Time for cake - but of course. Now, I have recently found myself on a little bit of a kick to lose a little bit of weight (getting bars of Divine dark choc with raspberries doesn't help!). I wouldn't go so far as to use the 'D'* word, but I have been saying things like "I really need to cut down" more frequently than normal. As a result, cake hasn't featured much recently. But it's the weekend. There is gardening to be done, dog walking, fresh air. There most definitely needs to be cake in the house - and not just in the freezer sliced up ready for lunchboxes.
|See it there, cosying up to Hugh and the Hummingbird?|
The result? Well I am very pleased. I'm definitely looking forward to my cup of tea and slice of cake later today.
Green Tea, Cardamon & Vanilla cake
350ml semi-skimmed milk
2 green tea & lemon teabags
8 cardamon pods, bashed in a pestle & mortar
seeds scraped from a vanilla pod
170g unsalted butter
230g golden syrup
20g light brown sugar
20 cardamon pods
280g self raising flour
pinch of salt
2 large eggs, beaten
50g unsalted butter
200g icing sugar
zest & juice of half a lemon
50g cream cheese
Pour the milk into a small pan with the teabags, 8 cardamon pods, the clove and the vanilla seeds. bring gently to the boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes, before setting aside to cool.
Pre-heat the oven to 170C/160C fan/Gas 3.5 and line a 20cm square cake tin.
Strain the milk, and if necessary make back up to 200 ml with some more milk.
Melt the butter, syrup and sugar in a pan, and set aside to cool slightly. While this is cooling, bash the 20 cardamon pods in your pestle and mortar, remove the pods so you are left with the little seeds. Grind these up to a powder. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, stir in the cardamon powder followed by the melted butter/syrup/sugar, the aromatic milk and the eggs. Stir all together, scrape into the tin and bake for around 45 minutes. You may need longer, but make sure there are still a few crumbs on your cake tester - it doesn't necessarily want to come out completely clean.
Once the cake is cooled, make the icing. Whisk the butter for a minute or so till soft (I used my Kenwood to do this, If i was doing it by hand I'd probably beat with a wooden spoon), then sift in half the icing sugar and whisk again (slowly, you don't want to choke in clouds of icing sugar). Add in the lemon juice and whisk to a paste, then add in the rest of the icing sugar, the cream cheese and lemon est and whisk or beat together till smooth. Chill the icing for 15 minutes or so before smearing and smoothing all over your cake.
Wait till it's time for a cup of tea and eat a small slice slowly. Or just put the kettle on now and devour...