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Celebration Tea Layer Cake #ShelterinPlaceCooking


On Wednesday, Jake and I were celebrating two decades of marriage. And while we normally wouldn't have gone out for dinner anyway, I wanted to make a special dessert as we sheltered in place for our 20th wedding anniversary.


I don't know about where you live, but people have been making a run on flour and eggs here on California's central coast. Seriously. I keep asking myself, "Did people decide they were going to teach themselves how to bake during this ordeal, or what?!?" Thankfully, Pia gave me a bag of flour and Lin gave me eggs. That's the perfect anniversary presents for a sheltered-in-place baker by the way!


So, I started looking at cake recipes and was intrigued by the London Fog cake recipes I stumbled across. Basicially that's an Earl Grey chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream. It sounded divine. But I decided to use the Celebration Tea I had on the shelf from The Republic of Tea instead of Earl Grey. And I added brewed tea to my buttercream as well.

Ingredients makes one three layer 9" cake

Celebration Tea was doubly fitting because it was created to for The Republic of Tea's 20th anniversary as well. According to their website: "A Cup of Celebration - We created this elegant blend in honor of our 20th anniversary. Ceylon black tea leaves from the Court Lodge Estate in Nuwara Eliya on the island of Sri Lanka, along with full tea blossoms and white wine grapes from the Orange River Vineyard in South Africa, create an exquisite, light-colored cup with a fruity, floral profile. Infused with the essence of champagne, this blend is a true cup of celebration." That description doesn't mention them, but there are also dried cornflower petals in there and cornflowers are one of Jake's favorite flowers. Perfect fit!

Cake

  • 2½ C all purpose flour
  • 1 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ t baking powder
  • ¾ t baking soda
  • ½ C olive oil
  • 1½ organic granulated sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 t pure lemon extract
  • 1 t pure almond extract
  • 1½ C whole milk
  • 1 C hot strong-brewed tea (I used the Celebration Tea from Republic of Tea)

Buttercream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 C strong-brewed tea (I used the Celebration Tea from Republic of Tea)
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 T organic agave syrup
  • 2 C butter, softened
  • 1 t pure lemon extract

Chocolate Ganache Drizzle
  • 3 oz dark chocolate, chipped
  • 1/2 C organic heavy cream
  • 2 T organic granulated sugar
  • 1 T butter

Procedure

Cake
Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Grease and line three 9-inch cakes pans with parchment papers. Set aside. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda.

Whisk together olive oil, sugar, eggs, tea, milk, and extracts until well-combined. Gently fold in the flour mixture in two batches. Stir until everything is just moistened.

Divide the batter evenly between prepared pans. Place in the oven and bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let them cool on a wire rack in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before removing the cakes. Invert cakes onto the wire rack and cool completely. 

Buttercream
Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl and beat on high until they are thick, pale, and ribbon off the whisks.

Combine tea, sugar, and agave syrup in a small saucepan. You can attach a candy thermometer to the side; I just kept testing until it reached soft-ball stage. If you're using a thermometer, heat until it reaches 240 degrees F.

Once the syrup is ready, remove it from the heat. While one hand holds the mixer, use the other hand to pour the syrup into the yolks. When all of the syrup is added, turn the mixer up to high and beat until the yolks have doubled in size and have reached medium peak stage. The bowl should be cooled and just lukewarm to the touch. Mine took about 9 minutes.

Begin adding butter, one tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. The more butter you add, the more firm the buttercream will be. Once your buttercream resembles what you think of as buttercream. Add in the lemon extract and beat until well combined.

Chocolate Ganache Drizzle
Place everything except for the cream in a mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Pour the cream into the mixing bowl, making sure that the chocolate is completely submerged. Let sit for 3 minutes. Whisk till smooth. Cool until desired thickness for drizzling.


For Serving
Once the cake layers have cooled completely, place the bottom layer on your serving platter. Add a dollop of buttercream and spread to the edges, then place another layer on top. Repeat, then smooth the buttercream over the top and along the sides.


Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before serving. Drizzle the ganache along the rim of the cake and let it drip down the sides. I also made an organic looking heart on the top.


The boys enjoyed this Celebration Tea Layer Cake with milk. Jake and I did a tasting of our dual bottles of single malt scotch! It was quite a celebration. Cheers...and happy anniversary to me!!


This was as close as we came to a family photo that night: me, Jake, the photo bomber, and the reflection of the photographer!

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