Monday, October 18, 2010

Two Layer Vegan Earl Grey Tea Cake. Yes, That's What I Said.

Earl Grey Tea Cake

This past weekend was a bit bananas. It included a visit from my in-laws, a Joan Baez concert, a twelve course vegan molecular gastronomy meal, getting my hands on a brand new book featuring a screenplay I wrote, a bunch of people dancing to Harry Belafonte songs in a barn with a smoke machine and coloured lights, a barfing husband, a dog pooping in the guest room (where the in-laws were sleeping), an overflowing toilet, a leaking ceiling, some lost car and house keys, Megan doing an amazing Nancy Drew impression, and one very nice dinner of barley potato stew and this Earl Grey Tea cake.

And I'm not making any of that up. Which is why tonight I am super happy to just be sitting in front of the fireplace wearing fuzzy green sweatpants with only a snoring dog and a motionless cat for company.

Earl Grey Tea Cake

I've been wanting to make Earl Grey flavoured baked goods for a while. I tried some cupcakes a few weeks ago and they were a complete disaster. I was a bit put off. However, fortune follows bravery, so when Michael asked me to bring dessert to his dinner party on Sunday night I tried again. This time, an excellent layer cake was the result. Achievement unlocked!

I brought the one leftover piece of this in to work and cut it in half to give to my two admin assistants, Diane and Matthieu. Matthieu, who is very, very French Canadian sent me the following e-mail after he ate it: "yummy! Burb! It was delicious! :-) Did your cake have citrus in it?" In fact it did. And really, do you need a more ringing endorsement than "Yummy! Burb!"?


Earl Grey Tea Layer Cake

3 cups all purpose white flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 Earl Grey Tea bags (or more, if your tea is weak and crappy)
1/2 cup margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 9 tbsp water
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease and set aside two round 8" cake pans. If you want your future to be awesome and stress-free, cut parchment paper to line the bottom of each pan.

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and tea from tea bags into one bowl and set it aside.

In another bowl, cream margarine with sugar.

Add lemon juice, flax and water to sugar mixture. Mix well.

Mix vanilla extract into almond milk to "sour" the milk.

Alternately add quarter cups of flour mixture and soured almond milk to sugar mixture, until everything is combined. Don't go crazy and over-mix it.

Divide batter equally into prepared pans.

Bake for between 35-45 minutes, until a chopstick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for ten minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack until they have cooled completely.

Earl Grey Tea Cake

Some Notes:

-I evened out my cakes a bit by carefully sawing off the tops with a bread knife. Then I frosted them with a completely seat-of-my-pants icing which involved me throwing icing sugar, almond milk, margarine, and lemon extract into my Kitchenaid Mixer and hoping for the best.

-Speaking of that Kitchenaid Mixer is now MINE! Regular readers will remember that I borrowed it from Kat because she wasn't using it very often. She called me the other day and told me that for a wedding gift she'd like me to keep it. Hooray! A gift that's free for her (she's got better things to spend her money on) and is useful to me. Plus, it looks so nice on my kitchen shelf, I'd hate to see it go.

-The main reason you aren't hearing me dish about my brand new wedding gifts is because we didn't really get any. Seeing as we didn't need any new stuff we asked people to donate money to either the Ottawa Humane Society or the Aylmer SPCA instead. Some people figured out cool gifts to give us that weren't donations and that was fine too, but I felt good knowing that the places who were responsible for bringing Catie and Sacha into our lives were going to get something out of it, too.


This Time Last Year: Date Macadamia Balls


Joe said...

RE: All of that - WHOA!!!

T said...

That does sound bananas. But that cake sounds so yummy, I love tea in unexpected places.

And I've always said, that getting a Kitchen Aid Mixer is basically the only reason I would ever get married.

ciaochow said...

Everything about this post is so dreamy. From start to finish, it made my day... except for the toilet overflow and pooping dog and barfy husby.

Sarah S. said...

Fantastic cake, and glad you survived the roller coaster that was your weekend. Wanted to also mention that I tried your mushroom gravy, and I've decided there is no reason to try another mushroom gravy recipe again--perfect.

Jes said...

Ohhh tell me you're going to post the vegan molecular gastronomy meal! I'm so so intrigued by it.

As for the cake, I was just thinking about making some earl grey desserts--thanks for some more inspiration!

Kelly said...

I don't believe that that's a real weekend. :)

That cake looks amazing! I'm on a bit of a tea kick at the moment, and the next logical step is incorporating tea + baked goods...

Kristie said...

thank you thank you thank you for making this. Making baked goods with earl grey keeps getting put on the backburner of things to do. But now I see cake..vegan cake. I'm doing it. rock on

saveyrgeneration said...

have you ever tried Adagio loose leaf early grey? it'll change your life, I swear.

Jennifer (It Ain't Meat, Babe) said...

Joe: Whoa indeed.

T: I think Kat got it as a wedding gift originally so it has actually been a wedding gift twice.

Ciaochow: You're right, most of it was dreamy. Punctuated with weird stresses.

Sarah: That makes me really happy about the gravy! I have a miso gravy recipe too that never fails, maybe I'll post that sometime.

Jes: Sorry, I hardly ever take photos of my meals unless I'm travelling and the restaurant was too dark for good photos, sadly. I will add some notes about it next post, though, for those who want to know.

Kelly: It was! I swear!

Kristie: Great! Let me know how it works out.

S.G. Is it really called Early Grey? Because I often type that by mistake and giggle to myself, I would love it if it was actually a thing!

Amanda said...

That cake looks divine. I think your "seat of your pants" icing sounds like the perfect pairing. Thanks for posting the recipe, too.

Finola said...

I love the look of that cake. We make a lot of vegan cakes - so easy and so moist too!

Pauline said...

That looks so good! I am seriously drooling! :)

Toni said...

That's such a great idea about the donations. My husband and I have thought about doing that for Christmas. Rather than people buy us stuff we don't need we would just ask then to donate to someone or something.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Okay. I definitely have to make this!

foodfeud said...

I have been looking for something to bake with tea in it!! This looks beautiful and sounds delicious.
I still may make Earl Grey shortcake but this is SO happening.
I just found yr blog. It's supercute. Thanks for the recipe.


kimberly said...

i'm a little late on looks fantastic! i really want to make it now!

Lesley said...

I recently made this for a pot luck with my own vegan lemon cream icing on top. Everyone loved it and I had a million people asking me for the recipe. Fantastic recipe!

Ruth Digby said...

Unbelievably delicious! I made this for my 21st birthday, and I have to say, it was among the best cakes I have ever baked. Possibly the best. And I have baked a lot of cakes.

Lexi Purcell said...

How much water with the teabags?
And im in Australia, are u using US cups and tblsp etc?

Alex said...

WOW, great recipe!! I made this on a whim for a tea-loving friend's birthday and the cake turned out so well; perfect amount of earl grey flavor and wonderful consistency. I paired it with a vegan lavender frosting - it was a huge hit!