Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Earl Grey Icing and Salted Caramel

For the Cake:
1 1/2 cups plain/all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 larges eggs
2 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease then line a 8-9 inch cake pan with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, combine cocoa and 3 tablespoons hot water until a thick paste forms (this process intensifies the chocolate flavor). Add butter, buttermilk, eggs, and egg whites; beat until combined. Spoon in flour mixture until smooth. Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool completely.

For the Earl Grey Icing:
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup strongly brewed Earl Grey tea

Beat egg whites in an electric mixer until foamy & thick, they should mound, but not peak. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cream of tartar, 1/4 cup Earl Grey tea and salt. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes, or until a candy thermometer reads 242°F and all the sugar is dissolved. Begin beating the egg whites again and slowly pour in boiling sugar syrup in a slow steam. Continue to beat on high for 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add remaining tea by the tablespoon, beating after each addition. Continue beating until the icing reaches desired consistency (it should hold its shape when piped and cooled), about 2 minutes.

For the salted caramel, use this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.

To assemble, spread icing on the cake and spoon cooled caramel over the top. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for several days.

If you serve this cake for Jesus’ birthday (as we did, on Christmas Day), get this star shaped sparkler candle!

Recipe Source:  S T E P H A N I E   H  @  Raspberri Cupcakes

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