Australian crystallized ginger, Baroness Grey Tea, Blueberries. Lemon zest, Earl Grey tea, Howick Hall, Lady Grey, Lavender shortbread, Orange zest, Pound cake, Simply Splendid Victorian Afternoon Teas, Twinings, Victorian afternoon tea
What would any self-respecting afternoon tea be without cakes and biscuits?
Her Ladyship (that would be me!) is at a loss to explain!
We’ve introduced our simply splendid lavender shortbreads sometime ago, so today we are pleased to introduce our Simply Splendid Signature Pound Cake.
Lore has it the pound cake originated in northern Europe and when you consider the ingredients, it is certainly a cake that would ‘stick to your ribs’ and keep you warm through a winter’s night. A pound cake is rich; very rich, as it contains a pound, or equal weights, of each chief ingredient, typically flour, butter, and sugar and of course eggs.
Over time, bakers started to experiment and added ‘adornments’. For example, Her Ladyship always grates the zest of a lemon into the batter; or adds a cup of fresh blueberries; or dices Australian crystallized ginger and pops about half a cup into the batter. Sometimes Her Ladyship tosses in the zest of an orange and toasted chopped almonds for the same textured cake but a totally different taste. And because Canadian tea drinkers prefer a more moist cake, Her Ladyship has been known to add a little buttermilk to the recipe.
So without further ado, here is Her Ladyship’s recipe for the basic pound cake (without adornments).
Simply Splendid Signature Pound Cake
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
1 cup butter
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Sift flour, baking powder and salt; set aside
On a a medium-high setting on electric mixer, cream butter; add sugar slowly and incorporate with butter
Add eggs one at a time and beat well until totally incorporated before adding the next egg
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla
Gradually add flour into wet mixture and beat lightly to incorporate
Pour into two greased loaf pans
Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour – test at 50 minutes
Pair a slice of this most decadent cake with a rich citrus tea – the Grey family of teas spring to mind: Earl Grey, Baroness Grey and Lady Grey.
Earl Grey is a black tea containing oil of bergamot as a flavouring. The Grey family history states the tea was specially blended by a Chinese mandarin for Lord Grey to suit the water at Howick Hall, the family home in Northumberland, using bergamot to offset the lime in the local water. Lady Grey used Earl Grey tea to entertain and this tea proved so popular that Twinings began selling Earl Grey Tea as an international brand.
Lady Grey tea is a variation on the famous Earl Grey tea. It is a black tea scented with oil of bergamot (though in lower concentrations in Lady Grey) and it contains lemon and orange peels. Lady Grey was the wife, of the Earl for whom Earl Grey tea is named.
Lady Grey tea is a modern invention, created by Twinings in the early 1990s to appeal to the Nordic market, who found Earl Grey tea too pungent. It first went on sale in Norway in 1994 and in Britain in 1996.
Baroness Grey Tea, the signature tea of Simply Splendid Victorian Afternoon Teas, is a black tea with cornflower petals, lemon peel, rose petals, and bergamot oil