Never have I baked a cake that is more perfect for tea-time! As its name suggests, this Earl Grey tea and lemon cake is infused with oil of bergamot and drizzled with a lemon icing.
You begin by steeping Earl Grey tea in hot milk. We used a lovely loose leaf tea from Fortnum & Mason however Earl Grey teabags will suffice.
The recipe I used was by ex-Bake Off contestant, Urvashi Roe and it was originally for mini loaf cakes. I don’t have any mini loaf tins (yet!), so I used a single 500g/1lb loaf tin and upped the cook time to an hour.
I know that ‘lemony’ cakes often top the charts when it comes to people’s favourites (Justin included), but personally I’m not the biggest fan of lemon flavour – however, a little drizzle of the icing I could handle! I suppose I could supplement the lemon juice and zest with a little of my home-made elderflower cordial.
Teaming this cake with a cup of Earl Grey or full-bodied Darjeeling or Assam is tea-time heaven!
- 125ml/4½fl oz milk
- 4 tsp loose Earl Grey tea (or 4 tea bags)
- 115g/4oz butter, softened
- 225g/8oz caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 125g/4½oz self-raising flour
- 125g/4½oz plain flour
- ½ lemon, juice & zest
- 200g/7oz icing sugar
- Place the milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and immerse the Earl Grey tea in the hot milk. Cover the pan and set aside for 40 minutes to allow the tea to steep
- Strain the liquid from the leaves (or squeeze the liquid out of the teabags) and set the liquid aside to cool some more
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/355ºF/Gas mark 4. Grease and line a 500g/1lb loaf tin with baking parchment
- Cream together the butter and sugar using an electric whisk or free standing mixer with a paddle attachment. It takes a while - about 10 minutes and you'll need to scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time
- Once the mixture is light & fluffy, add the eggs one by one and mix well. Add half the flour and half of the tea-infused milk and mix until combined. Add the rest of the flour and milk and mix until there are no traces of flour in the bowl
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin
- Bake for 50-60 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes away clean
- Allow to cool in its tin on a wire rack
- Mix the lemon juice, zest and icing sugar together into a smooth paste. It should be quite gloopy so it doesn't dribble too much down the sides (though a little dribble is okay)
- Pour over the loaf and leave the icing to set for about 30 minutes
This week’s Cakes & Bakes features a traditional Yorkshire fruit loaf. We often sit down for a tea break at about four in the afternoon – and absolutely love this kind of thing as an accompaniment to our brew. Sweet, sticky and full of good things to give you a mid afternoon energy boost.
There’s a very simple list of ingredients.
It’s vital that you soak the dried fruit in tea overnight – it makes a big difference to the end result so don’t be tempted to skip this stage!
It’s everything in one bowl method.
Preparation is easy so you can’t go wrong!
The loaf keeps well for up to 2 weeks, but it probably won’t hang around that long though.
It’s delicious served on its own or with a thin scrape of butter (thick scrape in Justin’s case).
Even just looking at it in pictures, we’re tempted to get the kettle on!!
- 350g mixed dried fruit (currants, sultanas, raisins, mixed peel. Try adding a tbsp of crystallised ginger)
- 350ml strong tea brewed for 3-4 mins
- 2 eggs
- 200g brown soft sugar
- 270g self raising flour
- Brew a large, strong mug of tea (we usually use loose Yorkshire tea... of course! But any strong breakfast or afternoon tea will do!)
- Put the mixed dried fruit into a medium mixing bowl.
- Allow the tea to brew and cool slightly before pouring it into the mixing bowl (it should just about cover all the fruit
- Cover with cling flim/Saran wrap for a few hours, ideally overnight, to allow the tea to plump up the fruit
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 170ºC/
- Grease 2 x 450g/1lb loaf tins ( or 1 x 900g/2lb loaf tin)
- In a measuring jug, lightly beat the eggs before adding them to the mixed fruit and any un-soaked liquid
- Add the sugar and combine well
- Pour evenly into the loaf tins and bake for 40-50 mins or until an inserted skewer comes away clean. If you're using a 900g tin, baking will take about 60-75 mins
- Leave the loaves in their tins to cool completely before turning them out
- They'll keep for a couple of weeks if wrapped in baking parchment and kept in a cool, airtight container