Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Apr 9, 2009 12:16 PM

brewing earl grey for cake

I'm making an earl grey chocolate cake and I'm wondering what would be the best way to brew a really potent earl grey tea for the cake. So far I've tried 2 tea bags in 3/4 C of hot water and 3 bags in the same amount steeped for about 10 minutes. Strangely enough the 2 tea bag tea translated better in cake than the 3 bag version. Maybe that was just a fluke. Would it be more potent to let the tea mix start with a hot brew, cool to room temperature, and steep overnight? What is the best way to harness all of the bergamot flavor without destroying the flavor? Thanks for the help!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I recently made Alton Brown's Aunt Verna's Honey cake using zest from fresh bergamot oranges. Are there any available up there in the northwest?

    1. For these recipe applications I prefer to steep the tea bags for 24 hours in room temperature water. The result, IMO, is a smoother tea that's free of the bitterness that can sometimes accompany a hot water brew that's been allowed to cool.

      1. i would say go with the 2 bag- the 3 bags might be over doing it.keep the regular steeping time of 5 minutes, otherwise you'll just taste the bitterness over the bergamot flavoring. Have you thought about infusing the earl grey directly into the butter? I've done this with madeleines, and the recipe called for infusing the melted butter with tea, then straining it (i used loose leaf tea). Though, if your cake doesn't call for melted butter, this might not work (unless you let it solidify then cream in the recipe).

        1. I've infused milk and cream with earl grey tea with success - I cut open 1 or 2 teabags and poured into milk in a pan. Heat just to boiling on medium heat, then let sit 15 minutes and strain. Very, very tasty.

          1. The recipe doesn't call for milk/cream or melted butter so I don't think I can infuse that way but I will try the room temp steep for 24 hours. I've never seen fresh bergamot but I'll keep an eye out for it. I saw some Stash double bergamot earl grey so that is worth a try as well.