from my table: earl grey chocolate cake
What I crave is a constant reflection of what is going on outside my window. As spring begins to tentatively peek out from behind the bare trees, the sky is still a steely gray and the wind, though not as cold as it could be, is still gusty enough to make me walk with my arms clamped down on my sides, to keep my second-favorite flowered dress from flying up a la Marilyn Monroe. (Though today I am wearing my first-favorite tights, so I suppose if it had to happen, there could be worse times…)
The sky swirls a color similar to the smell of Earl Grey tea and lately, tea is all I want. Pungent bergamot, a hint of vanilla, a soft and heady aroma; it never fails to soothe and comfort. And combined with deep, dark chocolate? Oh, swoon.
I love the aromas and flavors of tea with chocolate; it speaks of pure comfort, while still sounding sophisticated enough to serve at your fanciest tea party and stick your pinky in the air (basically, I’m pretty sure this cake has a British accent). I came across this Earl Grey Chocolate Cake on Shutterbean a few weeks back and was instantly hit with the itch to get in the kitchen and make it. I had an unopened box of fancy organic loose leaf Earl Grey tea (picked up whilst in England, you know) that I had been saving specially for baking. (Earl Grey also pairs beautifully with vanilla and lavender, in case you were wondering. And soft stone fruits, like apricots or peaches.)
With two family birthdays coming up, it was a perfect excuse to stir up this lovely-sounding treat. This was a snap to make (15 minutes from getting out a bowl to sliding the pan in the oven) and bakes up beautifully; a dense, moist cake with a tender crumb and just enough of an Earl Grey whiff. Dust it with powdered sugar, slice it up and serve it with fancy china teacups and dainty little forks. (Pinkies in the air optional.)
6 Earl Grey tea bags or 2 tablespoons loose Earl Grey
1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted & cooled
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt
confectioners’ sugar (for dusting)
Heat oven to 350° F. Coat an 8-cup bundt pan with cooking spray.
Brew the tea in the water 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags or strain the leaves and set the brewed tea aside.
Using a mixer, beat the butter, eggs, and granulated sugar until fluffy. Blend in the chocolate. Beat in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, yogurt, and brewed tea. Pour into pan.
(The pretty, staged shot.)
(The real life shot; this is the entirety of my kitchen counter space and I’m a disaster.)
Bake 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out with a few crumbs attached. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.
Turn out of pan and cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. This will keep for up to three days, tightly wrapped.