How do you tyke your tea?
We know how to make a good pot of char in Yorkshire. I know other places such as China and India might have had a bit of a head start, but up here in Yorkshire we haven’t just been playing catch up. We have excelled. Take Taylors of Harrogate for example. They have been selling their own unique blend of Yorkshire tea since 1886, and nowadays they use the tagline “Let’s have a proper brew”. You would be hard pressed to find anybody in Yorkshire, and very probably the whole of Britain who doesn’t rush to put the kettle on for a cuppa as soon as they get through the door. It’s instinct. And when it comes to baking with tea we have a long tradition for all kinds of flavourful farmhouse loaves too, moist with tea and bursting with fruit. But there is more to life than sticking with the same old same old. Sometimes it’s good to try summat new and unusual. But as the old song goes, how you gonna keep ’em down on the farm after they’ve seen green tea?
Playing with matchas.
I must admit I’ve never really happened across matcha powder before. I imagine it’s the sort of thing that health-conscious people in Hebden Bridge would drink while they are knitting their own lentils. How recherche! Now I don’t mean to come across as some sort of vulgarian, but there’s nowt wrong with a good old-fashioned tea bag when you’re gasping. It just seems that as a drink, green tea might be a little bit high-brow for my tastes. Or should that be high-brew? Having said that, there are over 126 million people who live in Japan and they seem to like it. They’ve built whole ceremonies around the drinking of green tea so who am I to question. And I wasn’t going to be drinking it anyway. I was going to be using it as an ingredient for baking with. There is nothing like an unusual ingredient to spur you on in the creativity department. But where do you buy matcha from? It’s not the sort of thing you can pick up from the village shop. Better look online.
Not being familiar with the practice of buying herbal concoctions over the interweb, I was slightly taken aback by some of the dubious terminology used by the other people who had previously bought some. I’ve been around the block a few times. I’m not exactly green behind the ears. But was I actually looking at green tea powder or something not quite so innocent? When the person doing the selling refers to themselves as a dealer and describes their product as high-grade herbal. When people are talking about needing to get clean. Explaining how they were feeling revitalised and fully refreshed. How the tea had given them a buzz before adding thumbs up and winky-eye emojis. I’m not sure if it was just a little game that everybody else was playing. A silly diversion that I was not privy to. I know it will sound daft but it was enough to make me ever so slightly wary. I thought that knowing my luck, I would be the first person in the country who was banged up for trying to buy an ingredient for a cake. As committed as I am to baking I don’t much fancy going to prison for my art. Thankfully, when the package arrived it was just plain old matcha. And I had a tea-riffic recipe ready and waiting.
A tin to bake it in.
I have been looking for an excuse to use my Wilton Tulips Bundt tin for a while now. It’s a perfectly lovely Bundt tin but it can sometimes get overlooked in favour of some of my fancier ones. I figured if I had to convince myself, then thinking of tea and tulips – it’s all nature, leaves and greenery innit? You could of course use any 10 cup Bundt tin and provide your own tenuous link. I should mention that the recipe does contain some green food colouring gel. Feel free to leave it out altogether if you prefer but just in case you would like to know, I used a small amount of Rainbow Dust Pro-Gel Leaf Green. What you are aiming for is a natural looking cake with a subtle tinge of sage green. You don’t really want a cake that has gone the fluorescent neon green of a 1980’s terry towelling sock. Much to my satisfaction, the Wilton Tulips tin turned out to be a great choice. The cake rose really well and slipped out of the tin with a little shake, no worries. So there you have it. A sophisticated green tea cake with a hint of almond baked in the delightful Wilton Tulips Bundt tin. Or to put it another way, as soon as this cake passes your two lips you’ll know that it’s a matcha made in heaven. Now here’s that recipe… Enjoy.
Matcha Tulips Bundt.
- 360g Plain Flour.
- 14g Matcha.
- ½ tsp Baking Powder.
- ½ tsp Bicarb.
- ¼ tsp Salt.
- 220g Margarine.
- 400g Caster Sugar.
- 4 Eggs.
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract.
- ½ tsp Almond Extract (optional).
- A smidgeon of Green Food Colouring Gel.
- 220g Greek Yoghurt.
- 10g Icing Sugar.
- ¼ tsp Matcha.
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4. Grease and flour a 10 cup Bundt tin. Wilton Tulips is just right.
- Sift together the flour, matcha, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Set aside.
- Cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition.
- Add the vanilla extract, almond extract and the food colouring gel and beat until fully combined, scraping down the bowl as necessary to make sure the colour is even and there are no streaks.
- Using a large spoon, fold in the flour mixture and yoghurt alternately until just combined, taking care not to over mix. (Flour, yoghurt, flour, yoghurt and ending with flour).
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Mix together the icing sugar and ¼ of a teaspoon of matcha and sift over the cooled cake just before serving.