• Yield: Makes 1 pound

  • Time: 15 minutes prep, 15 minutes cooking, 30 minutes active, plus time to set total

This is my down-and-dirty version of a malted milk ball: an intensely malted-milk-laced sheet of fine chocolate, broken in chunks. Use the best and freshest chocolate you can buy to insure that it sets well; it should be fragrant and glossy with no trace of a gray bloom on the surface.


Here are some ideas for packaging the chocolate as gifts. Pack into in cardboard candy boxes (lined with wax or parchment paper), bought or saved from a local bakery; antique or repurposed tins (available at flea markets, yard sales and Ebay); or paper bags or clear cello bags bought from your local market (they will often sell them by the piece) or online at www.papermart.com.


For more packaging tips, see The Improvised Life's guide to DIY wrapping


  • 1 pound premium chocolate such as Valhrona or Sharfenberger (either semi-sweet 70 cacao chocolate, or milk chocolate)

  • 2/3 to 1 cup malted milk powder, to taste


1. Line a baking or cookie sheet with parchment or waxed paper (or simply place the paper on the work surface).

2. With a chef's knife or in a food processor, chop the chocolate into 1-inch or smaller pieces. Add half of the chocolate to a heavy saucepan and place on a flame tamer over a low flame. Alternatively, use a double boiler, making sure that the bowl of chocolate is suspended over NOT in the simmering water. It is essential that no water get into the chocolate or it will seize up and turn to unusable clumps.

3. Stir the chocolate frequently with a rubber spatula until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate until completely melted. Then stir in the malted milk powder until completely incorporated.

4. Pour the melted chocolate onto the wax paper and spread it about 1/8-inch-thick with a long metal spatula or cake icer.

5. Let the chocolate set 1 to 2 hours until firm. Break into shards. The chocolate will keep up to two weeks in a sealed container at room temperature.

Copyright © 2009 Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider
A former chef, Sally Schneider has won numerous awards—including four James Beard awards—for her books and magazine writing. She is creator of the lifestyle blog Improvised Life, a featured blogger on The Atlantic Monthly's Food Blog, and author of The Improvisational Cook and A New Way to Cook. She has served as a contributing editor to both Saveur and Food & Wine, and her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Saveur, Food & Wine, SELF and Connoisseur.