25 February 2012
Delicious (Though I Say It Myself) Orange And Earl Grey Cake
Spring finally arrived here at the weekend. It was sunny with hardly a cloud in the sky, even if still a brisk 4 degees centigrade. Some yellow crocuses have braved there pretty heads on the village green, but will get charged down by the kids as they play kickabout together. In our garden, daffodil stems are growing out, having survived the recent cold spell of minus temperatures that have kept us really cold.
Having given both cars a spring clean in and outside (a real rarity as we are not frequent visitors to the car wash), what can a modern man do but bake a cake. This is a cake that I have been toying with for some time and is meant to use orange juice for flavouring, but I found that this just does not give enough citrus kick to the cake. I have used our newly developed orange extract, but you could use other ones, but just make sure that it is an extract and not a dodgy flvaouring - Star Kay White do one that is available at Lakeland for example if you cannot find Steenbergs Organic Orange Extract. Also, you could reduce or omit the orange blossom in the filling and perhaps use more Earl Grey tea, or simply keep it plain, should orange flower be a bit too floral for you.
For the Orange & Earl Grey Cake:
100g / 3½ oz Brown self-raising flour
75g / 2½oz White self-raising flour
1tsp Baking powder
Pinch of sea salt, ground to a powder
175g /6oz Unsalted butter at room temperature
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
2-3tsp Orange extract
50ml Earl Grey tea (see below as does for cake and icing)
175g /6oz Golden caster sugar
3 Medium free range eggs
For the cream cheese filling:
75g / 2½oz / ½ cup Full fat cream cheese
20g / ¾ oz / 1½ tbsp Unsalted butter softened
150g / 5oz / 1¼ cups Icing sugar, sieved
1tsp Orange blossom water
For the icing:
4-5tbsp Earl Grey tea
250g / 9oz / 2¼ cups Icing sugar
For the Earl Grey tea:
2tsp (level) or 1 teabag Earl Grey tea
100ml Boiling water
Preheat the oven to 180C / 355F. Make the Earl Grey tea by infusing a mug with the teaspoon or teabag of Earl Grey tea. Prepare two 20cm (8 inch) sandwich tins, by lightly greasing and lining the base with baking parchment.
Sieve the flours, the baking powder and salt together and then set aside for use a bit later.
Next, beat together the butter, orange zest and sugar to a cream, beating until the cake mixture is light and fluffy. Next beat in the eggs one at a time, putting in 1 tablespoon of the flour mix in after each egg. Finally, stir in the Earl Grey tea and orange extract.
Finally, fold in the remainder of the flour mix. Divide the mixture into two, spooning into each of the cake tins. Smooth into the tins.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cakes are springy. Leave the cakes in the tin for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool - this takes about 20 minutes.
To make the filling, simply put all the filling ingredients into a bowl and mix together and beat with a wooden spoon. Scoop onto one of the cakes, smooth evenly over the cake, then sandwich the two together.
To make the icing, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. Add 3 - 4 tablespoons of the Earl Grey tea into the icing sugar and mix in with a spoon, then spread evenly over the top of the cake.
Personally, I am not a great fan of decorated cakes, as I find it spoils a good bit of grub. However, you could decorate with orange jellies or perhaps walnuts.