Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Trouble with Tea

Over spring break, I had to complete the small back order of cakes, and as receipes and pan sizes worked themselves out, I found I had enough leftover batter from a 8" chocolate cake to fill one of my 4" pans.  My first, immediate thought was to do a tea-cake.

In the chocolate sampler featured below in the Loco for Coco post, there's an Earl Gray Tea-flavored chocolate that I particularly love, and ever since I've been curious to experiment with tea in cakes.  Since the Earl Gray chocolate piece tasted so good, and there happened to be some in the cabinet, I immediately stirred two teabags' worth into the batter, and popped it in the oven.

The baking process was interesting, and a bit nail-biting--the cake puffed up into a highdome, cracked in the center, and oozed in a fascinating replication of a lava flow, which I can only attribute to a chemical reaction to the tea leaves in the baking process; the undoctored batter for the main cakes did lovely, smooth-and-gently-curved baking things.  However, after the quick addition of a foil-covered baking sheet under the pan to catch drips, the tea-cake ended up coming out well--and, as it turned out, I was able to use the cut-off dome as a taste-testing piece. 

Personally, I loved the flavor--mostly chocolate, with a hint of Earl Gray.  Unfortunately other, more experienced members of my immediate family pointed out that Earl Gray, in baked goods, bears a certain resemblance to less legal substances. 

So, the moral of the story?  Tastes great, but perhaps not the best choice to serve at parties.  I'm hoping to try some other teas--especially chai, chai and chocolate sound nice, don't they?  

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