Today, we were finally awarded a snow day off from school and work.

Usually, by this time of the year, we have had one or two days already, so this one I have welcomed with open arms. My morning was spent painting in the studio and researching ashtanga yoga practices (to embark upon an all-encompassing practice of this unique and challenging yoga lifestyle). Around noon, Chad was home from work and I was ready to bake, as usually happens on days such as this. I have been wanting to make Earl Grey Tea Cake with Rhubarb Icing for quite some time, as my lcal stores did not carry rhubarb, and I did not figure that the cake would taste as good without this ingredient. Lo and behold, last week, I found rhubarb at my nearby store and bought it up!
The process in the recipe is straightforward, but I doubled everything, as the icing was said to make a lot, and I would rather have more cake! As the ice fell in pellets, locking us into our home for the day I blended sugar in my coffee grinder (to make caster sugar–it works perfectly!) and created this beautiful recipe. I also used half and half instead of milk as I had it on hand from omelets this weekend.

The result is a beautiful, dense tea cake, that might have to be a part of my winter tea routine. I ended up with three small cakes from doubling the recipe.

Earl Grey Cake with Rhubarb Cream Cheese Glaze
(Adapted from ‘Earl Grey Tea Cakes’ recipe from Good Taste)
2 Earl Grey tea bags (about 3 tsp leaves)
60ml (1/4 cup) boiling water
80ml (1/3 cup) milk
100g butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
160g (2/3 cup) caster sugar
190g (1 1/4 cups) self-raising flour

For the glaze:
150g (1 cup) rhubarb, diced
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp caster sugar and 1 tbsp water
125g cream cheese, softened
1 cup (150g) icing sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin. Empty the tea leaves from the tea bags into a cup and add the boiling water. Set aside for 3 minutes then add milk to cup.

Place butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. With the mixer on low, gradually add flour and tea mixture, alternating between wet and dry ingredients. Beat until just combined.

Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside for 2-3 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cake is baking and cooling, place rhubarb in a small saucepan on low heat with lemon zest, sugar and water. Stirring occasionally, simmer rhubarb until soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Puree mixture in a food processor or blender. Place cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add sifted icing sugar and rhubarb puree and beat until smooth. Pour over the top of cooled cake and serve immediately. Can be refrigerated overnight.


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