Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Earl Grey Banana Cake with Cashew Cream Frosting

I've previously posted dessert recipes with hints of Earl Grey tea such as thumbprint cookies and glazed donuts.  It's my favorite tea hands down and I love incorporating it into baked goods.   For this recipe, I added ground Earl Grey tea leaves to my favorite banana bread recipe and topped it with cashew cream frosting.  I guess the frosting makes this a 'cake' and not 'bread', but to-may-to, to-mah-to.  :)  The cake recipe is adapted from the banana chocolate chip muffin recipe in The Joy of Vegan Baking cookbook.   I've used the recipe to make everything from cupcakes to bundt cakes.  It involves the simplest of ingredients and the results are super moist every time.    

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Finely ground Earl Grey tea leaves from 5 teabags (I used Twinings)
1 cup sugar (I used Madhava coconut palm sugar)
1/3 cup canola oil
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease an 8x8-inch baking pan.
  2. In one bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add the ground tea leaves to the dry ingredients.
  4. In another bowl, combine the sugar, oil, bananas, water, and vanilla extract.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Spread the batter evenly in the baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. 
  7. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool before frosting.
2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil (solid)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
  1. Drain and rinse the cashews and place them in a blender or food processor.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
  3. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so before frosting the cake.
I was a little worried that the banana flavor would overpower the Earl Grey tea, so I went a little overboard and added leaves from 5 teabags (that's a lot to me!). I definitely tasted both the Earl Grey and the banana flavors in the finished product. On the other hand, some of my friends said they only tasted the banana. All palates are different.  If you really want to go Earl Grey crazy, you could use 1/4 cup of strongly brewed Earl Grey tea instead of water for the cake. And of course you should eat this while sipping a nice hot cup of Earl Grey tea. :)