Earl Grey Cake

  • Earl Grey Tea is black tea flavoured with oil of bergamot.
  • Legend has it that the secret recipe was given to Earl Grey by the Chinese.
  • However he never visited China, though he might have received it as a diplomatic present.
  • Who was Earl Grey?
  • Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764 – 1845) was a Member of Parliament for Northumberland.
  • He was British Prime Minister from 1830-1834.
  • Two important Acts of Parliament were passed during his time as Prime Minister:
  • 1832 Reform Act
  • 1833 Slavery Abolition Act.
  • The earliest mention of Earl Grey Tea appears to be in the 1850s, several years after his death.
  • *
  • This cake is called a Tea Bread in England and is a cake made using tea.
  • Using Earl Grey Tea makes most recipes even tastier.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of loose leaf Earl Grey Tea
  • 250 ml boiling water
  • *
  • 300g sultanas
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • *
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 280g plain flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • *
  • Icing sugar to dust

Method

  • Grease and line a 23 cm circular cake tin or use a cake liner.
  • Pour the boiling water over the tea leaves and leave for 3 minutes.
  • Put the honey and sultanas into a bowl
  • Strain the tea leaves and pour the tea over the sultanas and honey.
  • Stir and leave for 3 hours.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Strain the fruit but also keep the liquor.
  • Whisk sugar and eggs till pale, thick and creamy.
  • Mix the flour and baking powder together.
  • Stir in the drained fruit, zest and flour.
  • Add the rest of the tea liquor and mix well.
  • Spoon the mixture into the baking tin.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
  • Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before turning it out.
  • Leave to cool on a baking rack.
  • Dust with icing sugar to serve.

 

Plum Bread

This is an old English recipe which could easily be a keks recipe in Poland.

  • It can be called a tea bread as the dried fruits are soaked in tea.
  • Why is it called plum bread when there are no plums?
  • In England in the past, plum referred to all the different dried fruits.
  • The usage of the word plum to mean dried fruits has dropped out of usage.

Ingredients

  • 450g mix of currants, sultanas and raisins
  • 200ml of hot, strong Earl Grey tea
  • 170g soft brown sugar
  • 25g melted butter
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder

Method

  • Put the dried fruit and sugar into a bowl.
  • Pour the tea over them and stir.
  • Leave overnight.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Line a large loaf tin or use a cake liner.
  • Mix the flour with the baking powder.
  • Mix the flour mixture into the dried fruit mixture.
  • Stir in the melted butter.
  • Spoon into the tin and smooth the top.
  • Bake for 60 minutes – check after 50 minutes and cover with greaseproof  paper if necessary to prevent burning.
  • Leave to cool in the tin on a wire cake rack.

Served on Queen Anne, bone china tea plates