Lavender Poppy Seed Tea Cake
Happy New Year!
Chilly winter afternoons are perked up by a lovely cup of tea with a delicious quick bread, such as this Lavender-Poppy Seed Tea Bread. Light, not overly sweet with a slight lavender aroma and a secret ingredient! I steeped almond milk with Lady Grey tea and it was added to the batter. Fabulous, fabulous flavor. Time to adopt a tasty custom from across the pond—afternoon tea! (For coffee lovers, this tea cake pairs fantastically as well.)
A Dream of Death
Murder, antiques, a Scottish House Hotel and an assortment of eccentric characters from the Isle of Glenroth, all suspects in this copycat murder from 200 years before, make A Dream of Death a mystery you won’t want to miss. With a northern Scottish setting, of course you’ll expect a visit from Bonnie Prince Charlie! Connie Berry’s grandparents come from Scotland and she has visited many times. You can feel her appreciation and knowledge of this country with every page. A lover of tea, I was so glad to be able to include an afternoon tea favorite: Lavender Poppy Seed Cake, perfect to munch on while you try to figure out this cozy who-done-it.
Lavender Poppy Seed Tea Cake
6 tablespoons butter softened
1/3 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 Lady Grey tea bag
1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender buds, chopped
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon water or milk
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350. Coat a loaf pan with vegetable or butter spray.
Cream butter with honey. Add beaten eggs. Stir until combined.
Heat milk, Lady Grey tea bag and lavender buds in a small pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Mix together baking powder, baking soda and flour.
Add one half of flour mixture to egg mixture, then ½ milk mixture. Repeat, using both mixtures up. Mix after each addition.
Stir in poppy seeds, thyme, vanilla and salt.
Add to loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick when tested in the loaf’s middle comes out clean. Run a knife around the edges of the pan. Cool for 10-15 minutes and remove from pan onto a rack. Then turn carefully onto a serving dish. Drizzle with confectioner’s sugar glaze if desired. Time for tea!
Mix together confectioner’s sugar and water or milk. Stir until smooth. Squeeze in lemon juice and stir again. Drizzle on top of cooked tea bread.
Dairy free: Use a nut-based milk such as almond milk. Use a non-dairy margarine.
Lessen the sugar: Use ½ cup Stevia in place of honey.
Try other sweeteners: Try maple syrup, agave syrup, white or brown sugar in place of honey.
Make it nutty: Add ½ cup chopped nuts, such as walnuts, almonds or pecans
Stronger flavor: Use Earl Grey Tea
Tip: I ran out of confectioner’s sugar and couldn't run to the store. Doing a search online led to me a DIY confectioner’s sugar!! What a time saver. One cup sugar and 1 tablespoon corn starch or potato starch make 2 cups confectioner’s sugar. Place ingredients in a food processor or a blender—I used a blender. Blend at high speed for 1 2/- 2 minutes or until the sugar is powdery. Use what you need and store the rest in a covered jar or plastic container with a lid. Stores well for several months.