Tea Cakes

Long, cold, and dark winter afternoons are the perfect opportunity to light some candles, curl up on the sofa with a good book, and have some sweet nibbles and a cup of tea. It’s the best way to decompress after the holiday madness, and an hour or two without any electronic gadgets (think no cell phone, computer, or TV) is pure balsam for the soul. I finally have time to catch up on my reading – there are three stacks of unread books piled up in my living room, and I can’t wait to work my way through them. Right now, I’m enjoying “The Wayfinders” by Wade Davis, an eloquently written plea for the preservation of our planet’s cultural diversity.

I hope everyone had a great start to the New Year and is able to find some time to indulge in a good book and a tea cake or two! By the way, these little cakes are also great for a party buffet or when you have guests over for tea.

Spiced Chocolate Tea Cakes
200g butter, softened at room temperature
100g sugar
4 egg yolks
150g dark chocolate (72%)
5 tablespoons heavy cream
100g milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 egg whites
1 pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
100g flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

1. Whisk butter in a mixing bowl until creamy.
2. Add egg yolks and sugar and mix until light and fluffy.
3. Melt dark chocolate and cream and stir until well combined.
4. Mix chocolate and cream into batter.
5. Stir in milk chocolate chunks.
6. In a separate bowl, beat eggs whites and pinch of salt until foamy.
7. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
8. Stir cornstarch, baking powder, and spices into flour.
9. Gently fold 1/3 of stiff egg whites into batter, then stir in 1/3 of flour mix.
10. Fold in remaining egg whites and flour, alternating between the two.
11. Pour batter into small tea cake pan (alternatively, the batter is enough to fill up one guglhupf form, or a large rectangular cake pan).
12. Bake at 180C/350F for about 12 minutes (if using guglhupf form or cake pan, bake for about 55 minutes).
13. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 2 minutes before inverting cakes.
14. Dust with powdered sugar (optional).


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