Earl Grey Fig-Honey Buttercream Cake

 

First layered cake in a while, Earl grey blueberry cake with honey fig buttercream 🙂

I used a earl grey swiss roll layer cake for the sponge. It’s quite a nice soft earl grey-infused chiffon cake part of a blackberry/earl grey swiss roll cake from Sift and Simmer. The earl grey tea is first seeped in warmed milk, which is then used for the sponge. The egg white are beat separately in a meringue then folded in to become a light batter. I baked it in a 10 x 13 inch chiffon cake pan, and cut it into three circular layers for the cake, but it ended up a bit too thin. I’d probably double the recipe next time.  To be perfectly honest, while the texture is nice, I might use a different sponge cake if I were to make this again, as chiffon cakes are in general too fluffy and not sturdy enough for layered cakes! I wouldn’t mind a more buttery flavor as well. (The chiffon cake here is oil based)

The blackberry caramel and honey buttercream were inspired by The Little Vintage Company’s recipe here. The fruit caramel that she described really was quite nice – basically it is a fruit purée mixed into caramel that can be used with any fruit such as blackberry, orange, strawberry etc. I used a combination of blackberry and blueberry. One thing I discovered as an extra perk of this recipe was how nice the consistency was for a drip filling!! It wasn’t too thin or clumpy like a usual puree, and the caramel provided a nice deep flavor to the blueberry. For the honey buttercream, the possibilities are also endless as which ever honey chosen will provide a different flavor profile. I used a light acacia honey! One thing I wasn’t a fan of was the cake recipe unfortunately (which I tested out prior to using the chiffon cake). In hindsight the proportion of butter almost twice the ratio compared to my usual layer cake, which perhaps resulted in a texture that was too dense. The earl grey showed up really nice though with her layered cake recipe. 

To assemble, make sure to generously fill the blackberry/blueberry caramel between the layers and the top for decoration! Place with figs, more berries as well as other decorations of choice 😛 Mine was white gummies from Sugafina I had at home that I was glad gave it a fun look!

Earl Grey Fig-Honey Buttercream Cake
Makes 1 3 layer cake (8 inch)

Earl Grey Chiffon Cake
adapted from Sift and Simmer 

 

3 egg whites room temp
¼ tsp cream of tartar (optional)
30 g granulated sugar
30 ml whole milk warmed
1 bag earl grey tea
3 egg yolks
30 g granulated sugar
30 g vegetable oil
½ tsp vanilla extract
60 g cake flour, sifted

Blackberry Caramel

1 cup (170g) fresh blackberries and/or blueberries
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water

Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream

9-10 (300 grams) egg whites
1 ¼ cups (250g) honey
1 ¼ cups (250g) granulated sugar
3 ½ cups (793g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

To decorate

Fresh blueberries and figs
Decorations of your choice (white gummies)
Gold luster dust powder

To make Earl Grey chiffon cake

 

Preheat oven to 375°F/191°C. Line a 10″ by 13″ baking tray with parchment paper. Add the earl grey tea to the warmed milk and let it steep for 5 minutes.

Separate the egg whites and egg yolks, ensuring the egg whites are added to a clean mixing bowl. Leave at room temperature. Fit the mixing bowl with the egg whites to a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Gradually whisk on low speed until foamy with cream of tartar. Increase the speed gradually and add in the 30g sugar in small increments. Beat until the egg whites reach soft peaks (when the whisk it pulled out, there will be a slight curve to its end). Set aside.

Place the egg yolks in a large bowl. Add in 30g sugar and whisk together until pale yellow ribbon stage. Next, add in the oil, vanilla (or bergamot) extract and cooled earl grey milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the cake flour over the wet ingredients. Use a spatula to mix together.

Fold the whipped egg whites a third at a time, until batter is light and homogeneous. Transfer the cake batter to the baking tray and smooth out the top with an offset spatula. Tap the tray a few times to remove any trapped air bubbles.

Place into the oven and bake at 375°F/191°C for 13-15 minutes, until the top is dry and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and carefully drop it from a height of about 20 cm. Transfer the cake over to a cooling rack, with the parchment-side down.

To make Blackberry Caramel sauce

Place blackberries and blueberry and puree in a blender. Strain through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.

In a medium sized saucepan, combine the sugar and the water. Stir just until combined. Place the saucepan over medium heat. Let the sugar mixture cook, without stirring, until the sugar mixture turns a rich amber color. Take the mixture off the heat to stop the cooking process. Whisk in the blackberry purée. If the caramel seizes, put in back on the stove on low heat, and whisk until smooth. Let the caramel cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a glass jar to cool completely.

To make Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Place egg whites, honey, and granulated sugar in a non-reactive bowl, over a pot of simmering. Whisk constantly and gently until temperature reaches 160F/70C. Place in standmixer. Mix on medium speed with the whisk attachment until the mixture is glossy, reaches stiff peaks and the outside of the bowl is no longer warm. 

Once the mixture reaches stiff peaks, switch out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment and begin mixing on low speed. Add the softened butter cubes, a couple at a time, until incorporated. Let it mix (may take more than 5 minutes, even if it curdles, just mix patiently) until smooth and creamy. Add salt and vanilla extract.  Mix until everything is fully incorporated.

To assemble and decorate

Cut the sheet cake into three rounds. Place a generous amount of icing between each cake layer with the blackberry caramel as well. Frost the top and sides, and then decorate with the blackberry caramel and fruits! Enjoy!

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