You wanna piece of me?!
Last Monday it was one of my best friend’s 25th birthday! She joined the quarter century club with me and it was awesome. Every year I look forward to her birthday for a few reasons:
1) Her birthday is in AUGUST which means it’s hot and delicious and completely the opposite from my birthday in January. She has so many more possibilities to do things to celebrate, and many of them can be outside.
2) Every year I get to make her something different. She finds some of the most outrageous recipes and sends them to me saying, “THIS” and that’s what I make. Sometimes it’s a seasonally inappropriate pumpkin cheesecake, sometimes it’s something else entirely.
She sent me this recipe 2 years ago. But, since I left for New Zealand before last birthday, I couldn’t make it for her. I vowed to make it this year. And I did. It is a ridiculous cake, and I have not attempted to make it healthy in any way.
I did change it a little bit…but not much. I ended up making two versions of the cake itself, because the first one failed spectacularly. Not because I did anything wrong, but because the freakin’ pans I used are the bane of my existence. Stupid pans ruining my cake. *grumble grumble*
Anyway, it is an Earl Grey chocolate cake, with lavender ganache and cream cheese frosting. Rich, fudge-y, chocolate-y. I was a little concerned about the lavender flavor, but I think it worked out. It was different, but worked with the chocolate. In this recipe, I decreased the lavender (since mine had a biiiit too much). But, yes. Delicious.
As the birthday girl says, “Would eat again.” And that’s a stamp of approval.
Earl Grey Chocolate Cake with Lavender Ganache and Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from What We’re Eating
4 tbsp Earl Grey tea, ground into a fine powder using a spice mill/coffee grinder, or mortal and pestle
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c sugar
1-2 tbsp Blackstrap molasses
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. 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 started to simmer gentle. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. 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, buttermilk, and molasses. 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 in the preheated oven for 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.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the ganache and the frosting.
8 oz heavy cream
12 oz good semi-sweet chocolate, chopped in chunks (or chips)
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1-2 drops Lavender essential oil
- Place chocolate, vanilla, and salt in a heat proof bowl and set aside.
- Heat cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour simmering cream over chocolate mixture. Let sit for 60 seconds then whisk until all chocolate is melted and the ganache is shiny and smooth. Add lavender oil and stir until incorporated. Let chill for 20-30 minutes, until thickened slightly, before using as a filling for cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
16 oz powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
- Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at a slow speed until the sugar is incorporated, then increase to medium speed until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
Frosting the cake:
- 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 layer.
- Evenly spread cream cheese frosting over the top and sides of the cake.
You may not use all of the frosting, or all of the ganache. Once frosted, carefully remove and discard the parchment paper lining the bottom of the cake.