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Desserts

Boba Birthday Cake

Boba Birthday Cake
Evan Sung / For The Times

This may look like a cup of boba, but it’s actually a deconstructed birthday cake. A cross between a parfait and a layer cake, it combines balls of dark chocolate cake “boba” with piloncillo pudding “milk tea” and pound cake ... Read more

30 minutes

Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 1 ½ cups bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened black or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the parchment.

Step 2Combine the butter and chocolate chips in a heavy medium saucepan. Melt over low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl until blended. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. While whisking the eggs continuously, pour in the melted chocolate in a steady stream. Whisk until smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Step 3Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack. Release the pan sides and slide the cake off the base. Serve or use in the Boba Birthday Cake.

Salted Butter and Condensed Milk Pound Cake

  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Step 1Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the parchment.

Step 2Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until pale yellow and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. With the machine running, add the condensed milk in a steady stream and beat until smooth. Scrape the bowl and continue beating on medium speed. With the machine running, add the eggs one at a time, waiting for each to be incorporated before adding the next and scraping the bowl between additions. Beat in the vanilla until incorporated.

Step 3Scrape the bowl and turn the mixer speed to the lowest setting. With the machine running, add the flour mixture gradually. Mix, scraping occasionally, until no dry bits remain and the batter looks smooth. Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Step 4Bake until a skewer or cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Unmold the cake and peel off the parchment. Serve or use in the boba birthday cake.

Piloncillo Pudding

  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 12 ounces (340 grams) piloncillo, coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Step 1Whisk the cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. While whisking continuously, pour in the milk in a steady stream and whisk until smooth. Add the egg yolks and whisk until smooth.

Step 2Put the butter in a large saucepan and melt over medium-high heat. Add the piloncillo and cook, whisking continuously, until very smooth and a darker shade of brown, about 5 minutes. The mixture will separate and look grainy before it comes together again and smooths out. Remove from heat.

Step 3Carefully whisk the piloncillo mixture continuously while adding the cream in a slow, steady stream. Whisk quickly to help the bubbles dissipate and to prevent the sugar from clumping and seizing. Keep whisking until smooth. Place over medium heat.

Step 4Whisk the yolk mixture again and continue whisking while adding about half of the cream mixture in a slow, steady stream. Pour the yolk-cream blend back into the saucepan with the remaining cream mixture while whisking and then bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Once large bubbles pop on the surface, continue to boil for 2 minutes, whisking occasionally.

Step 5Remove from heat and scrape into a large bowl. Set the bowl over another large bowl filled with ice. Stir the pudding occasionally until cool to the touch, about 10 minutes. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours. Use in the Boba Birthday Cake or enjoy on its own.

The cakes can be assembled and refrigerated for up to 4 hours before serving.

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