My second venture into Carole Bloom’s baking book resulted in a new household favorite. English Breakfast Tea Angel Food Cake (p. 590) from The Essential Baker is absolutely amazing. It is scented with tea, has the perfect texture and isn’t overly sweet. Paired with sour cherries and raspberry sorbet it is a lovely and light dessert for spring. (That is if spring ever comes!)
I was so taken with this cake and its unique twist on a traditional and often dull recipe, that I am going to share it with you. I’ve mentioned that I am in the process of baking my way through many of the cakes in this book for the Edesia cookbook group on May 19th. In fairness to Carole Bloom I will not share all of the recipes I make. I’ve decided to pick 2-3 that are exceptional in my modest opinion. If any of you have suggestions please share them with me!
English Breakfast Tea Angel Food Cake by Carole Bloom
1/4 cup loose English breakfast tea leave (this is a link to the tea I use) next time I will try it with Lapsang Souchong which has a smoky flavor and I think will be very interesting with the sweetness of the cake.
1/2 cup boiling water
12 extra large egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cups superfine sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Put tea leaves in a bowl. (bowl made by my mother-in-law!)
Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over leaves.
Let steep for 10 minutes.
Press leaves through a fine mesh sieve and collect all of the tea. Mine came to about 1/4 cup of tea.
Prepare tube pan with parchment on the bottom. Do NOT grease. The cake needs to be able to cling to the sides and climb up the pan. If you grease it the cake will collapse.
Sift together the cake flour and 3/4 cups superfine sugar in a bowl.
Add salt and set aside.
If your eggs are not at room temperature then rest them in a bowl of warm water for about 5-8 minutes before separating them. Egg whites whip up better when warm and elastic.
Place the egg whites in a grease-free bowl of a standing mixer. Whip on medium speed until frothy and then add the cream of tartar.
Once you have soft peaks then slowly add the remaining 3/4 cup superfine sugar.
Whip until the eggs are glossy and firm, but not stiff, peaks.
Slowly add the 1/4 cup of tea. (Carole has you add it all at once. It seemed like a lot of liquid to add to those glossy egg whites so I alternated the tea with the flour in 3 additions.)
Put 1/3 of the flour mixture over the top of your egg whites and then fold them in with a rubber spatula.
Add another 1/3 of the tea. Repeat with the last bit of flour and tea.
Transfer to the prepared tube pan. Run a knife through the batter to get any air bubbles out and then gently tap on the counter.
Smooth the top out.
Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 1 hour, until cake tester comes out clean.
Invert the pan over a bottle to cool. You do not want to cool bottom down on a cooling rack or the cake will collapse. Cool to room temperature before trying to remove from pan.
Run a knife around the edge of the pan.
Then around the center tube.
Invert the pan over a plate and remove the bottom of the tube pan.
Remove the parchment.
Turn over onto a serving tray. Use a sharp serrated knife or an Angel Food Cake Cutter. The one I have is an antique given to me by my dear friend Sally. I have to admit that I had to ask her what on earth it was used for when she presented it to me! Now I use it all the time!
Serve your Angel food cake with creme Anglaise, red wine poached sour cherries or just a dusting of powdered sugar. I’m going to make a trifle out of the left overs! Enjoy.
20 thoughts to “English Breakfast Tea Angel Food Cake”
The cake looks so light and fluffy! like an angel food cake but better 🙂
Yes, and it is tastier!
Let me know if you try it.
I looks yummy! I’ll bet this will work with some Celestial Seasonings Holiday Tea that I have left over from Christmas Time. What do you think?
The trick is to get the tea very strong. You may want to cut open the tea bags and make sure that you have a 1/4 of the leaves.
I think the flavors will be great. Let me know what you think!
WOW that looks fantastic! I’m going to give it a try with some Earl Grey! All I need to do is figure out what I did with my angel food cake pan!
Do you have a measurement in grams or oz for the egg whites? I have large egg whites instead of extra large. I have 5 dozen eggs, so I should be able to make up the difference!! 🙂
My husband has come down with the flu, and this will be a wonderful treat for him!!
I used 15 large egg whites–worked like a dream. I also used jasmine green tea—fantastic!!
Thanks for sharing the recipe Zoe!!
My extra large egg whites weighed about 1.25 ounces or 38 grams each. For this recipe you will need 15 ounces or 450 grams.
Do you have your own chickens? Is that why you have so many eggs on hand?
Wow you were fast! That makes perfect sense because a large egg white weighs about an ounce.
Glad it worked for you. I hope your husband enjoyed it and gets better soon!
This is so, so lovely. I prefer desserts like you describe — not overly sweet and enhanced by a few berries or sorbet. The color, the texture, everything about this looks just lovely and wonderful. It makes me sigh with disappointment that I no longer have girlfriends living near me, who could come for tea and cake and gossip. Just one boyfriend who has no interest in “Fine Things” such as this.
I’m sure your boyfriend will love it, just don’t tell him it is one of the finer things in life!
What a light and beautiful cake, Zoe!
Thank you! The Madeleines you made look wonderful!
I checked out this book today from the library, I think I may have to buy it! It has so many recipes that I’m dying to try. Just curious what else you’ve made and liked. I tried the World’s Best Brownies tonight and they’re great. I know you’ve been baking out of it but not posting all the recipes that you like. Thanks!
I’ve made the lemon curd, the Pavlova and I’m making the chocolate soufflé cake tomorrow.
So far I’ve really like it all and I love the way she formats her recipes. I find them very easy to follow.
I noticed the brownie recipe and want to try it soon!
Mmmm. Makes me want to buy a tube pan.
As you can see from the pictures my tube pan is nothing special. Just a cheap thin metal one I got in college.
Go for it and let me know how it turns out!
Any suggestions for adjustments in baking at Denver altitude- 5280 ft?
I’ve been doing some research on baking yeast breads, because of our book. I’ve not had the opportunity, or challenge, to bake cakes in high altitudes. I’ll look into it and get back to you!
Hope this gets to Zoe – the 5 minutes/day book is the answer to my search of many years for a method to bake wonderful, crusty bread at home.
My other search is for the Kaiser roll as made in NY. Here in the south, they make fake ones that are like so much cotton. I suspect there may be a way to use your method to make the perfect Kaiser roll. Is there?