I love black tea, and I’m always in search of recipes for baked goods containing tea, cuz they’re tea-rrific. Ha ha, couldn’t resist. Sorry. Anyway, I recently received The Greyston Bakery Cookbook:
The Greyston Bakery’s claim to fame is it is the provider of the brownies that go into Ben & Jerry’s ice creams. Now, since Chocolate Fudge Brownie is one of my favorite flavors, you know the next recipe I try is going to be the brownies. But anyway, back to the Earl Grey Tea Cake. It sounded lovely, and it was not difficult to make. It is not bad, but it didn’t blow my socks off, either, which is what I was hoping for. I prefer a slightly moister cake with a light crumb, and I would have liked a more substantial glaze and a stronger tea flavor. I used Stash tea bags, but I think if I make it again I am going to use a higher-quality loose tea instead of bags. Maybe that’ll help?
Now regarding the cookbook overall: there are quite a few interesting and appealing recipes in it (e.g., Grapefruit Yogurt Cake, Spiced Sugar Tartlets, Gingered Lemon Squares), and the photographs are luscious. My one bone to pick is each recipe doesn’t have an accompanying photograph. It seems this is the latest trend with cookbooks, and I don’t support it! I have a difficult time visualizing the final product if there isn’t, you know, a VISUAL representation of it right there. That said, it’s still a great cookbook, and I am very happy to have it!
Read on for the recipe …
EARL GREY TEA CAKE
from the Greyston Bakery Cookbook
Makes one 9×5″ loaf
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons loose Earl Grey tea leaves (approx. 5 tea bags’ worth. I used Stash double-strength Earl Grey, but next time I would use higher-quality tea)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup water
4 Earl Grey tea bags
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. Set aside.
Which the flour and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer (yay Kitchen Aid!), beat together the butter, sugar, tea leaves, and vanilla on medium speed. The mixture should become light and fluffy, and you should be able to smell the tea. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.
Add the flour mixture in three parts while the mixer is running on low speed. Scrape down the sides as needed. Dump the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I did this, but apparently I didn’t do a good job, because the top center of my loaf was still gooey. Oops. Cool pan on a wire rack.
For the glaze, boil the 3/4 cup water and then steep the tea bags in it for about 5-7 minutes. You want it to be dark! Remove the tea bags and stir in the powdered sugar. Take the loaf out of the pan and remove the parchment paper. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and cool.
NOTE: I love glazes, but I like the whitish glazes that harden up and have some crunch to them. This glaze was not like that. Amy chickenhead suggested adding a pat of butter to the glaze to harden it up better. I think she may have had some other suggestions, but I can’t remember exactly. I have, however, had her glaze, and boy is it ever tasty.