Jasmine Tea is Chinese green or white tea flavoured with jasmine flowers. Jasmine flowers are picked early in the day when their small petals are tightly closed. The flowers are kept cool until nightfall and then in the early evening when the flowers begin to open, the tea is blended with the flowers and stored overnight. The flowers bloom at night and release their fragrance into the tea. It takes hours for the tea to absorb the fragrance and flavour of the jasmine blossoms. The process can be repeated as many as six or seven times. You can buy Jasmine tea in bags, loose leaf or as pearls which are my favourite. They are made from handpicked lu-cha green tea leaves. The leaves are scented with Jasmine blossoms before being hand rolled into little silver pearls that unfold to release a delicate and soothing jasmine smell.
The baking smells this sumptuous cake produces are amazing both while the cake is in the oven and when you are making the syrup. My jasmine bush isn’t flowering at the moment so I’ve used the leaves and my favourite viola in the picture below. In the summer you can pop a few jasmine flowers in the syrup. They are edible.
I made 6 little cakes using tart tins but this mixture also makes one large 23cm cake.
For the cake
- 200g soft unsalted butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 200g ground almonds
- 100g polenta
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tbsp Jasmine Tea leaves. I used Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference
For the Jasmine Tea syrup
- 2 tsp Jasmine Tea Pearls. I use these from the East India Company
- 125ml water
- 125g icing sugar
- A KitchenAid with a paddle attachment or a handheld mixer
- 1 greased and lined 23cm cake tin
TO MAKE THEM
- First grind the Jasmine tea leaves to put into the cake later. I used a pestle and mortar and then blitzed them in a spice mill.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Mix the ground almonds, polenta and baking powder together and set aside.
- Beat the butter and the sugar until it’s soft and fluffy. I use a Kitchenaid with a paddle attachment.
- Add a third of the dry ingredients to the creamy mixture with an egg and blitz til combined.
- Repeat this process with the remaining eggs and dry mix.
- Fold in the ground tea leaves.
- Spoon into the cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes (until golden brown on top and slightly coming away from the edges.
- Meanwhile make the syrup by combining the ingredients in a pan and boiling until all the sugar has dissolved and the tea flavour of your preference is infused.
I am sure this recipe would work just as well with Earl Grey tea. I’d love to know if you experiment with other teas so please do leave me a comment below.