When I saw Chef Ornella Hubel present a recipe for Earl Grey cake, I felt this instant flood of regressive memories; my mother used to entertain her girlfriends with weekly tea parties (such was the life in Beirut in those days) and she always served Earl Grey tea and an English cake with diced candied fruits from a can (which I disliked); of course she used her blue and white china set. The parties eventually turned into bridge parties.
My guess is Earl Grey is very popular throughout the Middle East, because it is always prominently displayed at the Arab markets in the US. In any case, this was the tea we drank at home.
Not to say that you need to buy Earl Grey tea to make this cake! The technique can be applied to your favorite tea. The idea here is to infuse the cream with tea, and then the syrup. Kind of like getting a double shot. Plus, a bit of tea leaves go in the batter as well.
If your oven bakes unevenly as mine does, cautiously place a cookie sheet on the oven shelf and then place the cake pans on top.
INGREDIENTS: Yield 3 mini loaf pans or 2 medium loaf pans (18 servings)
- All-purpose flour (270 g. or 9.5 ounces)
- 5 Large eggs
- sugar (350 g. or 12.4 ounces)
- whipping cream(150 g. or 2/3 cup-use a measuring cup for liquids)
- yogurt or melted butter (100 g. or 3.6 ounces)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons Earl Grey tea
- For the syrup: 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar plus 1 tablespoon of tea
- Place the cream in a microwaveable jug and set the tea on top; heat it for a minute and let the tea infuse in the cream for at least one hour or overnight if possible.
- Place the eggs in a mixer bowl and beat for one minute; add the sugar, salt, and beat some more, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and mix. Add the flour and baking powder and mix. Add the yogurt and mix.
- Preheat the oven to 375F and bake the cake in a pan that has been lined with parchment paper. After 10 minutes of baking, cut a line throughout the middle of the cake to help it bake more evenly. Bake 35 minutes until golden and puffed up and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and drizzle the syrup all over the cake. Let it sit undisturbed for several hours or overnight. Serve.
For making the syrup: Place the sugar and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil, adding a teaspoon of lemon juice, and add the tea leaves; boil for 10 minutes and cool. Pour over the cake.
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