A flourless chocolate cake flavored with Earl Grey tea, lavender, and flaky sea salt.
- For the Cake:
- 4 ounces (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
- 2 teaspoons Maldon salt
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup dried edible lavender
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon loose Earl Grey tea leaves
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 9 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- To Serve
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Dried edible lavender
- Maldon salt
For the Cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch springform pan with 1 tablespoon butter and line exterior of pan with foil. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon Maldon salt over pan bottom.
Pulse the sugar with 1 tablespoon lavender and 1 teaspoon tea. Set aside.
Combine boiling water with the remaining 3 tablespoons lavender and remaining 3 tablespoons tea in a liquid measuring cup; steep for 5 minutes. Strain mixture into medium heat-proof bowl, pressing on solids to release any liquid.
Add chocolate and remaining 8 tablespoons butter to lavender-tea mixture and set over double-boiler (bottom of bowl should not be touching simmering water). Stir continuously until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth and shiny. Remove bowl from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar vigorously until mixture is a thick, pale paste. Add cocoa, vanilla, and tables salt and whisk until completely incorporated.
Add about 1/4 cup of warm chocolate to the egg yolk mixture and stir until completely incorporated. Whisk in remaining chocolate.
In large, clean, dry bowl beat egg whites and salt with whisk attachment on medium-low speed until whites begin to froth, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and beat whites until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.
Whisk about 1/3 of the meringue into the chocolate batter until completely incorporated. With a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining meringue.
Scrape batter into prepared baking pan and sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon Maldon salt. Bake until top begins to crack and cake tester has moist crumbs attached to it when inserted, about 1 hour.
Transfer cake to cooling rack. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove springform mold and cool completely, about 1 hour. Sift cofectioners’ sugar over cooled cake, and sprinkle with lavender and Maldon salt if desired.
food processor, 10-inch round springform pan