We’re a little tea crazy around here, and Tazo Passion is one of my favorites. It’s tart, fruity, tends to steep quite strongly and has a beautiful color. For those who haven’t tried it, Tazo his a mix of orange, passionfruit, lemongrass, rosehip and hibiscus flavors. It’s a refreshing flavor that tends to taste best iced (in my humble opinion).
As I sipped my Tazo the other day I thought, “Man, this would make a solid cake flavor.” Five minutes later I had decided that it was my purpose in life to make a Tazo cake.
The result of that idea is below! I made a chiffon cake with fresh tea and filled it with a delicious fruit mousse. The version below is made with orange, but the recipe also works exceptionally well with mango. I think both are great, so I’m including both versions.
Tazo Passion Tea Cake
Tazo Passion Chiffon
4 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cup (140g) sifted cake flour
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp (95ml) very strong Tazo Passion tea (2 bags, steeped for 4 minutes)
1/4 cup (60ml) canola oil
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pink food coloring (optional)
1. Pre-heat your oven to 325°F (160°C) and line the bottoms of two 6″/15cm round cake pans with parchment. You can use shortening or butter to make the parchment stick, but do not grease the parchment.
2. Combine egg yolks, canola oil and tea, whisking until foamy and well-beaten. In a separate bowl, sift together the sugar, baking powder, salt and cake flour. Fold the flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture until just combined. Depending on how much you like the color the tea gave your batter, you can fold in a bit of food coloring or move on to the next step.
3. Using clean beaters, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar to stiff peaks. Fold gently into the egg yolk mixture. Pour 2/3 into one of the cake pans and about 1/3 into the second. Knock pans on counter 3 times to remove any large air bubbles. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Since one cake has half the batter of the other, it will be done first. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once completely cool, the cakes should have pulled away from the sides, and you should be able to depan both cakes. Level your layers and split the larger layer so you end up with 3 cake layers.
Tazo Passion Syrup
1/4 cup (60ml) strong Tazo Passion tea (1 bag, steeped for 4 minutes)
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1. Pour hot tea over sugar, and stir. Allow sugar to dissolve and let syrup cool.
Orange (or Mango) Mousse
3/4 cup (180ml) mango puree OR pulpy fresh-squeezed orange juice
3-5 tbsp (40-60g) of sugar
1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp gelatin
4 tbsp water
1. Combine the gelatin and water in a small bowl and allow to bloom for five minutes. In a small saucepan, bring your puree to a boil. Add your sugar to taste, then boil until the mix has reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove from the heat, then stir in the bloomed gelatin until dissolved.
2. In a clean bowl, whip the cream to medium peaks. Cool the puree over an ice bath until no longer warm, then fold the whipped cream into it until the mixture looks smooth. If you have chunks for some reason, give it a brief once-over with a whisk. Set the bowl of mousse over an ice bath once more, and stir it gently now and then until it firms up enough to pipe with.
1 orange OR 1 mango, sliced thinly
1 tsp tazo tea bag contents, rubbed between your fingers to crumble finely
1. Place one layer of cake on your cake plate and brush it with the tea syrup. Using a piping bag with a large round tip, pipe a series of bulbs around the outer edge of the cake, and fill in the center with more mousse.
2. Place a second layer of cake on top of the mousse and gently press it level. Brush the cake layer with syrup and pipe another layer of mousse. On a separate plate, brush syrup onto the final layer and allow it to soak in for 5 minutes. Then, flip the third layer and put it onto your cake syrup side down.
3. Using slices of your fresh fruit, and your remaining mousse, garnish the top of the cake as desired. Sprinkle with the crushed tea leaves and serve.
A quick note about storing this cake: it’s best not to fill it until the day you’re going to serve it, since the cake is “naked.” You could drape it in saran wrap in a pinch, however. Also, the tea granules will swell up and leak some red color after sitting on the mousse for a while, so sprinkle those on right before you’re about to serve.
This cake was super light and summery. The tea has a tiny hint of bitterness that works well with the sweet mousse filling, and in terms of texture chiffon is always a good way to go.
As with any tea-based thing, be sure not to oversteep it, lest you end up with the wrong kind of bitter flavor. Happy baking!