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.


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


  • 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


  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.

King Trumpet Mushrooms with Orange & Pepper

This is from Shroom – the orange may sound odd, trust me it is wonderful!

  • 8 king trumpet mushrooms, halved and scored 1/8 deep
  • Zest & juice of one orange
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 8 oz arugula

Whisk together zest, juice, olive oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Place mushrooms in a large baking dish and drizzle the dressing over them, rubbing in the dressing. Let rest for at least 30 minutes.

Reserve the dressing. Prepare a grill over high heat. and grill mushrooms on each side until tender and caramelized about 5 minutes each.

Place the marinade in a small pan and bring up a boil, add butter and swirl until melted. Toss with the arugula and serve with mushrooms on top.

Serves 4.


Saffron Chicken and Herb Salad

I’m so backlogged on posting!! This is another amazing dish from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem. I grilled the chicken and it came out wonderfully. It is also great that next day for lunch.

1 orange, cut into 12 wedges
2 1/2 TBSP honey
1 TBSP white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 1/4 c water
2 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs
4 TBSP olive oil
2 fennel bulbs, sliced thin
1 c cilantro leaves, chopped
2/3 c basil, chopped
2/3 c mint leaves, chopped
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 jalapeño, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper

In a small saucepan combine orange, honey, saffron, vinegar and water, bring to a boil then simmer gently for an hour. Orange should be soft and liquid reduced to about 1/4 c. Pulse in food processor until smooth.

Mix chicken with 2 TBSP oil and salt and pepper. Grill over medium high heat until cooked through another 6 min per side. When cool enough, tear into nite size pieces.

Combine chicken, sauce and remaining ingredients in a large bowl.

Serves 6.

Orange Scented Popovers


There is Nothing like fresh popovers for breakfast! These come together quickly and take 30 minutes to bake. I love the hint of orange giving they just the perfect sweetness for a breakfast treat. Mine did not “popover” but they still tasted yummy!

3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp orange zest
1 1/4 c milk
4 TBSP butter, melted
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 425°.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and orange zest. Whisk in the milk and 3 TBSP of the melted butter.

In another bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until only small lumps remain.

Brush the cups of a muffin tin or popover pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon of melted butter and heat the muffin tin in the oven for 5 minutes; the butter will turn a nutty brown.

Carefully fill the muffin cups halfway with the popover batter.

Bake the popovers for about 30 minutes, until they are risen and browned. Turn the popovers out onto a serving platter and serve them right away.

Makes 6 large popovers.


Eggplant Daube


Have I mentioned how much I love Patricia Wells!?! This recipe is amazing! The hint of orange is what really sets it over the top. This recipe is from Vegetable Harvest. Leftovers are heavenly!

2 TBSP olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 small Asian eggplants, cubed
4 tomatoes, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Bouquet Garni (parsley, celery leaves, thyme)
Zest of 1 orange
2 c white wine

Combine oil and onion in a 12 skillet, sweat over low heat for 3 minutes until soft. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine. Cook, covered over the lowest heat possible for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until soft. Remove bouquet Garni and serve.

Serves 6.

Kale Orange & Mango Smoothie


I love my Vitamix and use it almost everyday to pulverize veggies into yummy smoothies. I love starting the day off with a nice serving of raw fruit and veggies. I add some greek yogurt to hold me over till lunch time.

5 – 6 leaves lacinato kale
1 valencia orange, peeled
1 c frozen mango chunks
1/2 c greek yogurt
1 c water

In a powerful blender, combine kale, orange, yogurt, frozen mango and water. Blend on the highest speed until smooth and creamy.

1 WW PP.

Spinach and Orange Salad


This Spinach Salad is perfect to accompany a heavy meal – light and refreshing with just a little kick from the red onion.

8 oz baby spinach
6 – 8 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 oz olive oil
1 oz orange muscat champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

In a small jar combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Shake to combine.

Toss dressing with spinach, mandarins and onions.

Serves 6.

Mango Honey Sorbet


It is starting to feel like summer here in California! Nothing says summer like a cold sorbet!! I found this recipe in Fine Cooking – but forgot to add the mint – next time 😉

Zest from 2 oranges
1/2 c fresh squeeze orange juice
4 c mango
1/2 c honey
2 tsp mint
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Combine all ingredients with 1/2 c water in a blender and purée until smooth.

Using ice cream maker freeze according to manufactures instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze.

Serves 8
3 WW PP per serving

Citrus Spash


I have a bottle of light lemon rum that has been just sitting in my liquor cabinet – this is a problem that had to be remedied. I looked on a few cocktail sites and did not find anything inspiring, so I looked around to see what I had on hand – some citrus, orange liquor and of course the rum and here is what I came up with.

4 oz lemon rum
2 oz orange liquor (like Cointreau)
1 oz meyer lemon juice
1 oz orange juice
Orange rind

Mix in a cocktail shaker with lots of ice and pour into martini glasses.