After getting my cornmeal last week, I finally attempted the Rosemary-Lemon Polenta Cake, chosen by Angela of The Charmed Cupcake. I scaled the recipe down and baked only ¼ of the cake and ended up with 6 muffins/cupcakes. Unfortunately, no one in the family liked the taste of rosemary in the cake. I have to say that it's an acquired taste as we don't usually use herbs in desserts (probably with the exception of mint). But don't worry, I still had them for the next few days as breakfast as I didn't want to waste them. 🙂
Not wanting to post a recipe that I wasn't very fond of, I thought of changing the flavour to one that I like. Unfortunately I don't have lavender, and suddenly an idea struck me.
How about black tea?
I bought some loose Assam tea (black tea) leaves from Taiwan last year and they're still lying around in my cupboard. Though Assam tea originates from India, it is a very popular tea of choice in Taiwan and is the main tea used in making bubble teas. The tea has a strong flavour, which I think will impart very well into the cake.
And it was a success!
The cake has a very nice and tender crumb, and every bite is filled with a very light tea flavour (imagine the taste of black tea with milk) and lemon. As I ground the tea leaves very finely in a food processor before infusing them, the tea leaves are all added into the batter, creating a beautifully speckled cake and you won't get those bites of tea leaves in the cake - a win-win situation! It wasn't very sweet as I reduced the sugar quite a bit so it's a perfect treat for breakfast and for tea-time.
Just to clarify between polenta and cornmeal: I've found out that polenta is actually ground cornmeal boiled with water or stock into a porridge and eaten directly or baked, fried or grilled (Source). Since the cornmeal in this recipe is immersed in hot milk before adding into the batter, I guess that's why the author called it a polenta cake. 😉
I went a totally different route with the recipe, but I'm really glad to be able to find one that suits my liking a lot more. 🙂 Off to the step-by-step photos!
|1) Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.||2) Measure milk in a small pot and bring it to a simmer, gently swirling the pot frequently.|
|3) While the milk is heating up, measure cornmeal and some finely ground tea leaves in a small bowl.||4) Pour the hot milk over the cornmeal and tea leaves, stirring to mix them together.|
|5) Sugar and softened butter - the usual suspects.||6) After creaming to fluffiness, add in egg, vanilla and lemon zest.|
|7) Sift in ⅓ of the flour mixture and beat in on slow speed.||8) While the beater is running on low speed, drizzle in ½ of the milk mixture.|
|9) Sift in ½ of the remaining flour mixture and beat it in.||10) Add in the remaining milk mixture, remember to scrape in all the tea goodness!|
|11) Stir in the remaining flour - look at how pretty the batter is!||12) Divide the batter among cupcakes and bake until done!|
I'm submitting this to:
The Home Bakers - check out all fellow home bakers take on the cake here!
Aspiring Bakers #30: it's Tea time! (April 2013) hosted by Food Playground
Black Tea-Lemon Cornmeal Cupcakes (makes 6)
adapted from Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas
60 ml milk / buttermilk (¼ cup)
½ tablespoon finely ground black tea leaves (from 2 tablespoons of loose tea leaves)
30 grams finely ground yellow cornmeal (⅛ cup)
55 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature (¼ cup)
55 grams caster sugar (¼ cup)
1 egg, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon lemon zest
130 grams all-purpose flour (½ cup + 1 tablespoon)
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
As part of the rules, I'm not going to write down the full recipe here, please head over to Angela @ The Charmed Cupcake for the full recipe!
For the cupcake version, I used ¼-cup ice cream scoop and divided them into 6 cupcakes. Bake them at 175 degrees Celsius for 15 to 18 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely on the wire rack.