Welcome to winter! There is no season like it. The crackling fires, hot beverages, flannels, scarves and mittens — it’s a season where being warm is our mission, because brrrrrr… it sure can get chilly outside!
It’s the time of the year when getting out of your cozy bed is not for the faint of heart so warm up your belly when it’s cold with a hot cup of Whidbey’s gourmet tea. Winter is a time for comfort — In these times there is nothing more comforting than a cup of hot tea, and a slice of yummy cake.
I enjoy baking -- I love the process of taking simple ingredients and turning them into something delicious. Baking is inherently creative, so I thought it would be fun during these winter months to work on my baking skills, and find recipes that will go great with one of our Whidbey Tea blends! Tea and cake go together like winter and a sweater!
Looking through recipes and cookbooks I discovered this Earl Grey Lemon Blueberry Cake… when the blueberries and citrus zest are baked they get an aromatic scent that is just like our Russian Earl Grey! Earl Grey tea is a bold and versatile blend of tea which has been flavored with the addition of oil from the bergamot orange. The rind's fragrant oil is added to classic black tea to give Earl Grey its unique taste. Whidbey’s Russian Earl Grey is a twist on traditional Earl Grey with hints of citrus.
The best time to bake is when it is cold and dreary outside, so let baking bring you some joy this winter. The smell of Vanilla has been found to make you happier, and increase feelings of joy and relaxation. Get into your cozy kitchen, mindfully crack those eggs, take in a deep whiff of the aromatic vanilla, and try this delicious recipe for Earl Grey Blueberry Lemon Cake:
1/2 cup milk
3-4 bags of Whidbey’s Russian Earl Grey Tea
1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons orange zest
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup plus, 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
3/4 cup almond flour (or 1/2 cup all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon blueberry jam (optional)
2/3 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 blood orange (optional)
Bring the milk to a low boil in a small saucepan until steaming.
Remove from the heat. Add the tea bags, cover, and steep for 10 minutes.
Remove the tea bags and discard.
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease a (9x5 inch) loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon zest, and orange zest until combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, then add the vanilla. Add 1 cup flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt, and beat to combine. Add the steeped milk, beating until just combined. Toss the blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour, then fold in 3/4 cups blueberries.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Swirl in the blueberry jam, then sprinkle on the remaining blueberries and 1 tablespoon sugar.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the center is just set. Let cool before glazing.
Meanwhile, make the glaze. Remove the zest from the blood orange with a vegetable peeler in wide strips. Thinly slice the strips. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, and lemon juice until smooth and drizzly. Stir in the orange zests.
Drizzle the glaze over the cake. Slice and enjoy!
Wild and free with a cup of tea! The horse on our specialty tin symbolizes a love of adventure and freedom. There is nothing cozier than a warm cup of tea on a chilly winter day, and coupled with a delicious slice of cake. Mmmmm!!!! Make yourself a pot of Whidbey’s gourmet tea, and enjoy it with a piece of this Earl Grey Lemon Blueberry Cake! With a cup of tea in your hand, anything is possible!