Why have a cup of tea and a slice of cake when you can have both together? Aromatic earl grey is infused into every area of this cake. It elevates an often bold and brash slab of cake into something delicate and refined, with the tea creating a refreshing backdrop. I like to sprinkle loose-leaf tea over the top of the cake as the vibrant blue cornflowers’ pop against the creamy caramel.
Recipe taken from Crave: brilliantly indulgent recipes
Earl Grey, caramel and chocolate loaf cake
Makes 1 loaf cake
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
For the sponge:
3 Earl Grey teabags
150ml boiling water
125g plain flour
125g caster sugar
100g soft light brown sugar
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125ml natural yoghurt
For the Earl Grey caramel sauce:
250g caster sugar
125ml double cream
1 teaspoon flaked sea salt
1 Earl Grey teabag
Loose leaf earl grey (with the blue flowers, to decorate), optional
1. Preheat the oven to 180oC/160oC fan/gas mark 4 and grease and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
2. Place the Earl Grey teabags into a mug or small jug and pour the boiling water over the top. Allow to brew for 5 minutes.
3. Whilst the tea is brewing, stir together the plain flour, sugars, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl.
4. Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan and discard the teabags from the tea. Whisk the butter, yoghurt, eggs and tea together.
5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, whisking until a smooth batter has formed. It will be fairly runny but this is normal. Scrape the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until risen, and a skewer inserted should come out clean.
6. Whilst the cake is baking, gently heat the cream in a small saucepan with the earl grey teabag until the cream is steaming and slightly coloured by the tea. Pour into a small jug and set to one side to infuse for 5 minutes, then squeeze out the teabag and discard.
7. Place the sugar and water together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir briefly to combine. Set over a medium heat and allow the mixture to bubble and turn golden brown in colour. Try not to stir the mixture while it caramelises or the sugar might crystallise – swirl the pan occasionally instead if the caramel is colouring unevenly.
8. When the sugar reaches a dark amber colour and starts to smell caramelised, remove from the heat and stir in the butter. The mixture will splutter and bubble, so be careful when adding it in. Pour in the infused double cream slowly, stirring as you add it. Return the mixture to the heat for 1 minute, then stir in the sea salt. Allow the caramel to cool slightly and taste it to see if you need to add any more salt.
9. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then carefully remove and transfer to a cooling rack. Pour over the caramel sauce and leave to set briefly before sprinkling with loose leaf earl grey, slicing and enjoying.