There’s something so satisfying about making a simple and delicious cake such as the recipe I am about to share.This a spin off of a whipped cream cake recipe I did last fall, based on Rose Levy Berenbaum’s book. You know that it’s a great recipe when you crave the cake’s fluffiness. I grew up drinking Hong Kong style milk tea – a product of the British colonial times. Hong Kong style milk tea is known for its intensity in aroma. It is usually made with several kinds of black teas, simmered down to concentrate flavours, and is served with evaporated or condensed milk. It has a unique smoothness and silkiness. Having it iced is the best thing after a bowl of hot noodle soup in the summer. Warn you, HK milk tea is so concentrated that it is not always easy on the stomach – it might be a good idea to bring some pepto-bismo if you embarked on this milk tea adventure. The memory of this tasty beverage served as an inspiration to this honey milk tea bundt cake. I love infusing tea into my desserts but it is sometimes difficult to get lot of flavour without adding too much tea leaves, which may taste bitter or grainy. My experiment started with a cold infusion of breakfast tea in the whipping cream overnight. I wanted to have the tea leaves inside the cake for more flavour and the speckled look so I blended the infused cream, making the leaves finer. I also like honey with tea, its floral character suits tea very well. The cake is simply delicious: a moist cake with a robust milk tea flavour complemented by the subtle notes of honey.
- 2.5 g / 1 tsp black tea leaves
- 60 g / 1/3 cup water
- 8 g / 2 tsp sugar
- 350 g / 1-1/2 cup whipping cream
- 7.5 g / 1 tbsp black tea leaves (I used a breakfast tea because it is more robust)
- 225 g / 2-1/4 cup cake flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/5 tsp fine salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 225g / 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 20 g / 1 tbsp + 1 tsp liquid honey
- Simmer all ingredients for about 3 minutes, strain, set aside until cake is ready.
- Infuse tea leaves in whipping cream in a clean container and place in the fridge overnight .
- Adjust oven rack to lower third, preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C. Butter and flour a 10 cup fluted tube cake pan. Set aside until ready to use.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: sifted cake flour, salt and baking powder. Lightly whisk together eggs and honey.
- Blend with a blender or immersion blender to break down the tea leaves. Do not incorporate too much air so it becomes whipped. Whip infused whipping cream in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, starting at low speed, and increase to high speed gradually and whip cream to form stiff peaks. (no need to chill bowl and whisk)
- On medium high speed, gradually beat the egg mixture into the whipped cream. The cream will thicken to a mayonnaise texture. Gradually beat in the sugar, it will take about 30 seconds to incorporate.
- Add half the flour mixture to the cream mixture, and with a large silicone spatula, stir and fold in the flour until most of it disappears.
- Scrape or spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Run a small metal spatual or dull knife blade through the batter to prevent large air bubbles, avoiding the bottom of the pan. Smooth surface evenly with a small metal spatula.
- Bake cake for about 35-45 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted between the tube and the side comes out completely clean and the cake springs bake when pressed lightly in the center. The start should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Flip the cake onto the cooling rack. Gently brush on syrup until all liquid is absorbed. Cool completely and dust with icing sugar and powdered black tea leaves if desired.
Recipe adapted from Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Berenbaum, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009.
This cake was an instant favourite when I brought it to work. Its tea flavour intensifies even more the next day. I love having the cake just plain, but it is also delicious with a generous dollop of whipped cream. Its soft crumb and creaminess remind me of Hong Kong style milk tea’s prized silk-like texture. In fact, HK milk tea is sometimes referred to by locals as “pantyhose” milk tea to emphasize its velvety smoothness. I am grateful to live in a city where we are surrounded by excellent Asian food because writing this post makes me crave that iced milk tea with a fresh egg tart!