This post is a Twinings advertorial
Do you remember last month when we talked about that time I went to visit my new best friend Rishi at the Twinings store in London? And I told you I’d have an English Breakfast tea infused recipe for you the following week? By God, have I had a nightmare since then.
You wouldn’t think, at first glance, that it’s much of a challenge, would you? English Breakfast is just about one of the strongest flavours there is, surely it’d be no bother at all transferring that flavour into a delicious, delicious baked good? You’d be wrong. Or at least in my case. I was definitely, definitely wrong.
I took to Pinterest to work out how to get the flavour of tea into cake. The first method I tried was looking so promising at first. I tipped four teabags worth of tea into 200g of butter and heated it to infuse, then left to cool and return to its solidified state. When I apprehensively approached the bowl of – what was now green, for some reason – butter I wasn’t expecting much. However, on tasting it, my face lit up. It literally tasted exactly like tea. Hurriedly, I whipped up a cake batter using my magical new tea butter, licked the bowl clean with smug satisfaction – the batter too tasted just like tea. Unfortunately, during it’s time in the oven, all of that flavour was lost. It came out of its hot cakey cave taking like plain old ordinary tea-less cake.
And that’s why we’re here this morning talking about a cake with no tea in it. I decided it made more sense to give you a cake that tastes perfect when served with English Breakfast than one that tastes not quite right when containing English Breakfast. In short, I did sort of give up, as is my nature – but I tried very hard first, I promise.
When we were tea tasting with Rishi, the English Breakfast was served with banana cake (following the breakfast vibe) and scones with cream and jam (very English, classic tea break fodder). In this cake, we have a little bit of fruit so that we can pretend it’s OK to eat at breakfast time, and it doesn’t get much more English than toffee apples in autumn, does it?
The batter for this cake is nice and heavy, which means you can put the toffees in the middle and, whilst they do sink, they don’t sink right to the bottom of the cake and make a mess of your tin. When you first unwrap the toffees and remember how hard they are, do not panic. When baked they soften completely to a fudgy consistency and do not return to their original state. I saved a slice of this for my boss and he said it was the best cake ever, so I think you should probably make it.
175g salted butter, room temperature
175g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
225g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsps soured cream
2 eating apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small cubes
a big handful (around 10) dairy toffees
140g salted butter, room temperature
280g icing sugar
1-2 tbsps milk
- Heat the oven to Gas Mark 3 (conversions here). Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
- In a stand mixer if you have one, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy – if you don’t have a stand mixer, continue to soldier on with elbow grease as I do.
- Beat in the eggs one by one. I add a tbsp of the flour with each egg to help avoid curdling. Add the flour, cinnamon, soured cream and eggs and slowly stir to bring together. You’re going to end up with a potentially stiffer batter than you’re used to – this is a good thing.
- Tip half of the batter into a loaf tin, then dot with your toffees as pictured above, then pour the remaining batter on top. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
- Once completely cool, you can top with buttercream. Beat the butter until soft then add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add the rest of the icing sugar and a bit of the milk then keep on beating until you’ve got buttercream, adding more milk if necessary. Smear onto your loaf cake.