Saturday, January 08, 2011

ok it isn't healthy by any means but.....
i found this recipe online and I WANT TO MAKE IT!!!!
mainly because i 1. love tea and 2. love red velvet cake.
the two together? MAGIC I BET!!!!

on a much healthier note, i just finished drinking an entire nalgene of water and some delicious sushi. OM NOM NOMMMM :)

Black tea red velvet cake

350g unsalted butter
3 heaped tablespoons of loose-leaf Earl Grey tea
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup strong Earl Grey tea (steeped for about 10 minutes)
1 50ml bottle red food colouring (this is optional; you can leave this out completely if you want)
2 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tbs cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbs white vinegar

Start preparing the night before you want to make the cake. Melt the butter in a saucepan over very low heat. Once it is melted, take it off the heat. Add in the loose-leaf Earl Grey tea and stir. Leave at room temperature for an hour, then transfer to a bowl, cover in cling-wrap, and place in the fridge overnight.

The next day, place the re-solidified butter in a saucepan again (you may have to microwave the bowl for 20 seconds or so to get the butter to dislodge) and melt over a very low heat until liquid. Strain out the tea by pouring the liquid butter through a sieve into a bowl. Press the tea into the sieve with a spoon in order to squeeze out the butter that it has absorbed. Leave the butter at room temperature for an hour, then place it back in the fridge for an hour or so, checking it regularly, until it has firmed up and is the consistency of soft butter.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease two loaf pans with butter, line with baking paper, then grease the paper with butter.

Cream 170g of the tea-flavoured butter (keep the rest for the icing) and sugar together in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment until fluffy and light (about 5-10 minutes). Add the eggs in one at a time, beating well after each one. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula if necessary. Add the vanilla, salt, strong tea and food colouring and mix well.

Sift the flour, mixed spice and baking powder into a bowl. Add about 1/3 of this dry ingredient mixture into the mixture in the electric beater’s bowl and start beating, then slowly add about 1/3 of the buttermilk while the mixer is running. Add the next third of the dry ingredients and beat, followed by the next third of the buttermilk as before, and then repeat for the last time. Once the mixture is well combined, get a small bowl and put the bicarbonate of soda in it, then add the vinegar and whisk with a fork to make sure any lumps dissolve. Add this into the cake mixture and beat on medium speed for about 10 seconds.

Spoon the mixture into the two greased and lined loaf pans and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Put a cake tester or skewer into one of the cakes to check if it’s done — the skewer should come out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 30 minutes (the cakes are very delicate when still hot) then carefully remove them onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Black tea icing
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
leftover tea-flavoured butter from the cake recipe*
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup strong Earl Grey tea (steeped for about 10 minutes)

Cream the butter in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment until pale and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until well-combined and smooth. Add the tea and beat again until smooth.

To assemble my cakes, I trimmed the sides with a bread knife to make them perfectly vertical (since the cakes were cooked in loaf pans that had slightly sloping sides) and to reveal the red sponge (since the outside of the cake is usually a bit brown). I trimmed the top off one cake to make it perfectly flat, spread some of the icing on that so it was about 1cm thick, put the other cake on top, then spread the rest of the icing on top of that.
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