White Chocolate & Coriander Tea Cake

We didn’t used to like white chocolate, but we gradually learned to really enjoy its qualities ever since we started baking. The key is finding a way to make good use of its buttery, velvety texture and sweetness. You want to make sure it doesn’t become one-dimensional or get too cloying, so pairing it with tart, fruity or nutty flavors is a good idea. This week we learned that white chocolate and coriander seeds are a fantastic flavor match. Whole raw coriander seeds are floral, citrusy and sweet, while toasted coriander seeds are roasty and nutty. Both happen to be really great with white chocolate, so you’ll find both in this recipe, in the cake and the ganache. Bonus: We also discovered that warming your milk with a bit of coriander seed makes a delicious drink. Try it and thank us later.

For the cake:
1/2 cup / 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
85g white chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3 large white eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup calamansi juice
2-3 whole calamansi peels, finely ground or chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp coriander seed, ground
1 bag of white tea
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp salt

For the ganache:
170g white chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tsp toasted coriander seed, ground

Make your cake. Preheat oven to 176°C/350°F. Grease a 9×2 inch cake pan or springform pan. Line base with parchment paper.

In one bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices, salt and contents of the tea bag. Set aside.

In another, combine milk, calamansi juice and peels, egg whites and vanilla extract. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.

Cream the butter and lime sugar with your electric mixer at medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar. Beat for about 3 minutes or until it has become creamy and light-colored. Add melted white chocolate. Beat for another minute or until smooth and well-combined.

Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir by hand to finish.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth with spatula if necessary. Bake at 176°C/350°F for 40-45 minutes (rotate halfway through if necessary) or until cake tester comes out clean or until the sides of the cake have started to pull away from the pan. Unmold and place on the rack to cool for a few minutes.

Make your ganache. Toast your coriander seeds. Put them in a small pan and set over medium heat for a few minutes until they become fragrant. Grind the whole seeds to release the spice’s flavorful aromatic oils.

Place chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Add ground coriander seeds. Cool, stirring occasionally, to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately if you prefer a pourable consistency. If you prefer a thicker, spreadable consistency, then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Have some cake. Sprinkle your slice with a little more toasted and ground coriander seed. Add some white chocolate shavings. Best served warm, with a cup of white tea.

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