My affection for cake is only second to one other - my love and dependency on tea. As much as I love a good coffee and newspaper combination, I never really crave coffee. I don't think of myself as caffeine dependent. But a day without tea is a long and arduous one, and no other experience comes remotely close to have an uninterrupted afternoon cup of tea in a fine cup. I like to tell myself the headaches I get from a day without tea is not a sign of caffeine withdrawals but is, in fact, a result from being away from the one I love for simply too long. As much as I love black tea, I don't like to discriminate. White tea; green tea; fruit tea; floral tea - you especially: I love you all.
This following recipe is taken from a glorious book filled with recipes to accompany tea and that incorporate tea. I love tea infused cakes, as you may have guessed from my gushing over lady grey madeleines.
Recipe from Tea: More than 80 Delicious Recipes
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp loose jasmine tea
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup pouring cream
2 tsps finely grated lemon zest
2 tsps finely grated orange zest
2 3/4 cups plain flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
For jasmine ganache:
1/2 cup thickened cream
2 tsps loose jasmine tea
100 gms white chocolate (chips or finely chopped, good quality pls!)
1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease and line a 21cm round cake pan.
In a small saucepan, heat milk until just below boiling over medium heat. Remove from heat, add tea leaves and cover, allowing to steep for about 8 minutes. Strain into a heatproof bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar and salt. Add cream, milk and zests and stir to combine. Gradually add flour and baking powder while mixing on a low speed. Add butter and stir to combine.
Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for 60 - 70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. While hot, prick the top of the cake with skewer and brush with orange juice. Allow cake to cool completely in the tin before transferring to a serving plate.
For white chocolate ganache, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to just below boiling point. Remove from heat, add tea leaves, and cover, allowing to steep for eight minutes. Strain cream into a large heatproof bowl. Whisk in white chocolate, icing sugar and orange zest. Chill for at least fifteen minutes until at spreading consistency. Spread ganache generously onto cake - I had enough to cover both top and sides. Smooth with a knife dipped in boiling water, if necessary.
I recommend keeping this cake at room temperature as much as possible - the pound cake can get a little too firm and heavy straight from the fridge. And please, whatever you do, don't skip out on the icing in this recipe. It is simply gorgeous, and without it I don't think the jasmine flavour would be anywhere near as noticeable. I'll definitely be trying this recipe with some rose black tea.
Recommended baking soundtrack - Pepper Rabbit - Beuregard.