Earl Grey Pound Cake

It’s simple, but not easy.” Most probably you have heard people saying this or something similar. Pound cake is perhaps the simplest type of cake, which in principle requires only four ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs and flour in the same ratio, i.e. 1:1:1:1. However, is it really easy to bake? I am talking about the best pound cake, with the right texture, taste and mouthfeel. I don’t think so. Pound cake may be a simple cake for beginner, but to master the skill and bake the perfect one needs practise, practise and more practise.

The pound cake recipe I’m sharing with you now is infused with the aroma of Earl Grey tea. An important tip to elevate the aroma of Earl Grey for this cake is by steeping the Earl Grey tea leaves in hot milk for 10 – 15 minutes. This step is vital to bring out the flavour. In fact, I had experimented with two recipes: the first one, just add tea leaves to the cake batter; while the second one, the tea leaves were steeped in hot milk prior to adding to the cake batter. The results? The latter has a stronger tea aroma than the former recipe. Needless to say, a simple step makes the difference.

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Ingredients: (yield: one 18cm X 10 cm loaf)

Butter 100g
Sugar 100g
Whole egg 2 no. (110g)
Cake flour 120g
Baking powder 1 tsp
Milk 70g
Earl Grey tea bag 2 no. (4g)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven at 190 degree Celsius. Prepare a 18cm X 10cm loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
  2. Remove Earl Grey tea leaves from tea bags, and add them to the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, and steep the Earl Grey tea leaves for 10 – 15 minutes. Let it cool down before use.
  3. Beat butter until it is smooth. Add in sugar and beat for few minutes until light and pale.
  4. Mix in the whole egg in 3 – 4 additions. Ensure all the egg added is absorbed before the next addition. Scrape the side and bottom of the mixing bowl occasionally to ensure even mixing.
  5. Sieve the cake flour and baking powder together.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix with a rubber spatula.
  7. Add the milk and Earl Grey tea mixture. Mix well.
  8. Transfer batter to a loaf cake pan.
  9. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until the cake is brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  10. Once the cake is out from the oven, remove it from the cake pan. Let it cool down slightly, for about 15 minutes.
  11. Wrap the cake with plastic film, and let it cool.
  12. Keep it at room temperature overnight for the cake to mature.
  13. Serve the cake on the next day of baking.

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