Tuesday, 15 February 2011

'we should cocoa' chocolate and PG Tips cake

... that's tea to you and me...

... for this months 'we should cocoa' challenge the mystery ingredient was tea! Quite an unusual one, I think you'll agree but a great challenge... and the more I thought about it the more it seemed to make sense... both tea and dark chocolate have that earthy, heady quality that hits you at the top of your mouth and lingers... I initially wanted to use a light floral tea such as Earl Grey or Jasmine but I felt this was almost too sophisticated for what I wanted to achieve...

... and then a thought struck me about using a third ingredient that would compliment both the tannin in the tea and the bitterness of the chocolate... hello my old friend beetroot... and beetroot needs a strong, kick-in-the-teeth kind of cake-fellow... Beetroot, meet PG Tips.

... for my non-British friends PG Tips is a bog-standard English Breakfast Tea. Not fancy. Not grand. Just good tea with a strong clean, taste. It delivers a reliable cuppa every time. It's a tea of the people... the builders tea.

The recipe I've gone with is a recent favourite and easy to make but I've made a bundt shape this time because this was the only cake tin my good friend Jenny had in her cupboard. It was her fathers cake tin and over 60 years old but has turned out as probably one of he best-formed cakes I've ever made...

... and if a cake could be both light and fluffy and moist and dense at the same time, then this is it...

the builders tea cake

1/2 cup of boiling water
2 tea bags
250g plain chocolate broken up
3 large free range eggs
200g light muscovado sugar
100ml sunflower oil
1tsp vanilla extract
100g self raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarb
1/2 tsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
250g raw beetroot (finely grated)

- put the kettle on, place the tea bags in a cup and add half a cup of boiling water... let this sit whilst you make the cake,

- melt the chocolate (i did it in a microwave but a double boiler is the traditional way)

- whisk together the egg, sugar and oil until smooth and creamy, stir in the vanilla extract then fold in the flour, bicarb, baking powder and ground almonds

- grate the raw beetroot, squeeze out the liquid and fold it into the cake mix along with the cooled melted chocolate

- add the tea and re-mix the cake mixture... it should be loose but firm, not sloppy.

- pour the mixture into you cake tin (I used a 20cm round bundt tin) and bake on 170 for 50 mins - 1hr.

- cool COMPLETELY on a wire rack

eat and of course, enjoy!


  1. I love that you have called this the Builders Tea Cake - if ever there were two words you'd never hear in the same sentence it would have to be builder and cake lol. Looks so good, I want a piece right now!!!

  2. Dom, you're killing me with these delicious recipes! Please pass a slice!

    Oh, thanks for explaining what PG Tips is! I was thinking "parental guidance" suggested . . . huh I said to myself?

    Have a good one! As usual, a great visit!


  3. I've never baked with tea. This cake sounds and looks utterly delicious. I love the colour too from the beetroot. I've got the tea (PG of course) and now just need a slice of the cake...

  4. And can you taste the tea in it?
    I have a compulsion - I have to have a cup of tea and some chocolate at least after every meal but about every two hours if I am at home all day. It is something I need to stop especially as I am not nearly so active during the winter months.
    So, part of me is desperate to make this cake and the other part really feels I should be avoiding it just now. But really I know I won't give up cake and having extra tea in my cake along with my tea (!) sounds wonderful.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  5. This looks such a smart cake - I love the clean lines of that tin shape. Could you taste the tea?

  6. Not sure what I love more - the look of the cake or the fact the cake tin is 60 years old!

  7. The texture looks perfect.

    Come on now ....'fess up - have you just bought shares in a beetroot farm?!!!!!

  8. Hi Honey
    Well, the cake is still going strong, G and I have a slab each night and it just keeps getting better. That tin of my dads really worked.

    Hope to see you soon, Love to the Viking & Hols

    Love Jenny xxxxxxx

  9. Thanks all for the cool comments. The cake was really good and as Jenny just said it's one on those cakes that gets better and better with each day.

    How jealous are we all that they get to keep it and eat it!?!?

    And yes BVG I have shares in beetroot farms all over the uk!

  10. I must try this! Your cake looks perfect :-)


  11. That's a very tidy cake. Most impressive.

  12. Looks good - fantastic colour. Beetroot obsession is a new one one me, though.

  13. Builders tea cake? With PG Tips? I think I've just come over with an attack of the patriotic vapours - brilliant idea!

  14. I must admit that I'm one of nature's freaks - I don't like cake.

    However, I have family that do love cake, and they love tea, and they have birthdays coming up. I've not baked since I was a child, but I am going to bake this as soon as I can. Looks lovely (even to a non-cake eater!)

  15. I'm a cake fiend and this looks amazing, especially the texture!! I'm a good cook but i suck at baking : / can you ship to the United States!? : P

  16. Isn't it amazing how the mention of tea brings out the patriotic Englishman/woman out in us?

    This cake does look wonderful. Beetroot in cake is such a good trick for keeping it moist and delicious. And the tea would just complement it.

    This theme seems to have really brought out the creative in all of us!

    PS - Does this cake count as one of your five-a-day ;-)?

  17. Looks lovely! I could never guess there was beetroot hidden in there. I'm really intrguied. I must give this ingredient a go sometime soon!

  18. I love the ease of this cake! Such an interesting combination of tea and chocolate, but obviously, it works!

  19. I love the color of this cake, not wuite red, not quite cocoa brown, not quite golden from the tea, sooo interesting and I agree that the crumb looks fantastic! I also love, Dom that you used that vintage heirloom bundt tin ... I truly feel it makes the cake even more special!

  20. Looks very elegant for builders tea, but it does look grand. And I just love it that you're still using beetroot, no wonder you've achieved such a perfect looking cake. Thanks for entering We Should Cocoa

  21. What a delicious looking cake. I love the flavour combinations. Will definitely have to give this a go sometime.


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