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【食譜】薰衣草伯爵茶蛋糕 Lavender Earl Grey Cake

2015/11/15 — 9:00

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靚女博客 Claire 愛茶。這個蛋糕混合了薰衣草的花味與伯爵茶的清香,適合不嗜甜又喜歡茶味的讀者。

*溫馨提示 — 食譜所標示的材料份量足夠製作 24 個 cupcake 又或一個 28" 蛋糕,讀者請按需要自行加減。

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My old housemates and I are MASSIVE tea drinkers. To the point where we had a tea cupboard in our kitchen that was so full it barely shut, and then we’d end up having various boxes of teabags lying around the house. It was magnificent.

Us 15 Guelph Street gals were also big on unique cake flavours, and since its my beautiful ex-housemate’s birthday, I whipped this little beauty up for her. Lavender and Earl Grey is a combination that I didn’t think I would enjoy at all, but when we tried it at LEAF one day, we immediately fell in love. I don’t know what it is about the lavender-ness, but it just compliments the tea so well. I’ve made this cake before as a bit of a tester, and I’ve managed to turn doubters into believers. The cake itself isn’t overly sweet (because any black tea + sugar is an abomination), but the light floral flavour of the icing just lifts it into new levels of deliciousness.

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The cake recipe I used for this cake was loosely based on Cupcake Jemma’s Earl Grey Breakfast Cupcakes. Naturally I only took the cake part of the recipe and ignored the earl grey icing/ marmalade filling/ toast crumble toppings. Instead, I whipped up some buttercream with the normal 1.8:1 icing sugar to butter ratio, flavoured it with lavender extract, and coloured it with red and blue food colouring. The decoration can be whatever you want it to be. Originally I wanted to find some dried lavender flowers and decorate it with that, but when I couldn’t find any, I chose to ice the whole cake then pipe some roses on top and decorate the sides with some pink/white/purple balls. Overall I think it looks quite pretty, no?

For the Earl Grey flavour, you have to start by making tea-infused milk. I normally go for 6 teabags in about 3/4 cup of milk. I’ve tried using less before but the Earl Grey flavour just doesn’t really come through. I think 6 is a good amount. All you do is heat it up for about 5 minutes until the milk is simmering, not boiling. Then set it aside to cool. Easy peasy.

Top tip for when you’re icing your cake:

Place 4 pieces of baking parchment underneath the cake (between the cakeboard and the cake) so that if you have any mess, it’ll just go onto the baking parchment. When you’ve finished decorating, you can just slide out the baking parchment, et voila, your cake board is still nice and neat, and it’ll give you a much better presentation! 

I’m not the most creative when it comes to cake decorating, I much prefer experimenting with different flavours and see if they work. So next time you’re feeling in a bit of a rut with the same ol’ types of cake, why not give this one a go? I reckon the next tea-inspired one i’ll make will be a rose and green tea one. Ooh, thinking about it now has already got me giddy with excitement!

So here’s to the gorgeous Ayuko – thank you for being there for me all the friggin time. I really cannot have asked for a better first friend in Liverpool, you are truly one of a kind! Love you so, so much, and I hope you enjoyed the cake :*

This recipe is enough to make 24 cupcakes (not sure about the icing; you might need a bit more), or 28″ cakes to make a sandwich cake. Aaaand here’s the cake in action. Pretty, eh?

What I used

Cake

  • 250g self-raising flower
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 4tbsp Earl Grey infused milk (3/4 cup of whole milk, heated with 6 earl grey tea bags)
  • 4 large eggs

Icing

  • 500g icing sugar
  • 280g unsalted butter
  • 1tbsp whole milk
  • 1tsp lavender extract
  • Small dollop of red and blue food colouring

What I did

  1. Some admin stuff: Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line
  2. Make the earl grey milk: heat up 3/4cup of milk with 6 Earl Grey tea bags. Simmer for 5 minutes then remove from heat and let cool
  3. Make the cake batter with the all-in-one method: Sift the dry ingredients in a large bowl and add in the butter and eggs. Whisk on a medium speed for about a minute. Add the milk into the batter and whisk for another half a minute or so. Remember to scrape down the sides to make sure everything is incorporated well. Final mix of another half a minute.
  4. Once the batter is ready, fill the cake tins evenly and smooth off the top with an offset spatula. To make sure they’re even, I like to use a scoop and dollop some batter into the first tin, then the second, then back to first etc etc. But you can also weigh the batter if thats more up your alley.
  5. Stick it in the oven for about 40 minutes. Keep checking it; if the top is browning too quickly then stick some foil over the top and prevent it from burning
  6. Take the cakes out of their tins and set it aside to cool
  7. Make the icing: Beat the butter on a high speed for about 5 minutes. Then add in 1/4 of the sifted icing sugar and beat until smooth. Repeat until all the sugar is added and beat for another 5 minutes or so. Add 1tbsp of regular uninfused milk, and 1tsp of lavender extract. Don’t add too much cus it might start to taste soapy! Beat again for another 5 minutes or until the icing is nice and pillowy.
  8. Now moving onto the colouring the icing. I did this by taking out about 1/4 of the icing and colouring that into a vibrant purple before mixing it back in with the rest of the icing. Add red and blue food colouring until you get to the desired colour. It might take you back to primary school art class, but it’s so much fun!
  9. Once the cakes are cool, level off the tops with a serrated knife if needed. Put one cake onto your board and splodge some icing onto the top, smoothing it out with your spatula.
  10. Then, place the other cake on top upside down so that the bottom of the cake is now the top of the cake. Do this to ensure that the top of the cake is nice and flat so it’s easier to ice later.
  11. When you’re happy that the cake is not lop-sided, go ahead and make a crumb coating, ie – a thin layer of icing all over the cake to lock in the crumbs, so that when you ice it later it won’t be all bobbly with loose crumbs
  12. Put the crumb-coated cake in the fridge for about a half hour, or until the icing has set.
  13. Next is the actual decoration. I frosted the whole cake again, trying as hard as I can to make the sides smooth. Things aren’t that easy when you don’t have a turn table, but it’s alright! If it’s a bit messy, it’ll just give it the ‘rustic’ look that everyone loves.
  14. Then, I piped some roses on top and sprinkled some pink/white/purple balls around the side.

And then you’re done! Because you have to do infuse the milk, then the actual cake baking, then the crumb coating… This takes about 2.5 – 3 hours, depending on how quickly you work. This is the only almost-decent picture of the inside of the cake, because, well I can’t cut into the cake before I give it to the birthday girl, can I?

Anyway, give this a go, or if you’re not sure if you’ll like the flavour combination, try the tea first! I promise you won’t regret it.

Until next time,

原刊於 Water & Bay

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