An earl grey tea cake great for special visitors.
Oil cooking spray
250g butter, softened
250g caster or superfine sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 eggs, at room temperature (or 3 duck eggs)
250g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp loose leaf Earl Grey tea, crushed until fine
1/4 cup milk
Earl Grey Syrup:
1 cup water
1tsp Earl Grey tea
1 cup caster or superfine sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 tsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
Dried edible flowers to decorate
Step 1- Preheat the oven to 160C. Line the base of two 20cm/8inch round tins & spray the base & sides well with nonstick spray. Using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the butter & sugar together for 3 minutes until light & fluffy. Add the vanilla & then the eggs one at a time, whisking until combined. Then remove from the mixer & sift in the self-raising flour & baking powder from a height. Fold these in with the Earl Grey tea leaves using the milk to keep the batter moist.
Step 2- Divide the batter into the two tins & smooth over using an angled spatula or a dough scraper. Place in the oven gently & don’t slam the door. Victoria sponges are known for being a little bit temperamental & do not open the door while it is baking or turn on the light. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely in the tin. You can make these a day ahead of time, just wrap them once they’ve completely cooled.
Step 3- Meanwhile, while the cakes are baking, make the syrup. Boil the water, tea & sugar together until it becomes a syrup. Add vanilla & cool completely.
Step 4- To assemble the cake, whip the cream, vanilla & sugar until you get soft peaks. Take one cake & place it on a serving plate. Poke holes in the cake & drizzle some of the Earl Grey syrup into this. How much depends on you (I just used a few tablespoons per cake layer). Then place half of the whipped cream on the bottom layer. Place the second layer on top repeating the process with the holes & syrup and then spoon on the remaining cream. Top with flowers.
This cake can keep for a day or two in the fridge.