I found this recipe from a blog through Tastespotting and had to try it out, considering how much I love tea. This cake is unbelievably moist and tender, and actually tastes like tea (unlike some other tea cakes I've tried before)! I topped this cake with a dollop of whipped cream, and of course, had a cup of tea. With some friends we almost ate the whole thing in one night...
English Breakfast Tea Angel Food Cake by Carole Bloom
1/4 cup loose English breakfast tea leaves (or other black tea)
1/2 cup boiling water
12 extra large egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cups superfine sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Put tea leaves in a bowl.
Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over leaves. Let steep for 10 minutes. Press leaves through a fine mesh sieve and collect all of the tea. Mine came to about 1/4 cup of tea.
Prepare tube pan with parchment on the bottom. Do NOT grease. The cake needs to be able to cling to the sides and climb up the pan. If you grease it the cake will collapse.
Sift together the cake flour and 3/4 cups superfine sugar in a bowl. Add salt and set aside.
Place the egg whites in a grease-free bowl of a standing mixer. Whip on medium speed until frothy and then add the cream of tartar. Once you have soft peaks then slowly add the remaining 3/4 cup superfine sugar. Whip until the eggs are glossy and firm, but not stiff, peaks.
Slowly add the 1/4 cup of tea, and flour mixture in 3 additions.
Transfer to the prepared tube pan. Run a knife through the batter to get any air bubbles out and then gently tap on the counter. Smooth the top out. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 1 hour, until cake tester comes out clean.
Invert the pan over a bottle to cool. You do not want to cool bottom down on a cooling rack or the cake will collapse. Cool to room temperature before trying to remove from pan. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Then around the center tube. Invert the pan over a plate and remove the bottom of the tube pan. Remove the parchment.