This is a Sponsored Post in Association with Clipper Teas
Did you know that it’s National Afternoon Tea Week?! What better time to pass on some tips for the perfect cup of tea, along with my own recipe for the absolutely perfect cake to drink with tea? It has the absolute best fluffy texture and delicate taste to act as a foil for a delicious cup of tea.
Top Tea Tips
- Always use freshly drawn water (even better if it’s filtered) and boil in a kettle…but never re-boil!
- If using a teapot make sure you warm it first and dry it completely inside and out, before putting in the tea or tea bags. A wet teapot will cause the tea to begin infusing before the boiling water is poured on and will spoil the flavour.
- Tea contains natural oils which float on the top of the liquor (the brewed tea), so try to use a teapot with a low positioned spout, as this will help ensure they stay in the pot, and not in the cup.
- Allow to brew for 3-4 minutes for a full and great tasting cup of tea.
- When making tea in a cup, always make the tea to your taste and strength and add the milk afterwards. If you add it before, the tea won’t brew properly.
- Sit down, relax and enjoy!
I’ve been amused for the trend for ‘naked cakes’, which has appeared all over Pinterest, Instagram and many, many blogs. A classic English sponge cake does not traditionally have frosted sides, so ‘naked’ isn’t a thing for us, just the way we’ve done it for years…(although that’s not to say that a lot of icing isn’t a Very Good Thing.) This is my recipe for a ‘naked’ light-as-air fatless sponge cake, which needs nothing but cream and berries to make it shine.
my mother’s 70thThis particular cake has always been a family favourite: I was taught the recipe by my mama, who is the master of light, fluffy and perfect cakes sandwiched with whipped cream and fresh berries. What could be more English, or more delicious?
Traditionally called a Whisked Sponge in the UK, but also known as a Fatless Sponge, using beaten eggs to give the cake height, and omitting any fat gives a super light and fluffy open crumb, which matches perfectly with a creamy filling.
This recipe is also very quick and easy to make. The most important thing to remember is that you need to whip as much air as possible into the sugar and egg mixture before you gently fold in the flour with a metal spoon (always metal, not wooden), as this will prevent the cake from collapsing in the oven, producing horrid rubbery discs.
To make the cake in the photos I make the mixture twice (this helps keep lots of air in the batter). Each time I pour the mixture into one deep 8″/20cm Springform tin,
If you need to transport this cake elsewhere, do not fill the layers before doing so, as they will slide around. Also: you don’t want the cream to go off. Fill it just before serving.
You will need:
2 x classic 8″/20cm tins, preferably loose bottomed, Springform (like these) and greased with lots of butter. (I find cake release spray sticks, sadly.)
4 medium eggs
100gms (3.5oz) caster sugar
100gms (3.5oz) self raising flour
500mls (approx. 1 pint) of double (heavy) cream
Icing (powdered) sugar to sift over the top
Butter for greasing the cake tins,
A punnet of chopped strawberries to fill and decorate the cake.
Grease the 2 x 8″/20cm tins, either by a small amount of butter on a piece of kitchen paper and then tipping a spoonful of flour inside, and shake about, or by using Cake Release Spray.
Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, and add the sugar. Whisk together until thick and pale. I use a stand mixer, so I can get on with other things, but hand beaters work just as well too.
When you can lift the beaters and leave a thin ribbon train sitting on top the mixture is ready. (This will take somewhere between five and ten minutes depending on the freshness of the eggs.)
Turn the oven onto 180C/350F/gas mark 4 Sift the flour into a bowl, and then carefully fold it in a few spoons at a time, using a metal spoon, being careful not to over mix, as you need as much air as possible in the batter to allow it to rise successfully. (I find that you really need to scoop the batter down to the bottom of the bowl to ensure there are no clumps of unmixed flour.)
Gently pour the mixture into the tin, and bake for around 15 minutes until risen, and a skewer into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from the tin, and allow to cool.
Whip the cream until floppy (be careful not to over whip – I find that stopping just before you think it is done usually produces the perfect whipped cream).
Sift icing sugar over the top layer, and then pile berries over the top of the cake, and around the sides to decorate.