Earl grey and lavender cake

Spending time brainstorming flavour combinations and ideas while enjoying a cup of strong earl grey naturally lead to its inevitable inclusion in this recipe. Its such a subtle flavour that anything paired with it cannot be too overpowering, and a glance outside fell upon the lavender bush. Instantly I was whisked away to the south of France, enjoying a pot of earl grey surrounded by lavender fields. One day! Until then I shall have to make do with filling the kitchen with earl grey and lavender.

This cake is lovely but could do with a stronger earl grey flavour. Other than that, the icing is heavenly and the cake is soft and moist (thanks to potatoes). Also, I think I have an obsession with loaf cakes currently. I promise, no more!

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Ingredients

100ml boiling water

1 earl grey teabag

3 eggs

160g white sugar

240g peeled and finely grated potato

IMG_9158100g flour

50g almond meal

2 tsp baking powder

100ml boiling water

1 earl grey teabag

2 tbsp dried lavender flowers, ground

 

Method

Preheat oven to 180˚, line the base of a loaf tin with baking paper.

Brew the tea, with leaves loose in the hot water.

Whisk eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. 3-5 minutes

Add the potato, followed by flour, almond meal and baking powder.

Mixed until combined, then add tea, tea leaves and lavender.

Pour into tin and bake for 40 minutes.

Leave to cool completely and ice.

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Cream Cheese and Lemon Icing

50g butter

250g icing sugar

75g cream cheese

20ml lemon juice

 

Cream butter.

Add half the icing sugar and whisk

Add the cream cheese, the remaining icing sugar andthe lemon juice

Whisk until fluffy

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Coffee and Walnut Cake

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Something about the combination of coffee and walnut makes me long for winter nights spent in front of a warm fire, sipping tea and reading an old book, or coming inside from the blustery icy wind and meeting the rich aroma of fresh coffee matched with a newly baked cake. Or maybe my longing for winter is just getting the better of me. With my romantic mindset, the Coffee and Walnut Courage cake in Harry Eastwood’s Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache just begged to be made, and my goodness, the only fault in the result is that it is in fact still summer, and I can’t come in after running with the wind over the moors to this cake. Hmm, i think I need to step out of Bronte world.

The cake, is delicious, moist, but dense, and not too sweet. The walnuts do the talking, gently keeping the coffee icing in check. It may seem like an effort to blitz walnuts and grate carrot, but trust me, its worth it.

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Ingredients: Cake

200g flour

120g blitzed walnuts

3 eggs

160 raw/brown sugar

250g peeled and finely grated carrots

2tsp baking powder

125ml coffee (espresso shots or essence)

 

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Ingredients: Icing

50g cold butter

250g icing sugar

75g cream cheese

3tsp coffee essence

Method: Cake

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line bases of either 2 18cm round tins or 2 small loaf tins

Combine flour, baking powder and walnuts

Beat eggs and sugar until pale (3mins)

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Add grated carrot followed by flour mix and beat until combined

Add the coffee and mix

Pour into tins and bake for 30mins

 

Method: Icing

Whisk the butter until pale and fluffy

Add half the icing sugar and whisk.

Add the cream cheese, coffee and remaining icing sugar and whisk

 

Ice cakes as desired when completely cooled.

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Mocha Cookies with Black Pepper

Mocha cookies with black pepper is, in my opinion,  a complete misnomer because on making these, I would rename them Death by Chocolate cookies. I didn’t get a huge coffee hit, and while other people said they could taste the pepper, it remained elusive for me.

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So feel free to up the quantity of Tia Maria, or coffee, as well as the black pepper (gradually though, we don’t want pepper cookies). Also, I replaced the raisins in the original recipe with glacé cherries, because that was in the cupboard. Once again, I would increase the quantity, and decrease the quantity of chocolate chips.

Anyway, they are rather nice, my dad is particularly fond of them. And they are rapidly disappearing in my brothers lunch boxes…

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Make and enjoy 🙂

Original recipe from The Golden Book of Cookies

Ingredients

300g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

100g glacé cherries

2 tbsp Tia Maria

250g 70% dark chocolate

60g butter

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp coffee essence

90g chocolate chips

Method

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Preheat oven to 180˚C

line 2 baking sheets with baking paper

Mix flour, baking powder and pepper

Melt the chocolate with the butter in a double boiler and then allow to cool slightly

Beat eggs and sugar until creamy

Add the chocolate and vanilla and coffee

Beat in the flour mix, then the cherries and Tia Maria.

Press tablespoons of dough onto the sheets.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes.

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