Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Chocolate and Lapsang Souchong Cake

I had a lovely email from a fan of my blog from Canada to say she was planning a trip to London and would love to order a cake from Victoria's Cake Boutique during her stay. I sent her the cake list and it was the chocolate and Lapsang Souchong that she chose. I made an extra one to share with the lovely Chris Neill, who had come round for lunch and a lesson in backgammon from Richard. He writes a very funny food blog called Chris Neill's Dirty Kitchen, which I  thoroughly recommend you all have a read of it. When my Canadian client collected her cake, I promised to post up the recipe so she could make the cake herself when she returned home. So here you go, Sarah, enjoy!

Chocolate and Lapsang Souchong Cake

The smokiness of the Lapsang Souchong really complements the bitterness of the dark chocolate and the fudginess of the molasses sugar in this cake. If you aren't a fan of Lapsang Souchong tea, this probably won't be on the top of your list of "recipes to try", but I urge you to give it a go anyway - this may just surprise you. This cake is also naturally gluten-free and, if you choose not to ice it, dairy-free too.

Preheat the oven to 180C (160C Fan) and grease and line a 6" round tin.

For the cake 

150g/ 6oz good quality dark chocolate
3 eggs, 2 separated
75g/ 3oz molasses sugar
50g/ 2oz caster sugar
75g/ 3oz ground almonds
A pinch of salt
2-3 heaped teaspoons Lapsang Souchong tea, finely ground

  • Melt the chocolate in a heatproof dish over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Place the egg yolks and whole egg and sugars in a large bowl and whisk together until pale and fluffy.
  • Mix the cooled chocolate into the egg mixture and then stir in the ground almonds and Lapsang Souchong.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until it gets to the stiff peak stage.
  • Fold the whisked whites into the chocolate mixture a third at a time, keeping as much air in the mixture as possible.
  • Pour the mixture into a tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour - this really depends on your oven - or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Pop the cake, still in its tin, on a wire rack to cool, before turning out.
For the ganache icing

100g/ 4oz good quality dark chocolate, chopped
100 ml double cream
2 tbsp light muscovado sugar
2 - 3 heaped tsp of Lapsang Souchong
50g/ 2oz soft, unsalted butter, cubed 

  • Place the chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl.
  • Place the cream, sugar and tea leaves in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has melted and the cream just begins to boil. 
  • Strain the cream through a sieve on to the chopped chocolate and leave to stand for one minute before stirring with a plastic or wooden spatula (a metal spoon will reduce the temperature) until all the chocolate has melted. 
  • Whisk in the butter and leave the icing to cool.
  • Whisk again quickly before spreading on the ganache icing on the top and sides of the cake with a palette knife.
  • Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy!