Last week we had a lovely dinner with a friend and we served up one of our ‘house specials’, which if you know us isn’t a big deal. Dessert, on the other hand, I can make a big deal over. Carrot Cake, Brownie Pudding, Pumpkin Roll,…there’s no telling what I’ll pull out. This evening though I had others to consider. It was Homecoming Dance night and these parents were going to see the kids off with a good meal, because the rest of the night, we knew, would be pizza and punch.
I also knew that one of the guests, my son’s date, is a big fan of tea. Hmmmm, I’d found a Pinterest link for a ‘Black Tea Cake with Honey Buttercream’ I was dying to try. (Damn you Pinterest !) Seriously, tea & honey ? The photos from her site were enough to make me drool. I’m always so jealous of those ‘Smitten Kitchen’ style pics. I read over the recipe – too easy. The icing is wonderful. A little goes a long way – easy does it !
This is a glamorous dessert that anyone would love – and wouldn’t be served anywhere else. Why am I telling you this?! – I should keep it a secret, but since I like you,…. You’re welcome!
‘Tea Cake’ – from the Land of Milk & Honey
Select the tea. The recipe called for just a black tea. I saw the Earl Grey in my caffeinated cabinet and grabbed it. The perfumed elegance of an Earl Grey lends itself completely with a dessert. Even if I have to add milk – an English no-no.
Bring the milk to a scald (near boil) and add the contents of 3 tea bags to it. Cover and set aside to steep until cooled.
Later, get the butter and sugar creamed together until fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the oil and vanilla. Mmmm, can you smell it ? Oh, sorry.
Sift together the dry ingredients.
Now that the tea and milk mixture is about room temp and the color of chocolate milk, we can proceed. See how nice the sifted flour is – so much better for a cake.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Looks like muffin batter? It won’t for long.
Add in the tea and milk mixture. Yes, the tea leaves too.
Get it baking. 350deg, for about 18 min. I was in such a hurry, I forgot to snap a pic !
Why did I use a pop-over pan? Well, the original recipe called for 5″ pans. Who has 5″ cake pans?? OK, I do, but they’re for cheesecake, and my Mom had borrowed them. So, the other choice was a 9″ pan and make one big cake. But if you have dinner parties, you know that people hate cutting a cake. They do. Nobody wants to be the first. Now, if you offer an individual serving, that they’ll do. But cupcakes, are for kids. I wanted a tiny cake…so that’s what I made. Pop-overs have straight sides and are the size of a medium cupcake, only taller. Because they’re tall, I let them cool in the pan.
So, moist and delicate. I sliced each one (some straighter than others!) in half, with a bread knife, after they cooled. Then I made the icing…..
Get the butter and honey into a bowl and whip it together.
Then add in the powdered sugar and continue to beat. This is unbelievably easy. The beauty is the ratio of ingredients. This whips up into the perfect consistency for piping a rosette. If you’ve ever wielded a pastry bag – you know what I mean. And if you’ve ever made icing with honey and had it separate, you also know what I mean!
I small slather in between layers, so it doesn’t get mistaken for a cupcake – not that I’ve ever met one I didn’t like.
A completely elegant dessert that was loved by all the guests, gentlemen AND ladies.
- 1 Cup Milk, whole (235 ml)
- 3 Tbl or 3 teabags worth, Black Tea
- 1/4 Cup Butter, softened (55 gm)
- 1 Cup Sugar (225 gm)
- 2 Eggs, large
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 3/4 Cups Cake Flour (175gm)
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 Cup Butter, softened (110gm)
- 3 Tbl Honey
- 2 Cups Powdered Sugar (250 gm)
- Pinch of salt
- Scald the milk, add the tea. Let it steep to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 deg.
- Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs, then the oil and vanilla.
- Sift together the dry ingredients, and gradually add to the wet.
- Add in the cooled milk (tea leaves and all)
- Beat until batter is smooth.
- Portion into pans and bake accordingly. 9" greased pan is 30-40 min, pop-overs/cupcakes 18-22min.
- Icing: Cream butter and honey , then add in the powdered sugar. Pipe onto cooled cakes.
- The icing is wonderful. A little goes a long way - easy does it !
- This is a glamorous dessert that anyone would love - and wouldn't have anywhere else. Why am I telling you this - I should keep it a secret, but since I like you,.... You're welcome!