake for £1 I initially thought this would be a simple task. However, even with my frugal ways it takes a fair bit of working out to come up with a chocolate cake within budget. My first thought was to ditch the eggs. I only use free range eggs and even though I can buy them for £1 for 6 this means that for even a small cake using 2 eggs this would take up a third of the budget. After the eggs the next expense is the fat you use. Whether it is butter, baking spread or some oil I decided this would be too costly as well.

When I had a look at the cakes (yes two cakes!) that Choclette has made this month for We Should Cocoa I noticed she used Horlicks in one of them. It made me remember that I have a neglected jar of Ovaltine in the kitchen. After I had my daughter I was recommended Ovaltine by a health visitor who came to visit shortly after. It's jammed packed with vitamins and minerals and makes an easy and very warming drink in the depths of a Yorkshire winter. With my eye on a bargain at all times I make sure I stock up on it when it's on offer. One day the offer I think was 2 for £4. I quickly put two in my basket and thought no more about it. It wasn't until I opened a new jar did I realise one of the jars I had bought was not the instant version I liked to which you add hot water but the one you need to add milk to. I did give it try with hot milk but I didn't like the taste as much and of course it was using up milk instead of much cheaper water. I've tried it again when I've milk to use up but I'm really not that keen on it. Time to make better use of it now...

Since there's no eggs or fat in the mixture I thought the cake needed some moistness. I replaced some of the sugar with golden syrup. Another root around in my cupboards and I found the end of packet of dates I had bought at Christmas. Along with some milk this gave the cake all the moistness it required.

So here's the maths:

Self-raising flour (Aldi - 45p/1.5kg x 225g) = 7p
Chocolate Ovaltine (Tesco - £2.49/300g x 50g) = 42p
Demerara sugar (Sainsbury's - £3.50/2kg x 50g) = 8p
Dried dates (Sheffield Moor Market - £1.20/454g x 90g) = 23p
Golden syrup (Sainsbury's – 30ml = 50g £1.25/680g x 50g) = 9p
Milk (Sainsbury's - £1.00/2.27l x 150ml = 6p

Total = 95p

So 5p under and I even costed up the Ovaltine at the full non-offer price. The mix of retailers really does reflect my shopping habits. Either side of the local Sainsbury's is also a Morrisons and an Asda – the benefits of living in a large city or perhaps the curse! The irony is not lost on me either that the most expensive ingredients in the cake were the two unloved items.

As well as We Should Cocoa this month I am also putting this forward for the No Waste Food Challenge hosted by Elizabeth at Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary and this month's guest host Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen. I have been tempted many times to throw that Ovaltine jar in the bin but cake is a far better use for it! Of course with a price tag of just 95p this also has to go to Credit Crunch Munch. This month's guest host is Gingey Bites on behalf of Camila at Fab Food 4 All and Helen at Fuss Free Flavours.

no-waste-food-badgeCredit Crunch Munch

Equipment: 1lb (450g) loaf tin


8oz (225g) Self-raising flour
2oz (50g) Chocolate Ovaltine 'add Milk' version
2oz (50g) Demerara sugar
3oz (90g) Dried dates, stoned and chopped
2tbsp (30ml) Golden syrup
¼ pint (150ml) milk


1. Grease and/or line the loaf tin.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4.
3. In a large bowl sift the flour. Add the Ovaltine, sugar and dates and stir in.
4. Add the golden syrup and milk and stir until well combined.
5. Spoon into the loaf tin and bake for about 50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
6. Leave to cool in the tin


  1. This sounds delicious and really inventive. I love the addition of the dates, golden syrup and Ovaltine and think my mum would too so I'm going to pass this onto ther =)

    1. I hope your Mum enjoys it. I've also got some dried figs in the cupboard as well so I may give it a try with those.

  2. Fantastic! This £1 chocolate cake wasn't an easy challenge, was it, but I'm so glad so many bloggers have tried and done it successfully. Your cake looks very scrummy and I bet it would be fab with a nice big cup of coffee :) Thanks for sharing with the #nowastefoodchallenge

  3. Oh yes dates. What a good idea for adding moistness and sweetness. It sounds like a really tasty cake, despite the lack of fat. This has been a great challenge just to get us thinking I reckon. Thanks for joining in.

  4. I've really enjoyed seeing what everyone has come up with for this challenge. I'd never have thought of dates and ovaltine, brilliant idea!


I appreciate your comments. If you have any tips, tricks or tweaks please pass them on!