This simple recipe upgrades a classic British favourite to something rather elegant, just right for afternoon tea. Teahuggers’ Earl of Bath puts a twist on the traditional bergamot flavours of Earl Grey tea, with added lemongrass and rose petals, so it makes the perfect addition to a light lemon sponge. Serve with your finest china and a freshly-brewed pot of Earl of Bath.
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
2 Earl of Bath teabags
Zest of one lemon
For the icing:
Juice of two lemons
150g icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Open up the Earl of Bath teabags and place the contents in a food processor along with 50g of the caster sugar. Pulse until you have a fine mixture.
2. Cream together the tea and sugar mixture, remaining caster sugar and margarine. Then, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well each time.
3. Add the flour and the lemon zest, and stir until the mixture is nice and smooth. Grease a loaf tin, 8 x 23cm, and line the bottom with a piece of greaseproof paper. Fill with the cake mixture and level the top with a spoon. Bake for an hour and ten minutes, or until a fork inserted into the middle comes out clean.
4. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool. Once the cake is fairly cool, mix together the juice of half a lemon with a tablespoon of icing sugar, prick the top of the cake all over with a fork, and then drizzle with the liquid so that it soaks in, to make the middle nice and moist.
5. Finally, mix together the juice of the remaining lemons and the rest of the icing sugar to make a much thicker icing. Pour over the cake, encouraging some artistic dribbling down the sides, and finish off with a sprinkling of edible rose petals or a little more Earl of Bath tea. You can eat it warm and gooey, or leave the icing to set into a shiny, crispy crust.