Monday, February 6, 2012

friends, cake and scrabble

Hello readers!  Sunday night was Scrabble night with friends, and we had artisan pizza and chocolate cake for dinner.  Linda made a play for 70+ points in the second game...I had to console myself with a large serving of this wonderful cake.  Here is the recipe so you too can enjoy it.  Mary 

Earl Grey Chocolate Cake

adapted from

Tea leaves from 6 bags of Earl Grey tea, ground into a fine powder using a spice mill/coffee grinder
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups cake flour (I think more is needed)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
Lavender Ganache (recipe follows)
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with butter then line the bottoms of each pan with a circle of parchment paper. Set aside.
Place butter and tea powder into a small sauce pan over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes until the butter has melted and the tea flavors have infused into the butter, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
While the butter is cooling, place the cake flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk to combine evenly.
In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and buttermilk. Add buttermilk mixture and the cooled tea-infused butter to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Whisk or beat until just combined. The batter will be slightly lump and that is okay. Do not over work the batter or the cake will be tough and dense rather than light and fluffy.
Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
Bake cakes at 325 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool on a rack for at least one hour. To remove cakes from pans, run a knife around the edges of the pans to loosen then place a plate over each cake pan and invert onto the plate. Peel off parchment paper and discard.  My cakes fell a bit when I removed the paper.
Place one cake onto serving dish. Tuck strips of parchment paper under bottom edges of the cake to protect the serving dish from getting messy while frosting.
Evenly spread the ganache over top of the first cake. Place the second cake over the ganache bottom layer. Evenly spread cream cheese frosting over the top and sides of the cake.  Once frosted, carefully remove and discard the parchment paper lining the bottom of the cake.
The cake can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 12 hours before serving or refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.

4 oz heavy cream
6 oz good semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp lavender extract, or not...there is no lavender extract in my town
Place chocolate and sugar in a heat proof bowl and set aside.
Heat cream to a LOW simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour simmering cream over chocolate-sugar mixture. Let sit for 60 seconds then whisk until all chocolate is melted and the ganache is shiny and smooth. Add lavender extract and stir. Let chill for 20 minutes, until thickened slightly.

Basic Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
16 oz powdered sugar, sifted (I used regular sugar which I ground into powdered sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium speed until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  Add food coloring if desired. 


  1. Get out of town! This is awesome!!! Of course, the lavender ganache drew me in, but it was the Earl Grey that really sealed the deal. Way back in my server days, the chef made me a lavender creme brulee, and my friend just surprised me with lavender marshmallows. Ha! My surname is Marsh :)


  2. I cannot imagine anything more wonderful than Scrabble, chocolate cake and pizza!

  3. Wow, that is one gorgeous piece of cake and such an interesting recipe. Sounds like a delightfully enjoyable evening.

  4. The cake looks lovely, but NO GOOD FOR MY DIET glad you had a nice evening.

  5. Oh, this sounds (and looks) sooooo good! Many years ago I made lavender truffles by letting the lavender flower buds steep in warm cream and then straining them out. The cream held the flavor nicely :) It would be worth a try....

    It sounds like a terrific night!

  6. Oh. My. Goddess. Taste buds = WANT. Eye Candy = definitely! Healthy body = oooooooh not so much, but still.........

  7. What a gorgeous cake! My youngest turned 17 today. I asked her, what dessert would you like me to make? She wanted devils food with chocolate frosting. Again. That's all they ever want. I want to make something interesting, like this. :)

  8. Decedance overload just from reading it, but I must make this! Thank yo so much for sharing the recipes. Your cake is just lovely, too!

  9. That slice looks delicious... thanks for sharing.

  10. Thank you to all of you for the fun comments. In the interest of full disclosure-this picture is NOT of my cake. It is from the recipe page listed above. see the teeny writing along the edge of the slice? and the source in the bottom right?

    Now that I have cleared that up, let me say that my cake looked exactly like the picture. Perfect match-just like every garment I sew makes me look just like a Vogue model!

  11. That recipe looks totally yummsy! Must make the husband try this!

  12. That looks divine!! Thank you for the recipe!

  13. Am conscientiously avoiding reading that delicious looking recipe! Just wanted to tell you about a site I found that I think you would like as it's got lots of textiles etc from all over the world FOR SALE (yes, it's another thing I'm avoiding for my own good!)

  14. OMG, how did I miss this! A thousand thanks for posting that yummy recipe. It looks

  15. I have to try this; it sounds delicious!

  16. This looks to die for! I wish I had a reason to make a cake, but they are hard to transport to work (I commute by foot or bike) and I certainly couldn't have it in the house. I'll just have to hope for an invite to your next scrabble party.


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