Thursday, 8 September 2011

Beautiful Bergamot

I love earl Grey tea, and I can fully understand why Captain Picard drinks so much of it.

So, I decided to mix two of my favourite things and make some Earl Grey Tea cakes.  

I did find a lot of recipes, online, but even the vegan ones had to be modified for people who have sensitivities to wheat and soy (like myself), so this recipe was always going to be a little experimental with new substitutes for original substitutes.

However, even with the tweaking, they turned out great. The texture was light and just moist enough, and the bergamot was nicely balanced with the citrus flavours.

And here's how to make them....

Wet Ingredients
1 cup of rice milk
6 to 8 Earl Grey teabags  (I used two Rooibos Earl Grey made by Dragonfly and four Sainsbury's taste The Difference decaffeinated - I would suggest staying away from cheaper brands as the tannins get released very quickly, leading to a rather bitter taste.)
1/4 cup of flavourless oil (I used sunflower)
1 pot of plain 'Wot No Dairy' dessert by Redwood Foods (this is a substitute for the soy yogurt; if you can eat soy you can use that instead.)
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 teaspoon of orange essence
1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice
Dry Ingredients
2 cups rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of ground flax seeds.

Heat the rice milk, on the stove or in a microwave, until it gets close to boiling point.  Add the teabags, cover and remove from the heat.  The tea will have to brew for about ten minutes, so this is the perfect time to pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees or gas mark 6.

Once the tea has brewed, give the bags a good squeeze in order to ensure that you're getting as much flavour from the tea as possible.  Now all the wet ingredients can be mixed together.  

The yogurt substitute will make the mixture a bit lumpy so try to get everything as smooth as possible, at this point, in order to make mixing the dry ingredients easier.

Add the flour gradually, stirring constantly.  Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

The yield of this mixture was about eighteen cupcakes, or one, average, 9 x 9 cake.  Be sure to grease whatever implement you're pouring the mixture into, including paper cases, if you're using them, as the cakes can be quite sticky once baked.  The cakes rise quite well, so it's best not to fill the cases to the top.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until they pass the 'toothpick test'. If possible, allow the cakes to 'rest' overnight as this really enhances the final flavour.


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