I’m actually eating a slice of this cake right now as I type this, accompanied by a nice hot cup of earl grey tea. If you’re thinking, “that’s overdoing it with the earl grey” you’re wrong. You’re wrong because earl grey every day, all the time.
To be completely honest, as delicious as this cake turned out to be, I’m not quite sure how I feel about bundt cakes in general. There is a lot of … “crust” as I like to call it. The exterior naturally comes out a lot more dry than anything else. This is, however, coming from a woman who still occasionally leaves pizza or sandwich crusts behind on her plate. The “crust” sure does keep a good job at keeping the moisture in the cake, though. I’ll give it that.
Anyway – if you’re looking at this recipe in all of it’s earl grey and blood orange-y glory and thinking, “Wow, what a genius flavour combination!”, do note that I got my inspiration from Chef Nate who won Season 3 of Masterchef Jr. The kid is a baking master, and in the finale he baked a meyer lemon tart with an earl grey and thyme crust, and blood orange coulis. Ever since that finale, I’d been craving those flavours and the craving quickly escalated from “That would be really good” to “I NEED THAT IN MY FACE NOW”.
I doubt this cake is anything near as delicious as his tart, but I think it came out rather well and it’s on BFF status with my tea right now.
I’d say that the blood orange syrup is a must, though. The “crust” needs something, and the syrup added a nice sweetness and moisture.
I also garnished the top with some orange zest and a wee bit of thyme to add colour and a bit of an interesting edge.
The thyme is optional, though. It didn’t add a world-stopping flavour to this particular cake. One might say the addition was a…waste of thyme.
The freshly squeezed juice of one large blood orange
1 tablespoon of almond milk (more if you want to change the consistency)
1 tablespoon of orange zest
A few pinches of fresh thyme
Place oven rack in the middle of the oven.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease up the bundt pan with butter.
Dust the pan with flour; knock excess flour out.
In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, tea and orange zest.
Mix the butter and sugar for three minutes, or until light and fluffy.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with silicon spatula or spoon when needed.
Add the vanilla to the butter mixture and beat for another minute.
Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter mixture and continue beating after each egg.
Add the flour and buttermilk to the egg and butter mixture alternating between each about three times (add some flour, mix, add some buttermilk, mix, add some more flour, mix, etc.)
Mix until all of the flour and buttermilk has been used up and everything is mixed in.
Pour the batter evenly into the bundt pan.
Tap the pan around on the counter or table to rid of air bubbles and to even the batter.
Bake for approx. 50 minutes or you can poke with a toothpick and have the toothpick come out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for about one hour, then invert onto a rack and cool for 30 minutes.
BLOOD ORANGE SYRUP:
In a small bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, fresh juice from one blood orange, and milk. Whisk until there are no lumps and you have a smooth consistency.
Drizzle the syrup over top of the bundt cake.
Garnish with extra orange zest and a few fresh thyme leaves if desired.
Casters sugar: Casters sugar is super fine sugar. You can make your own simply by grinding regular sugar in a blender until it's a more fine consistency, but not quite a powder. Buttermilk: If you don't have actual buttermilk or don't feel like purchasing a carton of buttermilk for such a small amount, simple combine 1 cup of whole milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Mix well. Allow to sit for approx. 15 minutes and the milk should have thickened up a bit. Tah-dah! Buttermilk.
** This recipe was adapted from hungryaustralian.com's Lady Grey Bundt Cake recipe found here: http://hungryaustralian.com/2012/05/lady-grey-bundt-cake-rosewater-icing/