This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Relishments!
You may or may not be aware, but I have a bit of an Earl Grey obsession. I also have a bit of a lavender obsession. Examples include these cookies, this ginger ale, this latte, and this pastry. If either of those flavors is an option (bonus points if they’re together), I will be making and/or ordering it.
So, when I stumbled upon this recipe for Serious Eats Lavender-Earl Grey Flourless Chocolate Cake during my collecting of recipes for this month’s Relishments Bakes, the decision about what I’d be making was immediately made.
Did this recipe have several negative comments discussing how poorly written and overly complicated it was? Yes. But I could not be deterred.
I found the beginning of the recipe to be really clear. I don’t have Maldon salt, but I sprinkled some table salt — probably less than a teaspoon — in the bottom of my greased 9″ springform (the recipe calls for a 10″, but I don’t have one). Making the lavender and tea-infused sugar was easy, as was straining the tea mixture made in Step 3.
There’s some debate in the comments about whether the recipe wants you to use the liquid tea (made in Step 3) or the remaining tea solids, but it seemed to me that the liquid was the right choice. Why would you make tea otherwise? So, I added the liquid to the chocolate and butter and melted over a double boiler. For the chocolate, I used Ghiradelli Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips, my very favorite for all recipes calling for bittersweet chocolate or any type of chocolate chips. I didn’t bother to chop them.
It was at this point that I struggled with the recipe. I never have problems separating eggs (I use a tool like this) but I managed to break yolks on 3 separate attempts. Eventually, after the most careful egg separating I have ever done, I separated 9 eggs. A lot of whisking followed.
The remaining steps involved making meringue in my stand mixer and folding the meringue into the rest of the batter ingredients. The finished mixture looked great and poured into the pan well. I topped the cake with a bit of sea salt.
After an hour of baking, the top layer of my cake had risen above the edge of the springform pan and looked done, but the cake tester came out very wet. I returned the cake the oven for another 15 minutes (10 minutes, then another 5) before ultimately removing it from oven and cooling it for 10 minutes before taking off the springform.
It came out of the pan successfully and, settled fine despite what appeared to be uneven baking between the top and bottom of the cake. After it had cooled completed, we sliced into it and sampled it.
As far as I can tell, the cake came out well. The overall texture is very fudgy, but the top is crisp. The salt on the top and bottom are definitely noticeable and not always in a good way. This may be an error on my part, but I think I’ll skip the extra salt next time. There’s a hint of Earl Grey and lavender, but it’s not as strong as I might prefer. Overall, I’m pleased with how this recipe came out.
Stay tuned for the next challenge soon!