Earl Grey Chocolate Cake

Certain days call for sophistication. Heels above trainers, straighteners in place of hair ties and tailored rather than swathed. Life may not be taking you anywhere special but sometimes you need to feel as though it is (and you are). When these days are upon us, not a detail should be overlooked, right down to the cuppa. This is the day to politely decline the everyday leaf – an Earl Grey will do very nicely thank you.

Opening a Twinings tea sachet always feels a bit luxurious. It seems to create a sense of occasion as a newly opened selection box of chocolates or a gift tin of biscuits will do. Perhaps this harks back to a long past era when these everyday indulgences were ‘special treats’ and like Pavlov’s dogs, our automated response of pleasure is ignited at the break of the seal. Whatever the precursor, it’s lovely to have a small collection of these packages sequestered in the pantry when the need for a little spoiling arises. On occasions such as these, a fragrant Earl Grey is my (and Nigella’s I believe) sachet of choice.

And as the glamorous assistants on the Chanel counter will advise, for maximum effect,  it is always best to layer your fragrances (ie purchase the entire range). So, in keeping with this prestigious advice, you can ‘layer up’ the Earl experience by baking one of these divine Earl Grey chocolate cakes to accompany your next EG brew. A lovely fudgey chocolate cake with the infusion of tea adding another dimension altogether.

With this powerhouse of an international ingredient list collaboration: (Swiss Lindt chocolate, British Twinings tea, Greek yoghurt, Danish Lurpak butter and Melburnian boiling water), how could this cake possibly fail to deliver anything other than the height of baked sophistication?

6 Earl Grey tea bags
1 cup boiling water
120g butter, softened
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
100 dark chocolate, melted & cooled
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt
icing sugar for dusting

  1. Preheat oven to 180° C. Grease a bundt tin or large cake pan (this makes a generous cake).
  2. Brew the tea in the water 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and set the tea aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Blend in the chocolate.
  5. Mix through the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt.
  6. Mix through the yogurt and tea alternately. Your batter will be light and fluffy. Pour into the pan.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out cleanly.
  8. Cool for  5 minutes, turn out of the pan and dust with icing sugar

a slice of earl grey chocolate cake

Postscript: And with the recent Gatsby mood infiltrating our consciousness, you can also pour a cup, cut a slice and channel your inner Daisy Buchanan.