In tea we trust. (I should get a T-Shirt)
It was only a matter of time before I blogged about tea again but I’m really not kidding when I say tea is a godsend.
There is one thing about tea that will always be true: it cures. Whether it’s drinking a cup of Black Tea (Bristol Brew for me please) to cheer you up or a herbal infusion to aid the stomach or help that sore throat.
I brought this tea called ‘Vitality’ from a little lady on a market stall in Paris, she had a range of tea’s all laid out that she’d made herself from dried fruit. Vitality was a blend of blackcurrant, blueberry and vanilla and the taste is so powerful with even the lightest brew. Sometimes I buy those raspberry Twinning’s teas and there really isn’t much flavour there at all. So ‘Vitality’ has been my fruity herbal tea of choice but being only a small packet- I have to use it sparingly. Oooor consider going all the way back to Paris for it, which I’m not really against.
I hate using food colouring and it’s totally unnecessary. There are so many edible substances like Blueberries and Raspberries on this earth that boast such beautiful colours of which their juice would light up some icing in one hit.
So on this next cake, I used my vitality tea to brighten the icing on this cake. Genius.
I really love old fashioned looking cakes. The single layer pound cakes with lots of raisins and dried fruits in and then drenched with sticky icing. Today was a day for sticky icing. Don’t you sometimes get those sticky icing moments? Although I love buttercream and whipped frosting, I find that sometimes it takes over the actual cake flavour sometimes.
This cake is all about the buttery lemon flavour, which combines with the berry icing so well. Unlike a lemon drizzle cake, the icing isn’t too sharp and there’s a subtle hint of something more fragrant.
It’s the kinda cake that you wouldn’t need cream with but you have it anyway. It’s also the kind of acceptable cake to serve your grandma for afternoon tea. Traditional but different. Just how I like it.
LEMON-BERRY & TEA FROSTED CAKE
250g of butter
250g of caster sugar
3 large eggs
100g of Roughly Chopped dried cranberries and blueberries
50g of ground almonds, sifted.
100g of Gluten Free plain flour, sifted.
1 ½ teaspoons of Baking Powder
1tsp of Xanthan gum
100g of icing sugar
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tbsp of berry tea infused
Preheat the oven to 160° C.
Grease and line the bottom of a non-stick 24cm cake tin
(You can use a 22cm tin but I like the old fashioned flat cake look, just add on 10 minutes onto the cooking time).
Cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy by hand or in a mixer.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating between adding each egg.
Add the roughly chopped berries to the butter, sugar and eggs.
Add the zest and the juice of the lemon and, finally, fold in the flour along with the almonds.
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 40 minutes, covering the top lightly with foil for the final ten minutes.
Check that the cake is done by inserting a skewer, it should come out quite clean with no wet mixture stuck to it. Leave it to cool in the tin before turning out.
Make the icing by firstly infusing your berry tea until medium strength- taste the tea to make sure it is not bitter and too strong. Try not to use boiling water but warm water when infusing to avoid bitter leaves.
Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together until smooth and then add bit by bit a tablespoon of the tea.
Pour the icing over the cake- this isn’t a matter of being neat and tidy, the drips over the edges is what you want.
If you have any blueberries or leftover dried fruit use a few to decorate the cake.
Grate over the zest of half a lemon for a fragrant finish.
Leave the icing to set and then serve and enjoy.