Earl Grey Tea Cake

earl grey tea cake.JPG

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:
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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
Ingredients:
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
5 eggs
Glaze:
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.

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18 Responses to Earl Grey Tea Cake

  1. carolyn says:

    I require visual representation for each recipe myself as well. otherwise how do we even have proof that they ever even actually MADE that recipe?!?!?! well, i ask you, how do we?

  2. lisa c says:

    OH MY GOD THAT SOUNDS AWESOME! Sorry about the caps, but I love all things Earl Grey. Castagna Cafe has an earl grey martini or some other fancy drink like that. I don’t even like martinis, but earl grey? I’m in. Try Mighty Leaf Earl Grey next time, it’s one of my favorites.

  3. emiko says:

    I’m so with you about the visual representation of recipes in cookbooks!
    That Early Grey tea cake sounds tempting and so does that Grapefruit yogurt cake. I just made a lemon yogurt cake this weekend and I loved it!

  4. Protagiton says:

    If you like tea in your baked goods you might want to try a Ukrainian honey cake. They often include either tea or coffee, and are usually delish. Plus it would make my Ukie heart proud to know I turned someone else on to these delicious cakes.

  5. Lydia says:

    Mmm, that looks yummy. I love Earl Grey tea.

  6. That looks delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked with tea. I love making quick breads, so I just might need to give it a whirl.

  7. rebel says:

    Ok – just the other day I was enjoying a cup of tea and wondering if there were any recipes for food made with tea! I’m going to have to try this cake, I have some loose Earl Grey at home.

  8. Enthusia says:

    oh, i can’t wait to try this! yikes, if i make everything on my “to try” list this week, i’m going to need bigger pants!

  9. amy k. says:

    yum. is there any left?

  10. I made a “tea” cake once also using Stash tea. It was the Chai flavor however and the recipe came from our local grocery store magazine thing they print out monthly. Like you, I was expecting something to knock my socks off and it was eh. It wasn’t bad, not at all! Moist and delicious, but not enough tea flavor for me either. I think your loose leaf idea might be a good idea. I’ve seen an earl grey cookie recipe somewhere (maybe it was Martha Stewart) that calls for loose leaves, but I haven’t tried it. hmmmmmm Thanks for sharing! (yes and cook books need photos for each recipe!!!)

  11. Oiyi says:

    The cake looks good. Yeah, I feel that a picture should accompany a recipe.
    Btw, there is a tea cafe in NYC China Town called Tea-rrific. I giggle everytime I walk past it.

  12. christy says:

    Sounds like a terrific recipe.:)

  13. Cara says:

    thanks for posting this recipe—just made it this weekend and it was totally scrumptious. You’ve definitely inspired me to hunt down more tea-related recipes…there’s a Japanese bakery (called Panya) in New York whose green tea cake I am obssessed with…I think just substituting the tea here for green tea would make it really comparable.
    thanks again :)

  14. Nicky says:

    I had a major letdown just recently, when I tried to bake some Earl Grey Cookies, the recipe I followed turned out much too greasy.
    In my mind I can almost picture my favorite banana bread recipe with a little twist (=addition of Earl Grey tea). But then I’m not really sure, if bananas and Earl Grey would go well together… ;)

  15. sara says:

    What a lovley idea. I’m visitign my brother this weekend, and I think I’ll bring him a loaf. He loves his tea time snacks. How cozy!

  16. Rachel says:

    I made this last night. Really good! Sweet enough without the glaze, I think. I used a lot of tea but I think next time I’ll use even more… Or maybe get some bergamot extract for EXTRA earl grey taste…

  17. My favorite off the shelf Earl Grey tea is Golden Moon and it comes in a silver canister. It’s quite strong in flavor.
    Let me know if you want to know why the top middle of your quick break is more moist than the rest of the cake.
    I don’t know if this version of the GBC is any different from the one I’ve owned for 20 years, but it’s a good one with tried and true recipes. Mine has lovely illustrations and I know it’s not the same as photos but I feel like what I get from this book is that a lot of people have worked on the recipes– they’re not merely thought of and made into a book the way a lot of baking cookbooks are.

  18. Jan says:

    Try Silk Road’s Canton Orange tea (their Earl Grey). It is spectacular! http://www.silkroadtea.com/black_teas.htm

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