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Earl grey chocolate fudge cake

Infusing a chocolate cake with a hint of Earl Grey tea adds an aromatic tinge to its fudgy excellence – making it a true object of desire

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Ingredients (Makes 10 slices)

For the cake
  • 6 Earl Grey teabags
  • 150ml boiling water
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra butter for greasing
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 150g soft dark brown sugar
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 120g plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids), melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yoghurt

For the Earl Grey cream
  • 4 Earl Grey teabags
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons light muscovado sugar
  • 250g cream cheese

For the chocolate icing
  • 150g plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 100ml double cream
  • 3 tablespoons honey

For the Earl Grey gold dust
  • 2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
  • 1 Earl Grey teabag

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. To make the cake, place the Earl Grey teabags in a cup and cover with the boiling water. Leave the tea to stew for 5 minutes, then squeeze out the teabags and discard, leaving the really strong tea to cool a little. Grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin with butter and a disc of greaseproof paper.

Place all the cake ingredients, including the tea, into a food processor and blend until you have a smooth batter. Pour the batter into the cake tin and level out the surface. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, or until you can stick a metal skewer into the centre and it comes out clean. Leave to cool in its tin, covered with a clean tea towel, for 2 hours.

To make the Earl Grey cream, place the Earl Grey teabags in a small pan and cover with the boiling water. Leave the tea to stew for 5 minutes, then remove the teabags, squeezing out the liquid as you go. Add the sugar to the tea, bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes or until syrupy. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then whisk into the cream cheese.

Slice the cooled cake in half horizontally. Cover the bottom half with the Earl Grey cream, then place the top of the cake back on. Melt the chocolate for the icing in the microwave for 11⁄2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add the double cream and honey, then pour the chocolate icing over the cake. Using a spatula, gently tease the icing around the edges until the whole cake is iced. It looks beautiful if you draw swirls through it.

To make the gold dust, melt the sugar in a small dry frying pan. Once starting to caramelise, empty out the teabag into the caramel and stir the loose tea leaves through. Take off the heat immediately and pour on to a sheet of greaseproof paper. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then grind up in a pestle and mortar until it becomes golden and dusty. Sprinkle over the top of the cake and serve.

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