EARL GREY TEA CAKE WITH LAVENDER SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

This cake was the inspiration for a very special kitchen tea bridal shower cake for a friend of mine. Her theme was rustic & lavender, so this Earl Grey Tea Semi Naked Cake with Lavender Swiss Meringue Buttercream was the perfect fit.

EARL GREY TEA CAKE WITH LAVENDER SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Ingredients:
– 1 cup milk
– 5 earl grey tea bags
– 3 cups plain flour
– 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
– pinch salt
– 225g unsalted butter, softened
– 2 cups caster sugar
– 4 eggs
– 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line the bottom of two 7inch round baking tins with baking paper, and grease the bottom and sides.
  • Place milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat then add 4 of the Earl Grey teabags and leave to brew, covered, for 20mins. After 20mins remove the teabags and squeeze out all the liquid. Set the milky tea aside to cool slightly.
  • Place the flour, baking powder, salt, and the contents of the remaining teabag in a bowl, and mix to combine with a whisk. Next place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture, and milky tea in alternating batches, ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.
  • Divide the mixture between the prepared tins, and place in preheated oven for 45mins or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Leave in tins for 5mins, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To assemble, level off the cake domes, and cut each cake in half. Place a layer of cake on a cake board, and top with a generous layer of the lavender buttercream. Use an offset spatula to smooth the buttercream and make an even layer. Top with another layer of cake and repeat with the buttercream until you have all four layers assembled. Top the cake with another layer of buttercream and smooth out evenly, letting it extend over the edges. Next, add the buttercream around the sides of the cake until it is completely covered. To achieve that semi naked cake look, take an upright palette knife and carefully remove the buttercream around the sides of the cake until it is smooth, and you can see a hint of the cake underneath. Smooth the top edges of the cake by pulling an offset spatula across from the top edge to the center of the cake, repeat all the way around until the top is smooth and flat. To finish, top the cake with a sprinkle of lavender for decoration.