Earl Grey and Lavender Tea Bread

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On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me… A lavender loaf made with Mr Grey’s tea!

So, it’s Day One of our 12 Days of Tea and the first recipe we have to gift you with is this delicious Earl Grey and Lavender Tea Bread. The TeaShed #12DaysOfTea is something we’ll be sharing with you throughout the run up to Christmas. We have 12 delicious tea-related recipes for you and we will be posting one per day, starting today! The recipes all use yummy TeaShed tea ranging from perfect afternoon tea cakes, desserts, festive drinks and Christmas treats. We have also looked ahead to after the Christmas splurge and prepared a healthy detox recipe for you. Can’t say we don’t look out for you as well as provide sweet treat ideas!

 

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Putting a floral twist on our TeaShed Mr Grey’s tea bread with this Earl Grey and lavender combination. This recipe will be perfect for a festive afternoon tea when entertaining guests over the holidays, especially when served with a warm cup of Mr Grey’s tea. It can also be a lovely centerpiece if you decide to go to town on the decoration!

 

Adding lavender to this tea bread gives a lovely aroma as well as a floral taste. The recipe below has some room for personal variation such as choosing the fruit you use. You can soak the fruit in the lavender/tea mixture overnight if you want to infuse and plump up the fruit even more.

 

 

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Classic Earl Grey is a black tea scented with oil of bergamot for aromatic citrus notes. Whereas Lavender Earl Grey tea is also known as Lady Grey tea. Lady Grey tea is a variation of Earl Grey with either citrus or lavender additions. The blend was first created in 1990s as a gentler tasting Earl Grey to appeal to the Nordic market, so it is quite a modern invention.

 

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You will need:

275g mixed dried fruit
300ml TeaSheds Mr Greys tea (using 2 teabags)
60g soft dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
275g plain flour
2 ½ tsp of baking powder
1 heaped tsp of dried lavender
½ tsp of ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
Zest of 1 orange

 

Method:

1. First things first, preheat your oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3½. Grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper.

2. Now brew your tea. I used two teabags in about 400ml of water and allowed it to steep for about 15 minutes along with 1 heaped tsp of dried lavender. Measure out 300ml of this and place into a saucepan on a medium-high heat.

3. Add your mixed fruits to the pan of tea and allow it to come to the boil, bring the temperature down a little then simmer for 1 minute. Then stir the sugar into the pan. Pop this to one side to cool a little, I emptied the mixture into a bowl to speed the process along.

4. While your lovely fruity tea mixture is cooling measure out the other ingredients, adding all the dry parts (flour, spices, baking powder and salt) to one bowl. Give this a brief mix to make sure all the ingredients are combined.

5. Next, zest your orange. If you have a lemon zester, that’s great! If like me you do not, the finer side of a cheese grater will do just fine.
Beat the eggs together then add to the fruit mixture, along with the orange zest, stirring to combine.

6. Add the dry ingredients to your fruity mixture a little at a time, gently stirring to incorporate until there are no floury streaks running through.

7. Scoop your cake batter into the lined loaf tin, and level off with a spatula before baking for 50-55 minutes.

 

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To decorate, you could some lavender infused icing and fresh lavender flowers to garnish. To make this, boil some water then add some ground lavender to infuse the flavour, stir in a few heaped tablespoons of icing sugar until it forms a slightly runny icing. You can add a squeeze of orange juice here as well if you like. Drizzle the icing over the tea loaf so it coats the top and drips down the side. Garnish with a few buds of fresh lavender flowers.

 

Alternatively you could draw on the slight citrus flavours from the Earl Grey tea and add a few sliced of candied orange. To make this boil 1.5 cups of water and half a cup of sugar in a skillet. Add orange slices and cook on medium for 20mins, turning the oranges occasionally. Reduce the heat and thicken the syrup for about 10mins. Then remove the slices and cool on a drying rack.

 

Merry Christmas! xx