Earl Grey, Lemon and Blueberry Loaf Cake
This loaf cake will certainly spice up your mid-morning snack. A light and fluffy sponge infused with earl grey, one of Britain's favourite tea! Plus some wonderfully beautiful and tart blueberries with a zest of lemon to top it all off. So yummy!
Usually I would buy buttermilk for recipes like this, but I decided to make my own and to actually infuse the milk with earl grey so you get more of the tea flavour. I recommend to you loose leaf tea to get a better and more fragrant flavour. If you can't find any loose leaf tea, that's ok, just cut open a tea bag and you can use the leaves from there! Try and get a good quality brand of tea, it will make all the difference! A little bit more effort but so worth it!
Earl Grey and Lemon is such a classic flavour for a drink as well as more and more bakes. Although, It isn't known how this tea became earl grey tea, but the story is told about 200 years ago a gift was given containing tea from China and Bergamot from Italy to Charles Grey. It was in the same box and the flavour and aroma of the bergamot infused the tea and Earl Grey was made! I've added Blueberries to this classic flavour combo, and it works so well, especially when blueberries are in their prime season right now. This is what I love about summer.. endless berries that are so delicious to eat and are all grown in Britain!
Makes one large loaf, you will need a medium to large loaf tin
100g Unsalted butter
1 medium egg
225g Plain flour
2 tbsp. Lemon juice
2 tbsp. Earl Grey leaves
1 tbsp. White wine vinegar
1 tbsp. Bicarbonate of soda
2 lemon zest
For the syrup:
1 tsp. Earl grey leaves
For the icing:
150g Icing sugar
40g Blueberry puree
plus water to adjust consistency
Blueberries to decorate
Firstly, let's make the buttermilk. Heat up the milk until warm, add the 2 tbsp. Earl Grey leaves into the milk and leave to stew for about 10 minutes. Strain the milk and leave to cool completely.
Once the the milk is cool, add the lemon juice and stir. Leave aside until ready.
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius fan. Grease and line the loaf tin with baking paper.
Using a free-standing mixer with the paddle attachment or a handheld whisk, cream together the sugar, butter and lemon zest until light and fluffy.
Slowly add the egg until all mixed together.
Add the flour and earl grey buttermilk alternatively. Continuing to mix as you slowly add the ingredients. Mix until all combined.
In a small bowl mixed together the bicarbonate of soda and white wine vinegar. It should fizz together and then die down, add to the batter and fold until all mixed together.
Toss the blueberries in 1 tbsp. of flour so that they don't sink to the bottom, and then fold through the batter. Pour into the loaf tin and place into the oven for about 45 minutes, depending on your oven.
Whilst the cake is baking, let's prepare the syrup. In a small pan, place the water and sugar and bring to the boil. Once the sugar has dissolved and is boiling, take off the heat and add the earl grey leaves. Leave for 10 minutes and then strain.
Once the cake is out of the oven, brush the syrup over the sponge. (note: you may not need all of the syrup)
Leave the loaf cake to cool completely before icing.
To make the icing, mix together the icing sugar and blueberry puree. ( to make the puree, using a food processor to blitz 50-60g blueberries until a liquid and then pass through a sieve. Or mash with a fork and pass through a sieve). If the icing is too stiff, add 1 tsp. water slowly until you get a consistency where if you draw a line through the icing, it will disappear after 5 seconds, not before.
Drizzle the icing over the loaf cake, using a spoon or palette knife to spread around the cake. Decorate with loads of blueberries!