Blueberry and orange cake… with Earl Grey

NPG D34953; Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey by Samuel Cousins, published by and after  Sir Thomas LawrenceAs part of my Year of the Earl, I’m also looking to bake with Earl Grey in various different ways. So when I found a blueberry and orange cake with Earl Grey syrup in Annabel Crabbe’s Special Delivery, I was pretty excited.

The cake itself is blueberries and ricotta and orange zest, and it’s pretty straightforward. You make the batter, layer half of it in a springform pan, put most of the blueberries in the middle, and then cover with the rest of the batter and scatter a few berries on top.

While it’s cooking, you make a syrup. The original recipe called for Lady Grey, but I decided to make a change – WHAT A NOT-SURPRISE – because I don’t actually have a lot of Lady Grey (waaaat?!). I do, however, have a great deal of French Earl Grey and I figured that the flavours in that would complement the berries and orange well enough.

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So the syrup is three teabags’ worth of tea, steeped for about 5 minutes, then boiled with orange juice and sugar for a little bit. And the syrup itself was very nice, but… not really very Earl Grey-y. I’m honestly not convinced it made much of a difference; and I can’t see that making it with Lady Grey would have been any different. Maybe the tea needs to steep for longer, to get more tannins or something? I don’t know. Maybe a bit less orange, since that was the dominant flavour for me.

Anyway. It was a very nice cake and I’m happy to have made it (although I think I over-mixed it as it wasn’t quite as light and fluffy as I expected).

 

Taste

Two recipes from Taste

Banana, date and apricot oat bars:

Yeh nah. I liked the theory – and hey, healthy! But… they’re just a bit bland. I even added a bit of extra cinnamon, and replaced some oats with coconut as one of the commenters suggested. I’ll eat the ones I made, but I won’t be making this again.

Ricotta fritters:

Oh yes. These were excellent and I will be making these again – and I’ll be making variations too. This one calls for sun-dried tomatoes and chives, and calls to be served with bacon. This was excellent. However, these would also be excellent as sweet fritters – cinnamon and dehydrated apple maybe? Chocolate chips would be amazing…. And next time, I would be more sensible in the cooking: I made them way too thick this first time, trying to use my crumpet rings. The width was good, the depth too great, so they got a little browner than was best