We all need a bit of cake every now and then, because there’s very little in the world that can compare to a freshly baked cake, warm and crisp on top, with a good cup of tea. So as I’m typing this, it’s nearly bedtime and those midnight cravings are striking, and my heart screams for earl grey and honey cake. (But bedtime and stomach says nooooo.)
So, a few days ago, I wanted to bake a cake; one that wasn’t too distinctly orange or chocolate, but I’m picky and just didn’t want to settle for plain vanilla. The dilemmas of the stomach led me to a warm cup of milky earl grey tea, and that cup of earl grey led me to this cake, and this cake led me (and others!) to mid-week happiness. It’s a simple loaf cake, flavored with the delicate floral scent of earl grey tea and a honey glaze on top (honey+earl grey=BFFFFFs); tasty enough to reach for a second slice, yet pleasantly-neutral enough to be inoffensive.
It is fairly difficult to obtain a strong flavour and smell of earl grey with merely incorporating the tea grounds in the batter, so I’ve used four tea bags, two of which are steeped in a mixture of warm milk, butter and honey for at least 10 minutes (the longer the better!). This gives you an earl grey concentrate that is milky and mellow with the flavour of honey. The other two tea bags are simply cut open and the tea grounds are incorporated into the mixture. If you’re using loose earl grey tea leaves, do grind them before tossing them in, to release the flavours and also to prevent accidental chomping on a whole leaf. The final touch to this tea cake is a honey-earl grey glaze, made from the two tea bags leftover from the earl grey concentrate, soaked in a honeyed syrup. This adds a final touch of sweetness to a not-so-sweet cake (yes, we’re watching our waistlines…). Warm a slice to get those aromatics going and enjoy this tea time treat!
Earl Grey & Honey Cake
Makes 1 loaf in a standard loaf pan.
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 Tbs honey
- 115g butter
- 2 earl grey tea bags
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Grounds from 2 earl grey tea bags
- Leftover earl grey tea bags from(B)
- 1 Tbs honey
- 3 Tbs water
1. In a small pan, heat (B) up on medium heat until the butter melts. Let the mixture steep for at least 10 minutes, squeezing the tea bags occasionally to release the flavour. After 10 minutes (or more), remove the tea bags and set aside for the glaze. Set aside the mixture to cool. 2. Using a stand mixer or a whisk, beat (A) together till pale and creamy. 3. Sift (C) and add half to (A). Fold to combine. 4. Pour half of (B) into (A). Fold to combine. 5. Repeat with the last half of (C) and (B). Fold to combine. 6. Pour the batter into a lined or greased loaf tin and bake for 40-50 minutes at 180°C/350°F until a skewer inserted comes out clean. 7. While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze. Combine all the glaze ingredients in a small pot and heat until a syrupy consistency. Turn off the heat and let the mixture steep until the cake comes out of the oven (at least 10 minutes). 8. When the cake is still hot, prick small, shallow holes on the top. Brush the glaze on top and on the sides liberally, and leave to cool.
Recipe card here!