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How to make Earl Grey Apricot Cake

Serves 6-8

To celebrate Afternoon Tea week this week, we turned to baking-obsessed friend Stephanie Barnes for inspiration. Having benefited from her passion for home-baking before, we asked Steph what she'd whip up at this time of year to go with a sunny afternoon cuppa. Needless to say her suggestion didn't disappoint and she was kind enough to share the recipe with all of us. This tea-infused creation asks for apricots as they're in season here in the UK in August, but it works well with other seasonal stone fruit too - plums in particular. So rest assured you can enjoy this one year-round : ) 

What you'll need

  • 160g Caster sugar
  • 200g Self-raising flour
  • 230ml Milk 
  • 100ml Neutral oil (eg. vegetable oil)
  • 2 Eggs. lightly beaten 
  • 3 tbsps Good & Proper loose leaf Earl Grey tea 
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon 
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda 
  • 7-8 Apricots, cut in half 

Method

    1. Preheat your oven to 180°c (160°c fan). Line a 21cm square or rectangular baking tin with baking paper. 
    2. Place the milk and loose tea into a small saucepan over a low heat. Bring to a low simmer and steep the tea for 3 minutes. Strain the milk and discard the tea leaves, returning the milk to the saucepan. Add sugar and lemon zest, stirring for another few minutes over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved (do not bring to the boil)
    3. Turn off the heat and stir in oil and vanilla paste. Set mixture aside for 5-10 minutes to cool.
    4. In a separate bowl, combine flour and bicarbonate of soda. Add in the beaten eggs and milk mixture, and use a whisk to combine into a smooth, liquid-y batter.
    5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Place the halved apricots (cut side up) on top.
    6. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
    7. Dust with icing sugar and serve with a large dollop of double cream and a freshly brewed cup of tea. 

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