Steeping tea for baking - your advice?
Hello everyone! I am planning on making this recipe for Chocolate Earl grey Pound Cake:
and was wondering what you guys thought about adding brewed tea that was steeped for 8 minutes into a cake. The others who made this recipe loved the cake, so I’m guessing it wasn’t bitter, but I wanted to see if any of you who used tea in baking before had any thoughts before I attempted the cake. I’ll be using loose tea (and not bags) btw! :)
Thanks for any ideas you might have!
I asked a friend of mine who is a professional baker, and he thinks you should brew a strong cup of tea, but brew it properly. According to him this falls I into the same category as never cook with a wine you’re not willing to drink.
Thank you! That was my feeling, too. It didn’t sit right with me to brew it almost twice as long as I normally would. I will steep it for 5 minutes (then make cold brew iced tea with alllll those leaves!). I appreciate your response — and thank your baker friend fro me!
I will. He’s one of those guys who loves to talk food 24/7, so I like calling him with my baking questions. Also, he’s from Utah, but he’s living in New Orleans, so hearing him with a southern accent makes me smile. :)
Cold brewing the leaves is so smart. Not sure I would have thought of that!
I brew strong, using about twice the tea I would use for making it to drink with. I have also steeped twice as long and not noticed any bitterness. I have yet to have anyone else notice bitterness when I have made it for cooking classes and tea parties.
Chocolate is a strong flavor and you can easily lose the Earl Grey in the chocolate. Don’t be afraid of a longer than normal steep. In this case, as opposed to wine, I’d say you want the quality of tea you like to drink but don’t steep it just to the point that you think makes a good cup. You do need to go past that point or you may not notice much of the flavor you are trying to infuse.
If it is a recipe that uses butter, my advice is to steep the tea in the butter! It picks up the flavor VERY well and you don’t end up watering down your cake batter with brewed tea or getting little chunks of tea leaves in if you go for that method. I use it all the time, in everything from cookies to candy-making. Just melt the butter, throw in the tea, keep it on the lowest heat possible for about 10 minutes, drain and let the butter firm up (unless you need it melted of course).
That sounds worth trying. I usually let brewed tea cool, and put it with the wet ingredients.
The only problem with melting butter and using it in cake is that it can affect the texture even if you let it firm up again. From what I understand, once butter melts its structure changes even if it firms back up and it will interact differently with your other ingredients. I will definitely think about using this method for candy or other recipes where I want melted butter. Sounds like a great method.
Yeah, butter changes ever so slightly after being melted. I think for cookies it isn’t an issue, but with something like a cake it might be better to stay away from. Maybe infuse the oil if there is any?