Earl Grey Tea Cake With Dark Chocolate and Orange Zest

This cake is from the NYT – it so light and magical – the orange zest, chocolate bits and early gray are a winning combination. I upped the cream cheese and cut the cake in half because I like frosting in the middle of my cake.

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • ¾ c heavy cream
  • 2 tsp loose Earl Grey tea
  • ¼ c confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 c cream cheese

FOR THE CAKE:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 ½ c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp loose Earl Grey tea
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ c whole milk, at room temperature
  • ¼ c chopped dark chocolate

PREPARATION

  1. Prepare the frosting: In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 c heavy cream to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in the tea, remove from the heat, cover and let stand for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Strain the tea through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids, and chill the remaining cream until completely cold, at least 1 hour.
  2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, tea, baking powder and salt.
  3. In large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the orange zest and beat to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the flour mixture on low, until just combined, then beat in the milk. (Don’t overmix.) Add the chocolate and fold it in using a spatula. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake just until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Then tip the cake out onto the rack to cool completely. Slice in half, flipping one half onto a plate.
  4. To finish the frosting, add cream cheese with confectioners sugar and best until light and airy. On low speed add the cream and beat slowly increasing the speed until smooth.
  5. Spread 1/3 the frosting on the first layer. Flip the second layer on top. Top the cake with the remaining frosting to serve.
  6. Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days; let come to room temperature before serving.

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