Apple Ceylon Cake Recipe
A favourite recipe from when we provided Tearoom table service at Westholme. We adapted this recipe from: Culinary Tea by Cynthia Gold and Lisë Stern. A delightful and memorable cake baked with tea, to pair with tea!
The renowned Ceylon tea comes from Sri Lanka, and is often enjoyed as a single-origin Breakfast tea as it provides a smooth but strong, fresh and citrusy cup with pleasant astrigency. It also provides a beautiful tea for culinary explorations.
Any strong black tea would do to substitute Ceylon in this cake. Nilgiri would make a nice replacement. An Assam or a higher oxidized Oolong would work as well.
1¼ cup (300ml) water
3 tbsp loose-leaf pure Ceylon tea leaves
1 cup unsweeted applesauce
2 tbsp + 1 tsp bourbon or brandy
2 ¼ cups (divided) granulated sugar
1 cup cold unsalted butter
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp fine salt
1¼ cup thinly sliced and peeled, tart apple (ex. Granny Smith)
Ingredients (Pecan Topping)
5 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 5 pieces
1/3 (packed) light brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
¾ cup coarsely chopped lightly toasted pecans
Preheat oven to 325ºF/163ºC/Gas 4. Bring water to a boil and pour over Ceylon tea leaves in a medium bowl. Steep, covered, for 4 - 5 minutes. Strain and discard the leaves - there should be 1 cup of liquid. Stir in applesauce and bourbon or brandy and set aside. Grease a 10x2 inch (25x5cm) springform or standard cake pan. Sprinkle the inside of the pan with 2 tablespoons of sugar and shake gently to coat the surface evenly. In large mixing bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed. Add the remaining sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and continue to mix, one at a time, until smooth. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Add 1/3 of this mixture into the butter mixture and beat until just incorporated. Add ½ of the applesauce mixture, beat until just incorporated. Continue these steps, alternating dry and wet ingredients, ending with dry, then mix until better is smooth. Gently stir in the apples and spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Lightly smooth the surface. Put aside and prepare pecans. Makes a 10-inch cake.
Method (Pecan Topping)
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high heat to beat butter until soft. Add brown sugar and ginger, beat until smooth. Add pecans, beat until just incorporated. Crumble this mixture over the prepared batter in the cake pan, distributing evenly. Bake until the surface is firm, and a test pick comes out clean but moist, about 80 - 90 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.