Thursday, March 5, 2015

Irish Tea Cake

March is finally here and we would like have decided that we will be taking a look at our friends across the Atlantic and try foods from Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and England this month. So how are we going to kick this off? By taking a look at a recipe for an Irish Tea Cake. 

Irish Tea Cake
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar (for dusting) 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 175° C (350° F). Grease and flour a 9 inch round pan. 
  2. In medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. If the batter is too stiff, a tablespoon or two of milk may be added. 
  3. Spread the batter evenly into prepared pan. 
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack, then turn out onto a serving plate. Dust with confectioner's sugar. 

~ The Gamer ~
     Today Dawn ended up deciding to make an Irish tea cake, something that my occasionally short attention span apparently failed to note until she asked me if I would like a slice of it. I'm happy to say that it came out quite well. Although rather plain looking, the inside was soft and warm, while the outer crust had just enough crunch to give it a bit of variety. The taste actually reminded me a bit of the Greek Almond Crescents we had written about previously, sweet but not overly so. Some people might even be reminded of cornbread upon tasting it, albeit without the corn flavor that comes with it. Definitely something to have with a nice hot cup of tea (or coffee if that's your preference). Personally, I would probably go with a nice herbal or black tea to offset the powdered sugar that was used as a topping.

~ The Artist ~
     Originally I was asking some of my regular readers from Facebook for traditional Irish dishes in celebration of the upcoming St. Patrick's Day so I could steer away from the Americanized, stereotypical 'Irish' food which is typically seen as sweets loaded in green food coloring or just alcoholic beverages out of the wahzoo. Luckily some friends were able to give some suggestions but I was struck by the thought that why not have the month of March just be focusing on Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England. I've had this particular recipe for some time in and can't remember where I actually found it but thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to try it out. The process itself was quite simple and only needed to put a little bit of extra time in order to make sure that the center was cooked completely through. Every time I opened the oven door, the kitchen was filled with the sweet aroma of the cake. Once we were able to sample the treat once it was cooled enough, I was delighted over how soft it was on the inside and how the crust had just the right amount of firmness. A suggestion for a possible alternative in the future was replacing the vanilla extract with almond extract. 

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