Earl Grey Sponge Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

To be paired with the following:

Music: Smooth jazz

Weather: doesn’t matter, it could be scorching hot outside, raining hail storms or a perfect storm

Recommended brew: Earl grey, Lady Grey or good ole English Breakfast

You get the drift…it’s one of those comforting and uplifting cake that is perfectly calming.

Made this for a dear friend of mine. Whatchamacallit – one of my BFFs. A double celebration of both her earthly and heavenly birthdays (she just got water baptized! Hallelujah!) She loves earl grey anything and her current fav character is the Line Bear.

I did some research and came up with this recipe using quality Earl Grey tea from T2 Tea. My recipe was adapted from The Gingered Whisk. Quite quite pleased with my first attempt at this recipe. It was a hit with both the young and the more mature (no we are not old…denial? Nah!)

Ingredients
Yields a 7inch cake, single layer of about 2.5 inches thick. You could separate into two 7inch or 9inch round tins to get 2 layers.

227g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
170g fine caster sugar
3 eggs
375g all purpose flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup of milk
4 tea bags of earl grey tea leaves
1 tsp vanilla

Method
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Pour out the tea leaves and grind it into smaller bits in a pestle and mortar or a food processor. It doesn’t need to be powdered. But you don’t want to be chomping on large chunks of tea leaves either.
Bring the milk to a scald (but not boiling) then add the grounded tea leaves and leave it aside to infuse.
In a medium bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time until just incorporated.
Add half the flour mixture at low speed (if using an electric mixer) till just combined.
Add all the milk and mix till just combined.
Add the remaining flour mixture and vanilla. Again, mix till just combined. Do not over mix.
Pour out into a well greased tin and bake for around 40-45min or when a skewer inserted comes out clean. I started checking around 35min. When you notice that the cake starts to pull away a little from the sides of the tin, it is time to turn off the heat and take it out of the oven. Let it sit in the tin for another 10min before turning it out and letting it cool off on a wire rack.

Cream cheese frosting
500g cream cheese, straight out of the fridge, cut into cubes
125g unsalted butter, straight out of the fridge, cut into cubes
200g icing sugar, sieved
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Just blitz everything together with a cake mixer, starting at low speed and gradually bring it to high. Allow it to whack the frosting for 2-3min.
This should make enough frosting to ice 2 layers of cake and cover the whole cake.

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