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Earl Grey Cake with Lavender Buttercream and Dark Chocolate Ganache

What's with me and the super long cake titles??? I don't make cakes all that often... but I guess when I do I go all out. For my 22nd birthday I decided that I needed to make myself an extra special cake.  

I had some teas from Blackbird Tea Co. sitting there waiting to be infused into some sweets, and I always have organic lavender buds from Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm, and 70% organic dark chocolate from Theo Chocolate laying around.  I was feeling inspired by beautiful photos of cakes on Instagram and this is what I came up with!

The combination of earl grey and lavender first came to me when I was working for Snoqualmie Ice Cream.  One of my recipes in the 2015 recipe book was a "Lavender Fog," a spin on a London Fog which is typically earl grey tea steeped in milk and finished with vanilla syrup.  We dropped the syrup and added a scoop of lavender ice cream!  It was one of the dreamiest floats ever, and it brought this sweet combination to my attention. 

Sorry for the lack of photos in the post.. I FINALLY ordered myself a new camera, although I won't receive it for a few more days.  The good: this is my LAST iPhone photo blog post!  The bad: this cake deserved some more photo love than my iPhone could give. 

Earl Grey Cake with Lavender Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache

INGREDIENTS

For the cake...

4 Cups cake flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1.5 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 Cup pure cane sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

4 large eggs, room temperature

2 Cup whole milk, room temperature

2 tsp earl grey tea

For the buttercream...

1 tsp. lavender buds

1/2 Cup heavy cream

1/2 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 Cups powdered sugar

For the ganache...

9 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

 

 INSTRUCTIONS

For the cake...

1.Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, and three 4-inch round cake pans, set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a light simmer.  Remove from heat and add the earl grey to the milk.  Put a lid on the saucepan and let steep for 20-30 minutes. When finished, strain the tea out and discard, and set the milk aside.

2.n a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a stand attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is completely combined. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add half of the flour mixture, beating until combined. Beat in the infused milk in a steady stream, followed by the other half of the flour mixture.

4. Divide the cake batter into the prepared cake pans.  Bake the larger rounds for 20-25 minutes, and the smaller rounds for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then invert onto wire racks to cool completely. 

For the buttercream...

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream and lavender until it just comes to a boil. Remove from hear and cover. Let the cream infuse for 20 minutes. Once infused, strain the lavender out of the cream, and set the cream aside. 

2. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is creamy, and add the powdered sugar 1/2 Cup at a time. Slowly add the infused cream until you get a consistency you like. If the mixture gets too runny, add more powdered sugar. 

For the ganache...

1. Place chocolate in a medium bowl.  In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a light simmer.  Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate.  Let stand for five minutes, then stir until smooth.  Let sit at room temperature until the ganache is thickened but still pourable. 

Assembly...

When the cakes are completely cool, place one layer at a time on a cake stand and frost.  (PLEASE NOTE: This frosting recipe is enough for the "naked" look as pictured.  If you want your cake fully frosted, double the frosting recipe.)  Once each layer is stacked up and frosted, pour the ganache over the top so that it falls down the sides.  Enjoy!

 

 

Krista NelsonComment