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Line a 6- inch round cake tin with parchment paper on the bottom and around the sides. Don’t grease the pan. Set the pan aside. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Separate the egg whites from the yolk from 2 eggs. To the egg yolks, add 1 tsp of cornstarch (if you are using cake flour, skip this step), 1 tbsp of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until you cannot feel any sugar granules.
Using a stand mixer or an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until they become frothy. Add 1/3 of the granulated sugar (total 1/4 cup sugar) and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Continue to add the sugar in thirds until the entire 1/4 cup of sugar is added. Before the meringue becomes forms medium peaks, add in your vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste and mix it in.
Once the meringue is well formed, add in your egg yolk mixture. Carefully mix in the egg yolks without deflating the meringue.
Sift in half of your flour (total 1/3 cup). Gently fold in half of the flour using a spatula. Fold the meringue from the outside, gently lifting the spatula and scooping on the outside of the bowl. This will prevent your meringue from deflating. Once you can no longer see any flour, sift in the last half of the flour and repeat folding until no flour remains visible.
In a separate bowl, add in 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and 1 tbsp of milk. Add in around 2 tbsp of the batter and mix well. It’s okay to deflate this small amount of batter. Pour the oil milk batter around the outside of the main batter and gently fold until it becomes one.
Pour the batter into your lined cake pan. Using a chopstick, swirl it around the batter to gently deflate air bubbles and evenly spread out the batter. Tap the cake pan on a flat counter once to again, deflate any air bubbles.
Bake at 325 Fahrenheit for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Do not open the oven door, until the cake is around 95% baked, otherwise, it will deflate. Once the top is golden brown, remove it from the oven and let it cool completely on the counter in the pan. The genoise may deflate slightly (especially around the sides) but that’s okay. The genoise should not deflate more than around 10-15% height-wise.
Use store-bought or homemade boba pearls. To cook: Boil a medium-sized pot of water. Once the water comes to a boil, add in 3/4 cup of uncooked boba pearls. Cook for 30 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring once in a while.
After 30 minutes, remove the pot from the heat. Cover with a lid and let it sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar (or to your level of sweetness) and mix. Remove around 1 cup of pearls and let it cool.
In a microwave-safe cup, add in 2 tbsp of heavy cream. Warm it up for around 20 seconds, until it is warm to touch. Add in 2-3 tbsp of Royal Milk Tea powder (depending on how strong you want it) and mix well, until the powder is dissolved. Add in ¼ cup of mascarpone cheese and mix well.*If you don't have Royal Milk Tea Powder, steep 2-3 tbsp of heavy cream with one black tea bag of your choice. Cool slightly, then add mascarpone cheese. Continue on to step two.
Using a whisk, hand mixer, stand mixer (or even an immersion blender- which is what I used), add in ½ cup of heavy cream with 1 tbsp of granulated sugar. Whip until you form soft peaks. *If you don’t have Royal Milk Tea Powder, and are using black tea to flavour the cream, add in an additional tbsp of sugar.*
Add the milk tea mascarpone to the whipped cream and add ½ tsp of vanilla extract. Mix until the mascarpone is just mixed into the whipped cream.
Remove the cooled genoise from the cake pan. Remove the parchment paper and place the cake onto a plate. Add a generous amount of mascarpone milk tea cream on top. You can add some to the side if you like, but I chose not to for a more rustic look.
Add around 1 cup of cooled boba pearls on top of the cream. Slice and serve immediately! Boba pearls are best consumed the day of, however will still be good for one day in the fridge.