Why is the black tea called Russian? Perhaps Russians drink a lot of black tea? Or it is because since I’ve known it from my childhood hiking adventures, it's been served with a shot of rum. That sounds more Russian indeed! The sponge of my cake is nicely soaked in the winter “Christmas” tea, therefore, Russian Black Tea Cake.
I’ve got inspired by a classic pink punch cake recipe. However, I tried to please the sweet tongue of my parents, more chocolate like. By that means, I divided the sponge into a bright and a cocoa one. Afterwards, I soaked the cocoa sponge in the flavoured tea, layered each of the sponge with dissolved cranberry marmalade. I topped up the last layer with the scrumptious cranberry and nutty filling and finished the beauty with chocolate whipped cream. This was a pure success, let me tell you!
You can make the cake from ½ of the ingredients, if you fancy a medium cake. Note that this amount is for higher impressive 20 cm cake of 4 layers. Happy Valentine’s to all of you!
My Russian Black Tea Cake is suitable for kids from the age of 3.
Total Time: 2 hours + overnight chill in the fridge
10 whole eggs
400g of icing sugar, sifted
200ml of lukewarm milk
200ml of sunflower oil
500g of semi-coarse flour, sifted
20g of baking powder, sifted
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder dissolved in a bit of warm water
Russian Black Tea:
500ml of good quality black tea
150g of caster sugar
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
Juice and zest from 1 orange
80ml of dark rum
A handful of raisins
A handful of dried cranberries
Filling as per in my Luxurious Austrian Cookies Recipe:
3-4 tablespoons of cranberry marmalade
90g of walnuts, raisins, cranberries previously cooked in the tea
3 tablespoons of icing sugar, sifted
Chocolate Whipped Cream:
250ml of double cream
100g of good quality dark chocolate
Sugar roses and hearts to decorate with
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Put all the eggs with icing sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk on high speed until you have it foamy in about 3 minutes. Gradually, start adding milk and oil.
Afterwards, stir in the flour with baking powder and whisk until incorporated. Divide the mixture equally and add cocoa powder dissolved in water in half of the mixture. Give it a last whisk and mold into 2 greased baking tins lined with some baking paper (I used 2 springforms of 20 cm).
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until a wooden skewer comes clean from the middle. Then, take them out and let them cool down entirely. While still warm, run a warm sharp knife around the edges and open the springforms.
Russian Black Tea
Place all the ingredients into a deep medium pan: black tea, sugar, lemon, orange, rum, raisins and cranberries. Bring it to boil and cook for about 5-10 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the alcohol vaporizes. If you want an adult version, cook without the rum and add it afterwards, once you take it off the heat.
Set aside and sieve it through a sifter. Raisins and cranberries you place in a blender for further processing.
In a small deep pan place cranberry marmalade and 1/2 cup of water. Cook it for about 2 minutes until you have a nice and smooth consistency. Take off the heat and sieve it to get an even smoother texture. All the hard pieces you can just add into the Filling no. 2.
Next, in a blender place the walnuts, raisins, cranberries, sugar, hot water and the rest of the marmalade. Mix until you get a very smooth and creamy butterish texture like. Taste and set aside.
Take both of The Sponges out of the forms and gently remove the baking papers. If needed, cut off the top to flatten them. Brush the crumbs away and start building the cake.
Place the 1st bright Sponge in the bottom of your springform and close it tight. Then, layer with one-third of the dissolved marmalade and cover with the 1st dark Sponge.
Next, slowly pour the Russian Black Tea over the Sponge. Let it soak nicely and continue with a half of the liquid. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and cover with the 2nd-third of the marmalade. Then, the 2nd dark Sponge on top. Repeat and pour over the Russian Black Tea, few at a time. When there is no liquid left, layer with the Filling 2. Gently smoother with a knife and cover with the last bright Sponge. Make it juicy with the rest of the marmalade and refrigerate until next day.
Chocolate Whipped Cream
In a steam bath melt dark chocolate. Gradually, start adding the double cream. Mix until you get a smooth and shiny texture.
Afterwards, take off the heat and let it cool down entirely. Then, refrigerate overnight.
Next day, whip the cream for a bit so you have a smooth and thick texture. Transfer the cream into a piping bag and cut off the end. Decorate the top of the cake. Finish with some sugar figures and refrigerate until serving.
Makes 12 serves of the Russian Black Tea Cake.