Since I’ve come into this line of work, I have been sent boxes of teas and have experimented recipes with a variety of teas. And despite all the health indications and inclinations towards green, white and herbal ones, I always lean closer toward the black teas – which is really nothing but some proof of Indian in my blood!
So, when it comes to baking, it’s only natural I lean towards the black tea, and for this one, a dark and robust Turkish tea. I’ve experimented with lighter teas before but they work most successfully in custards, mousse, ice-cream – i.e. lighter bases. But a good old-fashioned cake requires the heavy-duty black tea, and the stronger the better, to allow it to power through the other ingredients.
Turkish black tea and honey make for a beautiful combination and requires nothing else to elevate it further. Once your cake comes out of the oven, spread a good amount of honey on top to soak through.
Slathered on top is a classic honey buttercream frosting with real vanilla bean. No fuss, simple but very, very good.
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3 tsp loose black Turkish tea
- 1/2 cup butter, soft
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup butter, soft
- 3/4 cup icing sugar
- 3 tsp honey
- pinch of vanilla pod seeds
- 1/2-1 tbsp milk
- Place the milk and tea leaves in a small pot on heat. Once the milk starts boiling, switch off the heat and let the tea steep as the milk cools to room temperature
- Meanwhile prepare the remaining ingredients. Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
- Grease and flour a 10” baking tin.
- Preheat the oven to 200C when you start to whisk.
- Cream the butter, sugar and honey together for at least 3-5 minutes.
- Then crack in the eggs and vanilla and whisk until fluffy.
- Alternate between the milk (with the tea leaves inside) and flour mixture three times, careful to not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely within the pan. Prick the cake with a toothpick and spread the honey on top. The honey will soak through as the cake cools.
- Remove the cake from the pan and onto a serving tray after it has cooled.
- Whisk the butter, honey and vanilla for a few seconds and slowly add the icing sugar. Add some milk if required to loosen and to get your desired consistency.
- Smooth the frosting on top of the cake with an offset spatula.
- Store in an airtight container for upto 5 days.