What are your thoughts on Jasmine tea?
My first memory of Jasmine flowers is when I was probably 7 or 8..I remember long long time back..when my parents used to take us to India Gate for a picnic on our trusty Bajaj scooter..Typically in the evening..We kids used to frolic around the lush garden in front of the eternal fire of the gate, gorge on orange lollys,forcing our parents to buy gigantic balloons,surreptitiously dip our toes in the water fountains(when we thought no one was looking) and my parent used to sit contentedly,probably for the whole of 2 minutes, if we didn’t fall or fight or bicker..but that’s not the point…My father used to always buy Jasmine gajra for my mother..which she pinned to her hair..
I forever associate jasmine flowers to those fun-filled outings,the fragrance of those flowers reminds me of carefree better days, when I didn’t have to think about the grown up things like money or safety or nutrition! Though that memory was somewhat nudged aside when we moved to Chennai and got an over dose of jasmine flowers.Every public transport, every taxi, every temple and even classrooms smelt of jasmine…and sometimes because of the weather wilted jasmine.
Jasmine tea was a revelation after these experiences.My husband bought it from Hong Kong on my sister in laws request which never ended up going to her.I promptly forget to give it to her every visit.Its almost hypnotic seeing those little balls bloom into flowers inside the water.The tea tastes delicate and fresh,at the same time it’s not overpowering, It’s a beautiful almost summery rendition of the jasmine flower.That delicate flowery tone paired with the indian lime is a beautiful symphony just waiting to happen.
I have improvised on the hot milk cake recipe by steeping the tea in the milk and butter mixture while its boiling.Don’t scoff at my method of steeping the jasmine tea in milk,i know it’s traditionally boiled in water but this step makes sure you get the right amount of jasmine flavour with least number of buds especially because jasmine tea is super costly.
Texture and Taste of the Jasmine Tea Lime Cake
The Crumb of the cake is light and spongy but it also has a great buttery flavour to it.It has a crumbly feel to it without it being too dry.The addition of milk and butter makes this cake moist and light.
One thing it’s not is dense like some pound cakes tend to be.
The first thing you notice when you taste this cake exquisite combination of the flowery notes from the tea and the tang from the lime.
Serves: 12 slices
- 1½ Cups All purpose Flour /Maida
- 1½ Tsp Baking Powder
- Pinch Baking Soda
- 2 Eggs
- ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ¾ Cup Milk
- ¼ Cup Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla Essence(I prefer Sprig All Natural Bourbon Vanilla Extract)
- Juice of 1 Lime plus Zest
- 10-12 buds of jasmine tea(some good indian options are Sunflower Jasmine Tea,TEAXPRESS Jasmine Pearl,Jasmine Pearls Green Tea)
- Mix the Flour,baking soda and powder and set aside
- Heat the milk and butter till the temperature is just above what you would be comfortable touching.Add the jasmine tea.Let it steep.
- Let the butter melt.Add the vanilla.
- In a Bowl beat or whisk together the eggs and sugar till the mixture turns pale and sugar is well incorporated.
- Add the hot milk mixture to the butter mixture slowly(trickle it in).Make sure the milk is not too hot or boiling as it would curdle the eggs.Mix well.
- Add in the flour mixture next and combine well.
- Add in the lime juice and lime zest.
- Pour the batter in a prepared tin till ¾ height.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees or till the skewer comes out clean.If the cake seems to be browning too much but is uncooked from inside cover it with aluminium foil and continue baking for another 5-10 minutes.
Cake Pan and other Technicalities
Baking is a measured art.The results can vary depending on your oven, quality of ingredients,their temperature and the pan that you use.
If you use a deep pan the baking takes longer than a pan which is large but shallow.Always while baking, keep an eye on the cakes ,15 minutes prior to the time given by the recipe.I have used a Nordic Ware Bundt Pan for this cake.You could also make it in a normal round shaped pan.
Most cakes are baked at 180 degrees.I suggest going lower than higher cause if the temperature is too high it will burn the cake and there is no return from that.But if the temperature is too low the cake will be undercooked which can still be tackled by increasing the bake time.
How to Serve this Tea Cake
Though a glaze looks pretty,I don’t think you need it.The cake has plenty sugar without it but that said if you want to glaze the cake I can suggest a simple white glaze
Lime Glaze for the Tea Cake
Mix in the below in a bowl and pour over the cake once it has cooled down.
1/2 Cup Confectioners Sugar
1 tbsp of lime juice
1 tsp unsalted butter-melted.
Substitutions and Variations of the Jasmine Tea Cake
If you cant find jasmine tea in a physical store near you, you can buy it online on Amazon.I prefer Sunflower Jasmine Tea,TEAXPRESS Jasmine Pearl or Jasmine Pearls Green Tea but if you dont want to get into that hassle or amazon doesn’t deliver where you live, I suggest you substitute it with camomile tea or green tea.You could also use orange juice or lemon juice instead.
Really,use this as a base recipe and tweak it to make all kinds of tea cake.