I have been interning at the Scottish Poetry Library. This in itself demands another post, because a group of lovelier ladies and a better working atmosphere do/does not exist.

So, for my last day (sobs abounding, mainly my own) I made an Earl Gray and Lavender teacake. The SPL take their four o’clock tea time extremely seriously, and it is a nerve-wracking task to meet the standards of any place where ‘favourite biscuit’ is a legitimate biographical detail. Incidentally ‘my favourite biscuit is a martini’ was one person’s response…

As you can see, tea here is like tea at the Ritz. But better.

This cake, therefore, needed to be special. It turned out well, but I have a few comments – if you’re after a sponge rather than a teacake, adapt accordingly:

*Do not use a loaf tin. Suggestive dough forms into whatever you put it in. Round tin would be better.
*More raising agent.
*Don’t melt the butter – rather, cream the butter and sugar as you normally would.

Anyway, here is the recipe:

Earl Grey and Lavender Cake
For the Cake
200g self raising flour
1tsp Baking powder
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
100ml milk
2 Earlg Grey tea bags
80g butter

For the drizzle
50ml Earl Grey tea (strong, left to steep)
2 tablespoons caster sugar

For the icing
Icing Sugar
Earl Grey
Lavender

**
Electric whisk
loaf tin
greaseproof paper

1) Grease and line the tin. Set the oven to gas mark 5. Steep the tea bags in the milk in a small saucepan over a low heat for five minutes (not letting the milk boil) and then remove from the heat, stirring and allowing the milk to cool slightly, Remove the teabags from the milk only when you add the milk to the rest of the ingredients.

2)Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk the eggs. In a separate jug, make up 150ml of Earl grey tea (using one teabag) and allow to steep throughout. This will form the base of the icing and the drizzle.

3)Melt the butter and add to the dry ingredients along with the milk.

4)Whisk the batter, adding the eggs as you do so. The resulting mixture should be fairly runny.

5)Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 30-40 mins (checking after 20 as I have a fairly lugubrious oven). It ought to be golden on the top and a skewer should come out of it clean. If it needs longer after the top is golden, cover it loosely with tinfoil so it doesn’t burn or dry out.

6)Prick the cake combine the drizzle ingredients. Use the drizzle whilst the cake is still hot.

7)Allow the cake to cool before making up the icing. Decorate with lavender whilst the icing is still wet.

And here is the cake!

Photo credit to the lovely Miss Kay.

Other lavender things I like:
Lavender lemonade:
http://everything-lavender.com/lavender-lemonade-recipe.html

Lavender Meringue (I don’t use the food colouring):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/lavendercreammeringu_91783

On an entirely different note, and mainly to distract of my sadness, here is a wee comedy gem I re-discovered today, prompted by a throwaway ‘Hello Ian’. It is by far the funniest thing I have ever seen, and it makes my face hurt with laughter:

Not seasonal, I know, but bloody hell, it is absolutely hilarious.

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