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Çay Cake – Engin Akyürek

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 discuss their recent fascination despite being several thousand kilometers apart?

We found ourselves to be part of a 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 used 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 😂

His recent fascination has a name, ironically not Italian, but Turkish; he is the globally renowned Turkish actor and the subject of this introduction: “The Prince” Engin Akyürek.

Engin Akyürek
Engin Akyürek
Engin Akyürek

The name of our aforementioned group chat is “Assolutamente Engin,” which gave birth to the Twitter profile AssolutamenteEnginAkyürek.

So, in short, when a food blogger and an Enogastronomic journalist – 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 could unleash rivers of digital ink, serial messages on the subject, days of “in my opinion, it would be ….”

Through countless amounts of conversations to perfect our vision, the idea that once only lived in our minds now here is.

Çay Cake is a sweet tribute to Engin’s passion for tea and 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.”

Finally, the pistachios, a choice that pays homage to his homeland. Gaziantep, a city in southeastern Turkey, has beautiful and endless plantations filled with pistachios.

The“terebinth” variety of pistachio is used to make a drink similar to coffee (menengiç in Turkish).

Çay Cake

In this cake, besides the cream that fills one of the two internal layers, pistachios are crumbled on the surface and inside to give that pleasant crunch sensation and make the taste less monotonous. Just like how Engin knows how to surprise his audience and show the different sides of the characters he plays on screen.

Çay Cake

Çay Cake is an intense and, at the same time, delicate dessert with a solid yet caressing taste, a casket of pleasure. It's an absolute must-try.

Çay Cake

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 // Translated by: Solo-Dolce

Çay Tea
Çay Tea
Cooking Method
Difficulty Intermediate
Prep Time: 25 mins Cook Time: 45 mins Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Best Season Suitable throughout the year

Çay Cake – a tender, Çay soaked sponge cake with chocolate and pistachio layers and a dense silky chocolate ganache frosting.

    Sponge Cake
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5/8 cups flour 00
  • 3.5 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Milk Chocolate Ganache
  • 2/3 cups whipping cream
  • 12.35 ounces milk chocolate
  • Pistachio Cream
  • 5.64 ounces unsalted pistachios (peeled)
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3.5 ounces white chocolate
  • 3.5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Çay Tea Syrup
  • 3 teaspoons Çay tea
  • 1 1/4 water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
    Sponge Cake
    • 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 properly greased and lightly floured cake pan (16 cm in diameter—6 inches round).
    • 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 it has to come out clean.
    • After the time necessary, allow it to cool and remove it from the mold.
    • Allow the sponge cake to cool completely before slicing.
  1. Milk Chocolate Ganache
    • Finely chop the chocolate and gradually pour the hot cream (92 ° C) over it.  
    • Mix gently with the spatula, incorporating as little air as possible.
    • Stir until the chocolate melts, ultimately becoming a compact and shiny cream.
  2. Pistachio 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, add the pistachio paste, and mix everything.
    • Add the pistachio paste and mix everything.
    • Then, with a hand mixer, blend everything until you get a smooth and homogeneous cream.
  3. Çay Tea Syrup
    • We need ~ 200ml of Çay tea to soak our cake.
    • If you don’t have the traditional çaydanlik, you can use two 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, add three 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 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.
  4. Assembling
    • Slice the sponge cake into 3 layers
    • Before soaking the sponge cake, make sure that the sponge cake and the Çay tea syrup are 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.
Keywords: Çay Cake. Engin Akyürek