Budding Flower Tea & Meringue Frosted Chocolate Cake

Whenever we hope for something so much and once we get it, we don’t care for it anymore. I guess that’s what makes us human; we are frivolous souls who always in need with something else to distract us at the moment.

I know I sound livid right now. No, I’m not angry at anyone or anything; I’m just bored to tears that my “vacation” is supposed to be enjoyable and carefree but I feel like time is slipping away by doing relatively nothing. I’m spending my precious vacation days with studying for LSATs (dreading on June), running on the treadmill, veg out in front of the TV, and finally bake.

Isn’t it fruitful? My sarcasm is killing me now…Onto the cake! Yes, I paired a flowering tea with this cake. I can’t help it. I live in a house who loves tea and I’m a tea drinker (but I love coffee and espresso more).


A few words about this tea…
Those of you who haven’t read or seen my earlier piece about this particular tea when I had lunch at home, this tea was purchased from Dean & Deluca; the tea company is called Red and Green Company. There are other tea companies and purveyors who might sell a very similar tea, such as Numi. I think the last time I went to Takashimaya, they sold this particular tea.


It’s a very beautiful tea to look at. You plop in a tea “blossom” (that looks like a tied up bundle of leaves) into a glass (my preference is a large wine glass such as the Chardonnay as you see) of hot water and it blooms in front of your very eyes within 3-5 minutes. I probably should have done a photo series of this blooming tea and run a slide show as time elapses…maybe next time when I’m deathly bored.

Anyways, it’s a very floral, grassy tea; that’s if you’re interested in how it tastes. I think this tea would pair well with the chocolate cake since both have a certain earthiness that goes well together and the tea’s grassiness kind of undercuts the rich sweetness of the cake.

The chocolate cake…
I used Martha Stewart’s One Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe. Even though I have time, it doesn’t mean I wanted to do something complicated and lengthy. I’m just not motivated to do complicated recipes today. So this seems fitting to what I wanted to do: easy to make and easy to clean up. I guess my favorite part besides the baking part was torching the meringue at the last minutes before consumption. As you’ll see below:
Somehow, it’s almost a primitive feeling for a person to have fun playing with fire or gadgets. I just have to be careful not to really torch my meringue to the burnt, inedible stage…

Anywhoo, the cake came out well. It was moist, chocolatey and it’s not too sweet. The meringue “frosting” of sorts actually gave the cake the sweetness it needs to be really balanced.

I’m starting to devour this cake…

Cake sliced

Cake innards

I should mention that I baked this cake in individual size. I used a small 4 1/2 or 5 inch springform pans and adjusted the baking time. The recipe that follows is for 8 inch cake pans but you may also do this in cupcake form. It’s a very versatile recipe to bake. The surprising thing is that there’s no butter in this cake. I know, it’s a horror but I ran out of butter and forgot to pick some up from my local supermarket. It won’t happen again…unless I’m going on a healthy dessert streak (which I truly doubt).

One Bowl Chocolate Cake
from Martha Stewart

Makes 2 eight-inch square or 3 eight-inch round layers

Unsalted butter, for pans
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pans (I used Valrhona’s Gastronomie Cocoa)
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter round or square cake pans, and line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment, and dust with cocoa.

2. Into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, stir in eggs, 1 1/2 cups warm water, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla until smooth, about 3 minutes.

3. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake, rotating once, until tester inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes for 8-inch layers, depending on amount of batter.

4. Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely, right side up on rack.

Meringue
4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar

Put egg whites and sugar into a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar has dissolved and mixture reaches 160°, 4 to 5 minutes. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, 7 to 10 minutes. Mound meringue on top of cake; swirl decoratively. Serve or you may b
rown the meringue with a hand held torch or place it in a 475° oven until browned.



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