Chocolate and Earl Grey cake with lavender whipped cream
Sometimes you just need a dessert that is dessert. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for healthy choices when it comes to a sweet treat...but I tend to do better when I allow myself to indulge a little here and there. It helps me to make healthier food choices in the grand scheme of things. When I start to feel deprived, that's when trouble usually occurs. Balance has always worked best for me! My only rule of thumb is that when I am going to indulge, I want to know that I am still eating whole foods that I can pronounce. That's pretty much why I bake! I would never be tempted to go out and chow down on a Little Debbie (those days are over), however, give me an hour or two with some eggs and butter and I'm going to make it happen.
If you have earned a little indulgence, this is a recipe to try! On the surface it looks like a simple chocolate cake with fresh whipped cream. Nothing wrong with that. But that first bite is a pleasant surprise that will rock your senses! First you get the deep dark chocolate notes, followed by delicate and refreshing bergamot flavors courtesy of Earl Grey tea. Top this with fresh lavender whipped cream and you will feel you are in a sophisticated tea house in London having cake with the queen!
This would be a wonderful dessert for the holidays, or for your next visit with the queen. Cheerio!
Ingredients: For the cake: 1/4 c plus 3 Tbsp milk 3 Earl Grey tea bags (I used Twinings Organic. Holler!) 250 grams good dark chocolate (I used Endangered Species 88% and WOW) 1 stick of butter 3/4 c plus 1 Tbsp ground almonds 1 c sugar 6 eggs, separated 2 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp salt
Directions: For the whipped cream: (Prepare one day ahead) In a small saucepan, bring dried lavender and heavy cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain the mixture into a jar with a lid and throw out the used lavender. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to use, add confectionary sugar and whip it up with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
For the cake: Preheat the oven the 340 degrees. Grease a 8 inch spring form cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside. Heat milk in a small saucepan so that it's hot, not boiling. Remove tea from the bags and combine tea leaves with milk. Set aside. Melt chocolate, butter, and salt over a double boiler and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Now mix in the ground almonds, then egg yolks, then milk (tea leaves included!), and vanilla. Set aside. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and add sugar and beat until mostly stiff again. Fold the egg whites into chocolate mixture and pour into your spring form. Bake for 28-30 minutes. You want to to have a slight jiggle when you remove it. Allow to cool completely before removing from your tin. Serve with fresh lavender whipped cream. Enjoy!