Sunday, May 24, 2015

Earl Grey Lavender Cake with Lemon Vanilla ButterCream

I love baking for occasions. No matter how busy I am, I will try my best to bake a nice cake for the family. Frankly speaking, family matters most to me. No matter what you have done, or what you have not done, they still love you as much, haha! So doing little gestures like baking for them is really trivial I think. I always feel having a cake for any gatherings, puts a nice sweet ending to it. No matter how full you are, you will always have room for that slice of cake baked specially for you yes? And since I was particularly fond of the tea flavour Earl Grey Lavender from Gryphon, why not!

I was rather please with my first attempt. Used several different techniques here after reading up from books and recipes learnt from experience. I guess my only change next time is to lighten that frosting  by incorporating whipped cream into the buttercream and thus yielding a lighter texture and mouthfeel.

Tea floral mix powder:
2 tea bags amount of Earl Grey tea
5 g dried lavender (from Phoon Huat)

  • In a blender, pour both the earl grey tea leafs and the dried lavender in. Zap for a good 1 minute at high speed.

  • Sieve the blended mixture through a fine sieve. 

  • This step removes the chunkier bits and also the calyxes of the dried flower. Set aside for use later. 
Tea syrup
1 earl grey tea bag
1/4 cup boiling water
2-3 Tbsp full cream evaporated milk
3 Tbsp caster sugar
  • Place water, sugar and evaporated milk into a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from fire. Add the tea bag and let it sip for a good 30 minutes and stir it occasionally. 

  • After the tea is well soaked through and it has a good earl grey flavour, set aside to cool and for use later.
Ingredients for Earl Grey Lavender Cake
200 g unsalted butter, room temp
180 g caster sugar
4 large eggs
All of the above Tea Floral mix
200 g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line with parchment paper and grease again an 8" round  base removable cake pan.
  • In the mixing bowl, add in the room temperature butter and caster sugar. Start beating the mixture till light and fluffy which will takes about 4-5 minutes. Lastly add in the reserved Tea Flora mixture above and beat for another minute.

  • Next crack in one egg at a time and beat after each addition. Making sure the egg is completely incorporated after each addition.
  • Sift in the cake flour and baking powder in to the butter mixture. Then fold in gently, making sure it is well combined and no hidden lumps of flour.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Check out the creamy luscious batter!

  • Use a toothpick to give the batter a good swirl to remove any undesirable air pockets.
  • Then bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, rotate in between time to get even baking if necessary.
  • Once the cake tester or the toothpick comes out clean, remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes in the pan.

  • Next invert the cake on a cooling rack till it is cool to the touch. Slice the cake horizontally across so you get two equal thickness of cake discs.

Ingredients for Lemon Vanilla Buttercream
3.3 oz egg white (from three large eggs, ~95 g)
3.3 oz caster sugar (~95 g)
1/2 vanilla bean pod with the beans scraped out
300 g unsalted butter, cut into chunks and room temperature
zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Place the egg white and sugar in a heat proof bowl and place over a double boiler of simmering water. Base of bowl should not touch the water.
  • Stir constantly till the sugar melted. Then place candy thermometer to check on the temperature to make sure it reaches 115C (for sanitary and prevention of semolina). 
  • Immediately beat the egg whites at high speed till it reaches soft peaks.
  • Gradually add in the chunks of butter and beat at medium speed. It may look lumpy at first, but continue to beat and it will eventually come together.
  • Lastly, add in lemon juice and zest and continue to beat till all fluffy and light.
  • Chill the butter cream in a container in the fridge till needed later.
  • On a cake board, grease 1/4 tsp of the buttercream on top. Then place half of the cake disc on top. This will prevent the cake from sliding when traveling with it.
  • Next spoon small amount of the reserved earl grey milk syrup all over the surface of the cake disc. You should use half the amount of the syrup.
  • You then frost 1/3 of the vanilla lemon buttercream over the surface.
  • Place the other cake disc over and making sure the cut side is facing up. Repeat the drizzling of the remaining of the tea syrup all over the cake surface again.

  • Do not worry, you are not gonna make your cake mushy with the syrup. I guarantee you that this step is essential to keep the cake moist and gives it that extra tea flavour. So please don't skip it.
  • Next frost up the whole cake nicely.
  • Chill the cake in the fridge for a good 30 minutes before you bring it out for decorations.
You can decorate your cake however way you want. With chocolate, with more buttercream, drizzle with ganache or topped with mixed fruits. I like mine with fresh flowers and berries this time. And my family actually loved this simplicity of it too.

Nothing is more satisfying when your bake is enjoyed and loved by the family. :') I wish I have made a better cake, but with only 4 hours at hand, I had to settle with this. 

Overall a success, but I would have made a taller cake next time. Perhaps up the egg ratio to 5 instead of 4. 

With this in my bag, I am ready to try out other flavour combinations. ;) Hopefully something nicer. Salted Caramel with Peanut butter? Or Holicks with Chocolate? We will see... ;)

Until then, have a good week ahead all!
Happy baking!


Angie's Recipes said...

So very pretty! Love the elegant flower garnish.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks so much Angie <3

Anonymous said...

hi, may I know how do you handle fresh flowers on the cake?

thank you!


Anonymous said...

May I know from which book is the recipe from?

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

HI, may I know which phoon huat outlet you went to get the lavender? Thanks!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Holland V

Honey Bee Sweets said...

I created this recipe

Honey Bee Sweets said...

I soaked it in alkaline water before using

TT said...

Enjoy your creative recipes! If Im not going to frost the cake, I wont be able to drizzle syrup in between the layers. Would it still be moist?

Honey Bee Sweets said...

TT, I do not know since I did not try that. You can go ahead and do that and let me know.