Çay Cake – a tender, Çay soaked sponge cake with chocolate and pistachio layers, and a dense silky chocolate ganache frosting.
What happens when an Italian Food Blogger based in America and an Italian Enogastronomic Journalist find themselves chatting about their recent fascination despite being several thousand kilometers apart?
We found ourselves to be part of a really dedicated WhatsApp group chat to share and talk about the recent fascination mentioned above – we joke around with other fans scattered around Italy, fantasize, comment on scenes, photographs, series dialogues, films, interviews learned by heart; we don’t even have the verses of “San Martino “by Giosuè Carducci (he was an Italian poet, writer, literary critic) memorized to this extent.
Instead of staying stagnant in our simple and pure idolatry, we’ve resulted in using our admiration for creative fuel.
Maybe our Italian artist genes finally shined through and we can finally be recognized as the next great ushers of the renaissance 😂
Just to clear things up: the recent fascination has a name, which is ironically not Italian, but Turkish, he is the globally-renowned Turkish actor and the subject of this introduction: “The Prince” Engin Akyürek.
The name of our aforementioned group chat is “Assolutamente Engin”, which then gave birth to the Twitter profile: AssolutamenteEnginAkyürek.
So in short, when a food blogger and an Enogastronomic journalist – both passionately devoted to the art of Italian cuisine – find themselves chatting about their recent passion, the work of Engin Akyürek, their creative juices start flowing. And it then results in a simple and silly question: “If Engin were a dessert, what dessert would he be?”
This question was capable of unleashing rivers of digital ink, serial messages on the subject, days of “in my opinion, it would be ….”
Through countless amounts of conversation to perfect our vision, the idea that once only lived in our minds now here it is.
Çay Cake is a sweet tribute not only to Engin’s passion, for the tea, but to his habit of sipping warm and fragrant çay on the set between scenes.
A dessert that is not overly sweet or cloys, like Engin.
A dessert with His Majesty, The Chocolate: a ruling monarch in the world of pastries which fits perfectly with the name the media knighted Engin, “the Prince”.
And finally the pistachios, a choice that pays homage to his homeland. Gaziantep, a city in southeastern Turkey, has beautiful and endless plantations everywhere filled with pistachios.
The“terebinto” variety of the pistachio is used to make a drink similar to that of coffee (called menengiç khavesi in Turkish).
In this cake, besides the cream that fills one of the two internal layers, pistachios are crumbled on the surface and on the inside, to give that pleasant crunch sensation to make the tasting less monotonous. Just like how Engin knows how to surprise his audience and show the different sides to the characters he plays on screen.
Çay Cake is intense, and at the same time delicate dessert, with a strong yet caressing taste, a casket of pleasure. An absolute must-try.
And to be enjoyed – of course – together with a good çay and an Engin Akyürek film to set the mood.
Written by: Rosaria Bianco aka Ros (LeRos.news) // Translated by: Solo-Dolce
- 3 eggs
- 100g sugar (1/2 cup)
- 70g flour (5/8 cup)
- 100g dark chocolate (melt in a bain-marie) (3.54 oz)
- 1 tsp baking powder
Milk Chocolate Ganache
- 150ml whipping cream (2/3 cup)
- 350g milk chocolate (12.35 oz)
- 160 g Unsalted Peeled Pistachios (5.64 oz)
- 150 g Sugar (3/4 cup)
- 100 g White Chocolate (3.5 oz)
- 50 g Butter (3.5 Tbsp)
- 100 ml Milk (~ 1/2 cup)
Çay Tea Syrup
- 3 teaspoons Çay tea
- 300ml water (1 1/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- Mix the eggs with the sugar.
- Beat the mixture in a mixer for 15-20 minutes at medium speed.
- Add the melted chocolate and mix carefully with whipped eggs.
- Add the sifted flour and baking powder with a spatula from the bottom to the top to obtain a homogeneous consistency.
- Put the mixture into the cake pan (16 cm in diameter - 6-inch round) properly greased and lightly floured.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (356°F) for about 40 minutes, never open the oven before 30 minutes.
- Do the toothpick test to check cooking, insert it in centers, and has to come out clean.
- After the time necessary to allow it to cool and remove it from the mold.
- Allow the sponge cake to cool completely before slicing.
Milk Chocolate Ganache
- Finely chop the chocolate and gradually pour the hot cream (92 ° C) over it.
- Mix gently with the spatula, trying to incorporate as little air as possible.
- Stir until the chocolate melts completely becoming a compact and shiny cream.
- Blend the pistachios with the sugar in a blender until you get a paste, add half the milk, and continue to blend them.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter and the chopped chocolate over low heat in the remaining milk.
- Remove from the heater and add the pistachio paste and mix everything together.
- Add the pistachio paste and mix everything together.
- Then with a hand mixer, blend everything until you get a smooth and homogeneous cream.
Çay Tea Syrup
- We need ~ 200ml of Çay tea to soak our cake.
- If you don’t have the traditional çaydanlik , you can use 2 pots, one smaller to brew the tea and one larger for the additional boiled water.
- Put 100ml of water in the small pot and bring it to a boil, remove it from the stove and add 3 teaspoons of Çay tea and let it brew for at least 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile bring the remaining water (200 ml) to boil in the large pot.
- To obtain 200ml of Çay tea, fill a 1/3 of cup with the brewed tea mixture, add the boiled water from the large pot and it should reach about 200ml, add the sugar and mix very well.
- Slice the sponge cake in 3 layers
- Before soaking the sponge cake, make sure that the sponge cake and the Çay tea syrup are completely cold.
- Soak the layers with the Syrup.
- Spread the pistachio cream on top of the lower disc of the sponge cake.
- Top with the central disc.
- Spread on it ½ milk chocolate ganache and cover with the last layer.
- Frost the stacked cake with the remaining milk chocolate ganache .
- Sprinkle with chopped pistachio and dark chocolate flake.