OK, confession time. The first time I made these Ovaltine Creams, what I made was technically not Ovaltine Creams, I made Horlicks Creams.
I couldn’t find Ovaltine here in the US. I did find US-made Ovaltine and the first ingredient was sugar, so I ignored that. Then in the international aisle of my local supermarket (beside the teabags, Ribena and Jammie Dodgers) I found some Horlicks. And according to my (not-very) extensive research on the internet, they are both malted milk drinks and aren’t all that different in terms of their ingredients. Ovaltine has a little cocoa powder in it, so I added a teaspoon of cocoa to my Horlicks and feel free to do this if you live in an Ovaltine-free town and Horlicks is all that you can find too.
I updated this post in 2021 to include some new photographs, and this time I was able to find Ovaltine, so I used that and it was just as tasty.
One interesting result of actually having the correct ingredient for these Ovaltine Creams was that the Ovaltine I dusted over the top of the buttercream reacted with the buttercream while in the fridge. It dissolved and made it look like I had a brûléed top to this traybake. The Horlicks and cocoa powder combination didn’t do that. And honestly, I’m not mad at this development. It looks kind of cool and I appear to have invited a cheats brûlée topping. No blow torch required. Although it’s not crunchy, so there is a downside!
There is egg in the base, which seems to have been more prevalent in some of my older recipes, but the recipe calls for you to simmer it for 30 seconds or so to make sure it’s cooked. Just be sure to have the saucepan off the heat before you add the egg and mix quickly – you don’t want scrambled egg in the base!
Feel free to use whatever sort of plain biscuits you prefer for the base. Rich Tea work well, but Digestives or Graham Crackers are also good.
These Ovaltine Creams went down very well in the Traybakes household. The topping is sweeter than the base, there’s a bit of texture from the coconut and some colour from the cherries. All in all, these were a resounding success!
10oz/280g Rich Tea biscuits, crushed (or use Maria cookies/Digestives/Graham Crackers)
4oz/110g desiccated coconut
4oz/110g glacé cherries, chopped
3 tbsp Ovaltine
6oz/175g soft dark brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
10oz/280g icing sugar (powdered sugar)
2 tbsp custard powder
2 tbsp warm water
- Line an 8″/20cm square tin with baking parchment.
- Place the butter, Ovaltine and brown sugar in a saucepan and melt over a low heat.
- Take the pan off the heat and mix in the beaten egg then return to your stove, add the coconut and cherries. Bring to a boil for 30 seconds to cook out the egg, stirring frequently.
- Add the crushed Rich Tea biscuits and mix well. I crushed mine in my food processor to get nice, fine crumbs.
- Press into a lined or greased traybake tin and leave to cool. Watch out if you use your fingers to press it into the tin as the base is still pretty warm at this point.
- To make the topping, sieve the custard powder and icing sugar into a bowl, then add the water and melted butter. I needed slightly more than 2 tbsp of water to get a consistency I liked, but I added 2 tbsp to begin with and then just drops after that to get a thick but spreadable topping.
- Dust the traybake with some Ovaltine, place it in the fridge to set for a couple of hours and then cut into squares. Enjoy!