A fluffy, tender and light cake with a subtle tea flavour and gorgeous lemon curd filling. Topped with a light lemon curd flavoured mascarpone cream, this cake is best served with a cup of Earl Grey tea, and will last for up to two days. You will need 2 x 20cm cake tins and a wire rack for this recipe.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Decoration time: 10 minutes
Earl Grey Tea Cake:
250g/9 oz. self-raising flour
250g/9 oz. golden caster sugar
250g/9 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
5 medium eggs, room temperature
60ml/2.5 fl. oz. milk
1-2 tsp of loose leaf good quality Earl Grey tea (depending on how strong you want the flavour)
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Butter to grease the cake tin, as well as silicon paper to line the base.
2 lemons, zest and juice
50g/2 oz. unsalted butter
120g/4.5 oz. white caster sugar
2 medium eggs
Lemon Curd Mascarpone:
60g/2.5 oz. icing sugar
400ml/14 fl. oz double cream
250g/9 oz. mascarpone
120g/4.5 oz. lemon curd
Edible flowers and lemons
1. Heat oven to 180 degrees C (160C fan) and prepare the middle shelf for baking. Grease the cake tins with butter. Line the bottom of the cake tin with silicon paper.
2. Place the milk into a saucepan with the tea leaves and heat gently until steam rises from the pan. This is called scalding the milk. Once steaming, take off the heat and allow to cool slightly and the flavours to infuse.
3. Place the butter and caster sugar into a bowl and mix with an electric whisk until pale and creamy, around 2-3 minutes.
4. Beat the eggs with a fork in a separate bowl and add gradually to the butter and sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating the mixture with the electric whisk in-between egg additions.
5. Add the vanilla extract, milk and tea mixture and stir together with a wooden spoon.
6. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl. Add these dry ingredients to the cake mixture and fold quickly until combined.
7. Divide the mixture into two cake tins and bake on the middle shelf for 25-30 minutes until the cake is golden, pulling away from the edges. Test with a skewer if you are unsure, if the skewer comes out clean the cake is fully baked. Allow the cakes to cool for a couple of minutes before removing them from their tins. Cool on a wire rack.
8. Grate the zest and juice the lemons, and place into a saucepan. Add the sugar, butter and beaten eggs and stir together.
9. Place the saucepan on a low to medium heat and continue to stir until the sugar and butter has melted. Once melted, increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring continuously until it is smooth and has thickened, approximately 2 minutes from boiling point.
10. Strain the mixture through a sieve and allow to cool.
Lemon Curd Mascarpone Cream Frosting:
11. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add the cream. Beat together with an electric whisk until the cream has thickened and is holding its shape well (but be careful not to overwhip!)
12. In a separate bowl, mix the mascarpone with the cooled lemon curd. Fold the lemon curd mascarpone into the whipped cream until combined.
13. Once the cakes are cool, take one cake to make it the bottom layer. Spread a layer of lemon curd onto the top of this cake.
14. Spread the lemon curd mascarpone cream on top of the curd, ensuring a decent thick layer is spread across.
15. Place the second cake on top of the filling. Spread the remaining mascarpone cream on top of the cake.
16. To create a swirl pattern, you will need a cake turntable. Place the top edge of your palette knife on the edge of the cake, and then rotate the turntable continuously. Keep the palette knife steady but slowly curve it inwards to create a swirl at the centre of the cake. To accentuate the swirl, pipe some curd into the crevices.
17. To finish, add some edible flowers and cut lemons on top of the cake. The cake will be at its best for up to two days.