The Malteser cake is a perennial favourite of mine, the recipe comes from Nigella Lawson's epic book 'Feasts' and combines two of the worlds favourite flavours; chocolate and malt. Maltesers were created Forrest Mars, Sr., of the Mars confectionary company in 1936, and first sold in 1937. They were originally described as "energy balls" and aimed at slimming women; indeed the advertising of today still refers to them being the 'lighter' way to enjoy chocolate.
Researching this post sent me off on a nostalgic journey through my childhood in England of the 1960's. Like many post-war parents, my mother had an abiding interest in the nutritional value of food, largely as a consequence of war time rationing, and the long list of things which were unavailable for many years, right up until the mid-50's in England. I grew up with the familiar sight of a can of Horlicks in the kitchen cupboard; and except for the modern plastic packaging, nothing's changed; warm Horlicks is still something I enjoy on cold winter nights. The powder, made from a combination of malted barley and wheat first appeared in the 1870's as a food supplement for infants.
This is a brilliant recipe for a birthday cake, it looks very cute, cuts really well and keeps well for a couple of days - although that's not very likely!