I’d seen this idea on a few different sites, and since it
was Valentine’s Day last week I decided to have a go at creating my own version for Mike
(lemon drizzle cake is one of his absolute favourite things, and he loves a cup
of Earl Grey too). The tea imparts a wonderful delicate fragrance to the cake,
and the fruity hint in the flavour goes beautifully with the zing of lemon
zest. Since it was Valentine’s Day, I decorated mine with dried rose petals and
pink sugar, but all you really need to make this cake beautiful is a thick, glossy
layer of lemon glaze on top – scrumptious.
About 180g granulated sugar*
About 180g self-raising flour*
2 good-quality Earl Grey teabags
*First things first – in case you’re wondering, the
reason that some of the ingredients are approximate is that you need to weigh
the eggs and then use the same weight of butter, sugar and flour. Since eggs
are always assorted shapes and sizes, using this method means that even if the
eggs you use are smaller or larger than the ones I used, your cake will still
be beautifully balanced and moist. This is a great method (my mum’s) which you
can reuse for making all sorts of cakes.
So, weigh the eggs and then crack into a large bowl (or
into the bowl of your food processor). Add the butter and mix, then repeat with
the sugar and finally the flour. Pop in the baking powder and mix, and then
finally add a generous splash of milk and the contents of the teabags (if you
can get good-quality Earl Grey, such as Twinings, then the tea will be finely
ground and you won’t end up with any gritty bits in the final cake) and beat
until you have a lovely smooth mixture.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (180°C fan). Grease a loaf tin
and line the bottom with greaseproof paper (just draw around the tin with a
pencil, cut it out and pop it in), and then spoon the mixture in and spread it
out so that it’s roughly even. Once the oven has reached the right temperature,
put the cake in and set a timer for 40 minutes.
When the timer goes off, test the cake with a fork – if it
comes out clean then the cake is done, but it might need another five minutes.
Leave it to cool for about ten minutes, then gently remove from the tin and
place on a wire rack to cool for another twenty minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the lemon glaze. Cut the lemon
in half and juice one half completely, getting as much of the delicious lemony
juice as possible into a jug. You might want to pop a sieve on top to catch the
pips. Add the icing sugar and a splash of milk and mix thoroughly – if the
sugar is refusing to dissolve, then you can add a small splash of boiling water
to help it along. Keep mixing until the sugar has completely disappeared.
Once the cake has cooled so that it’s just slightly warm
to the touch, use a pastry brush to coat it thoroughly with the glaze, and then
zest the remaining half of the lemon and sprinkle over the top. Serve with Earl
Grey in your prettiest teacups.