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Rose Sponge with Earl Grey Steeped Raisins

Delicate. Light. So not for the chocolate lover.

Note to self: Ease up on watching YouTube foodie channels at bedtime. Really.

There is something to be said about the power of auto-suggestion when the mind is drifting. One late night, while watching the Feast of Fiction team featuring the Sorted chaps make Turkish Delight, I had an a-ha moment – What a cool way to get the offspring to cut their teeth on Narnia! What, indeed. I have gelatine! I have sugar! I think I’ll sub the rose water!

All fired up, the very next day I hastily purchased a bottle of rose essence.

And three weeks on, that a-ha moment has been extinguished. (So much for the Law of Attraction. Epic fail, Nat, epic fail. Refer to note to self).

Thus perhaps not very imaginatively (why let the rose essence languish), I thought of making a standard sponge cake, subbing the vanilla. And if that wasn’t messing with one’s mind enough, how about adding raisins, plumped up after a hot soak in Earl Grey tea.

You will need:

4 oz (approximately 120 g) unsalted butter

4 oz granulated sugar

4 oz self raising flour

2 eggs

2 oz raisins (soaked overnight in freshly brewed Earl Grey)

Rose essence

Red food coloring (optional)

Make it:

  1. As always, start with pre-heating your oven to 180Β° C. I used a loaf tin (which was just the right size for the amount of batter) and gave it a liberal spraying of canola oil. (You could line it with baking paper of course)
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together – usually it takes about 3 to 5 minutes to get it pale, light and fluffy (with elbow grease and cool weather conditions, that is).
  3. Whisk in an egg at a time. Then add about half a teaspoon of rose essence.
  4. Fold in your flour alternating with scoops of the drained raisins – switch to a spatula when it comes to folding in the flour. Remember to go easy on the batter; overmixing the batter (by beating it, or using a hand mixer on high) results in air tunnels ploughing their way through the cake due to uneven baking, and your cake will be chewy in a bad way).
  5. Finally, for some visual drama, you could add some drops of red food coloring and aim for light pink. Bake the cake for 30 minutes.

For want of a better word, I thought this cake was cheerful. Rose and the bergamot undertones of the tannic Earl Grey worked well together.

Needless to say, this delicately flavored sponge goes well with a cup of tea, over discussions of the merits of rose-flavored candy, Tilda Swinton’s White Witch villainy, and which of the Pevensie children was the most annoying.

16 comments on “Rose Sponge with Earl Grey Steeped Raisins

  1. Vina'sdeliciousrecipes !
    November 23, 2012

    Yummy !

  2. thehungrymum
    November 23, 2012

    I can almost taste this from here. Wonderful.

    • Nat Yusop | BakeSlave
      November 24, 2012

      It’s alright if “delicate” and “fairy light” are the desired outcomes. Still hunkering for something chocolate though haha!

  3. kamcheechee
    November 24, 2012

    Waaaaaaaaa.Can open weekend stall already lor.Want a try?I can help.We can bake at No.19.U supply recipe I do the work .I become your bakeslave.

    • Nat Yusop | BakeSlave
      November 24, 2012

      Minions! I am loving the idea hahaha! But it should the other way around; YOU are the Guru, dear Aunty πŸ™‚

  4. neharmorarji
    November 30, 2012

    Yum! I am going to be in India, visiting my parents for the next month. I have to make this for them. If I don’t get self-rising flour and only get regular all-purpose flour, how much baking soda/powder would you recommend adding. Thanks you!

    • Nat Yusop | BakeSlave
      December 1, 2012

      Hi Neha! I’m thrilled that you’ll be giving the rose sponge a go. I’d like to share with you one of my go-to sites for great baking recipes and tips: http://www.joyofbaking.com/IngredientSubstitution.html

      The tip on the website states one teaspoon of baking powder for every cup of flour.

      Hope this helps – and have a lovely trip back to see your parents!

  5. soulofspice
    December 5, 2012

    OOH! I love rosewater & I love turkish delight. what a great idea to put the 2 together…

    • Nat Yusop | BakeSlave
      December 6, 2012

      Hi Charu! Thanks for dropping by – I love your writing style! I’ve been drinking ginger chai all my adult life (we call it teh halia) but have never once thought of bunging in cloves. Hmmm. I wonder if that will work in a cake? πŸ™‚

      • soulofspice
        December 6, 2012

        Of course Nat ground up cloves would be awesome in cake. I’ve been asking my baking friend to try clove, ginger & orange in a spice cake,, if you end up making one, do you think you’d be able to guest blog on my post for that. I would LOVE that cake…

      • Nat Yusop | BakeSlave
        December 6, 2012

        Goodbye cardamom, hello ginger & clove! Heh heh, I’d LOVE to tweak a recipe with those spices. Thanks for the heads up Charu. I’ll muck around the kitchen during the weekend. Project!

        Will update you soon.

        That is, unless the bake morphs into charcoal.

      • kamcheechee
        December 11, 2012

        Hi Nat
        Yes clove can b used in tea for spicing up.Remember we have teh masala and there is clove in it .i do spice up with cardomon. Remember your dad liked my tea seeped with cardomon.U can try to smash some cardomon and boil them in water and use it for making tea. Very stress relieving. But for cakes not so sure .Can try lah.

  6. soulofspice
    December 7, 2012

    awesome! can’t wait for you to guest post on my blog. I haven’t done much baking, but am fascinated by the exact science.. hope its not too hot in KL. It can never be too hot for me…

  7. createengwp
    December 8, 2012

    Nice combination!

  8. Leah
    December 18, 2012

    This sounds SO unique! Thanks for the inspiration. πŸ™‚

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This entry was posted on November 23, 2012 by in Bake, Cakes and tagged , , .
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