Oops! Somehow another madeleine recipe has made it onto this blog… These are like my perfect Anglo-French treat. The floral earl grey tea goes really well with the sharp sweet raspberries and the little sponges have a wonderful melt-in-the-mouth texture. There may have been an […]
Sometimes you just need a slice of rich gooey chocolate cake. A moelleux isn’t some namby-pamby light, fluffy sponge adorned with frosting. It’s a serious chocolate hit. Dense and fudgy and a little bit gooey in the middle, almost to the point of melting. It’s […]
I couldn’t help myself. I have to squeeze in another rhubarb recipe before the season is over. The plant in my garden still seems to be building up its strength after a few years of neglect whilst we were living in the States so it’s not quite up to being harvested yet. But that can’t hold back my rhubarb love, there’s always a new recipe brewing in the back of my mind!
I’ve adapted my yoghurt cake recipe (again) for this one. It’s such a wonderfully versatile batter and it’s never let me down. It always produces a lovely soft cake which isn’t too rich or too sweet. I’ve reduced the sugar in this one a bit to account for the rhubarb and you may want to adjust the amount of matcha to suit your own tastes.
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
100g sugar + 1-2 tbsp extra
75g butter (melted and cooled)
150g plain yoghurt/skyr
6 tbsp milk
2 tsp matcha powder (or to suit your own tastes)
Pre-heat your oven to 190°c and line a loaf tin with baking paper. Wipe the rhubarb with some damp kitchen paper and slice into 1 cm pieces. Toss them in 1 -2 tbsp of sugar and place in a baking dish. Roast the rhubarb in the oven as it pre-heats until it is nice and tender and then set aside to cool.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Whisk in the salt and sugar and make a well in the centre.
In a separate bowl or jug whisk together the butter, yoghurt, eggs, milk and matcha until it is really smooth and well blended.
Add these wet ingredients to the dry ones and briefly fold it in, so that the mixture is just combined. Finally fold through the roasted rhubarb. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and smooth off the top. Bake the cake for around 45 minutes. If it starts to brown a little too much then simply cover the top with a piece of foil. Test that the cake is baked right through by inserting a skewer into the middle, it should come out clean if it’s done. Remove from the oven and leave it in the tin to cool for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Panna cotta is pretty quick and easy to make (bar setting time) and it’s always sure to impress. It can be such an elegant dessert. Darjeeling has a much more complex flavour than your average cup of Rosie Lea and it works really well paired […]
This month it has been Mr Colonial Cravings birthday! He’s really quite old now, so to soften the blow a little I decided to go all out and bake him a fancy cake that I knew he would love. He is an absolute tea addict so I was pretty sure that he would love a cake that was flavoured with tea of any kind. (For a birthday treat we actually went to the only tea plantation in the US. That man knows how to live it up, I tell you!)
He is also pretty particular about which kinds of tea should be served with milk and which should not so I played it safe and paired the Earl Grey in this with zingy lemon. I’ve said it before but Swiss meringue buttercream is SO superior to the usual ‘chuck all the ingredients in a bowl and beat it together’ type. It really is worth the extra effort when you’re baking for a special occasion. The results are so rich and creamy and I think that you get much better flavour from it than just an overwhelming sweetness. I think that it complements the delicate flavours of the tea perfectly.
If you want to make the Earl Grey influence a bit more subtle then just use one teabag, instead of two. It’s also worth bearing in mind that Swiss meringue buttercream does melt quite easily so you’ll need to keep the cake cool.
1-2 Earl Grey tea bags, emptied out and the leaves ground up very finely
1 tbsp boiling water
120g butter, softened
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream
3 egg whites
200g butter (cut into small pieces)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
To make the sponge you need to pre-heat your oven to 190°c and grease and line three standard size cake tins (I think mine are about 8-9″).
Use a pestle and mortar to grind up the tea so that you have a fairly fine powder and use 1 tbsp of freshly boiled water to make it into a paste. Leave this to cool.
Sift together the flour and baking powder and combine this with the salt and sugar ensuring that they are well mixed. Beat this dry blend into the softened butter until you have something that looks a bit like damp sand.
In a separate jug, whisk together the eggs and milk before incorporating the Earl Grey tea paste. Add half of this to the dry mixture and beat it together well. Add the remaining liquid and beat again to combine it all and leave you a fairly runny batter. Divide this evenly between the three prepared cake tins, level off the surfaces and pop them in the oven, all on the same shelf if your oven is big enough.
Bake the sponges for around 20 minutes, so that they are risen and golden brown, and if you poke them with a skewer or cake tester it comes out clean. Carefully turn the sponges out onto a wire rack and leave them to cool.
Start on the Swiss meringue buttercream by putting the egg whites in a spotlessly clean bowl over a pan on gently simmering water. Add the sugar and use a hand whisk to whip them continuously whilst they heat up. They should become quite foamy and when they are ready to come off the heat, they will feel hot to the touch and the sugar should be totally dissolved.
Take the bowl off the pan of water and use an electric whisk to whip the meringue until it is thick and glossy. If by this stage the base of the bowl has dropped to room temperature(ish) then you can start to whisk in the butter, a couple of pieces at a time. Continue to whip the buttercream until you have incorporated all of the butter and it is thick, smooth and creamy. Whisk in the lemon juice, a splash at a time to check the flavour. Keep the zest for decoration.
Assemble the cake by covering the tops of all three sponges with the butter cream and then stacking them carefully on top of each other, making sure that the best looking one is on the top. Transfer any remaining butter cream to a piping bag and pipe little rosettes around the edge of the top layer. Sprinkle on the lemon zest for a final touch.
I was looking back through some of my older recipes recently and came across my yummy green tea and lemon Swiss roll, https://coriandercooks.com/2014/01/17/green-tea-and-lemon-swiss-roll/. I’ve been seeing matcha used in a lot of recipes of late so I though I might have another bash at baking […]
The first day of March is St David’s day. St David is the patron saint of Wales and whilst I consider myself to be Cornish I was actually born in Wales. The daffodils aren’t out here yet so I need to find something else to mark the day with. That’s a good enough excuse to make Welsh cakes for me!
My mum used to make these for us as an after-school treat, cooking them directly on the stove top of our Rayburn. Although the method and ingredients for the dough are similar to scones the end result is quite different. Soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside little griddlecakes, they are delicious warm with a little dab of butter or cold sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
I have also read about the tradition of giving ‘Newport lovelies’ whereby the men of Newport give their new wives Welsh cakes as a wedding gift. I think my friend Katy may need to have words with her husband about this as a suspect she may have missed out.
You don’t have to soak the fruit, it’s not traditional to, but it does plump it up a bit and the tea adds an extra depth of flavour. If you choose to do so then simply pour a few tablespoons of black tea over the fruit and leave it for a few hours to absorb. Drain off any excess liquid before using.
makes about 12
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
pinch of salt
3 tbsp dried fruit (raisin/sultana/currants) soaked in tea
splash of milk or buttermilk (I used the orange buttermilk from my homemade butter)
Mix together all of the dry ingredients except the fruit. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub this into the dry ingredients to leave you with a mixture that resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix through the fruit.
Lightly beat the egg and use this to bring the dry mixture together to form a soft dough. If you need a little more moisture then incorporate the milk/buttermilk into the mix.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1cm thick. Use any shaped cutter you like, though round is traditional, to cut out the cakes. Cook these in a little butter on a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. They should take about 3 minutes on each side and be just cooked in the middle.
My home made orange and cinnamon butter is really good on these by the way…