Earl Grey Tea CakeIt’s the time of year for warm woolly hats, soft cuddly blankets and hot cups of tea. Watching a movie under the doona; drinking wine by the fire; slow-cooking a roast for lunch; and, of course, eating cake – lots and lots of cake. You’re hibernating anyway, so why not snuggle up on the couch this weekend and snack on a delicious cake infused with the subtle flavours of Earl Grey tea?
The use of tea in cooking dates way back to China. Around 5,000 years ago the Chinese were using tea when steaming their duck or baking their fish. They even used it when hard-boiling their eggs to give some extra flavour. The key is to match strong, robust teas with strong flavours and milder teas with more delicate recipes like this one.
The use of tea in cooking is popular with some celebrity chefs. You could try Nigella’s tea bread, Donna Hay’s tea-smoked salmon, Heston’s green tea jelly, or Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s orange madeleines. So get the kettle on and let’s get cooking!
1 cup chopped dates
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
2 Earl Grey tea bags
¾ cup hot water
2 apples, peeled and grated
1 ¼ cups self-raising flour, sifted
¾ cup brown sugar
150g butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly whisked
1. Heat your oven to 160°C. Grease and line a loaf tin.
2. Open up the tea bags and pour the loose tea into the hot water. Allow it to infuse for 5 minutes.
3. Place the dates, bicarb soda and tea into a bowl. After ten minutes, blend the mixture until smooth and set aside.
4. In another bowl, mix the apple, sifted flour and sugar with a wooden spoon until combined. Add in your butter, vanilla, eggs and the date mixture and bring it all together.
5. Pour into your prepared tin and bake for just under an hour, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for ten minutes before turning the cake onto a wire rack to cool down further.
6. Slice it up and spread with butter while the cake is still warm. Devour with a big cup of (you guessed it) Early Grey tea.
Have you got a great recipe that you would like to share? Send it through to firstname.lastname@example.org and you could see it in a future issue of The Beast. For more recipes and thrifty cooking ideas visit operationjamjar.blogspot.com.