I have a confession to make: I’m not a fan of Earl Grey. I’ll drink it if I must but anything with added bergamot is just not my cup of tea (excuse the pun!). Bergamot is a citrus fruit and bergamot oil is what gives this tea its characteristic taste. Having said that, I love lemon and orange-flavoured cakes so I decided to try this as an experiment.
This time, I’ve used pictures rather than a video to show you the process. Any thoughts on what you prefer are most welcome in the comments!
- 200g flour
- 240g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tbsp loose leaf Earl Grey
- 4 egg yolks
- 6 egg whites
- Zest and juice of 2 lemons
- Zest of 1 lime
- 100ml of vegetable oil
For this recipe you will need a bundt cake tin – one of those swirly ones with a whole in the middle. First, take 100g of the sugar quantity and the tea leaves and blend them to a fine powder.
Then mix all you dry ingredients in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the egg yolks, oil, zest and juice.
Use a mixer to combine the ingredients and then turn up the speed to high for a few minutes until the mixture is quite wet and loose. Next, take a clean bowl and whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. You may add 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar if you have it in the cupboard to help the egg whites stiffen but it’s not essential. I hate buying a whole pack of something to use 1/2 tsp!
In this next step, slowly fold in your batter into the egg whites. It takes a bit of patience but it will pay off.
As a tip when you fold, use a metal spoon or silicone spatula to prevent kicking all the air out and mix from top to bottom rather than in a clockwise movement .
The next bit is where I made a small mistake. As I was using a silicone tin, I didn’t grease it because I never grease my cupcake moulds either. However, given the sticky nature of the egg whites, I think it would have made the cake come out of the tin much easier. Bake at 150 degrees fan for 1 hour and leave it to cool in the tin before taking it out.
Here’s the final result, a bit rugged around some edges where I had to battle it out of the mould but I’m quite pleased with the result nonetheless!
Does it work?
So, I confessed that I don’t like Earl Grey. But did I like the cake? Yes, I did! I think it could have done with a tiny bit less in the oven or a lower temperature but that’s what experiments are for! And every oven is different so just keep an eye on it and use the skewer test.
The zest and juice of lemons and limes work beautifully together with the citrus notes of the bergamot in the Earl Grey, while having the actual tea in the cake tones down the sweetness to make it a very pleasant combination. Needless to say, it goes very well with a cup of black tea or a scoop of your favourite ice cream.
If you decide to try it, let me know how it goes by tagging me on Twitter or Instagram @whiteduckling.