SEG Way Browned Butter Earl Grey Tea Pound Cake with Sweet Yellow Peaches and Vanilla Drizzle (and a Partridge in a Pear Tree)

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There’s something about having good cake. It puts a smile on your face, and a spring in your step. You walk around with a certain air about you. What’s wonderful is when you see someone else walking around with that same air about them. Catching each other’s eye, you smile and nod, that small gesture shouting quietly oh the joy of good cake.

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This is the kind of good cake that would be the woman in a love story. The guy notices her in the library, day after day, usually reading some really intellectual piece of literature. She’s always dressed immaculately, not in a showy way, but in a way that shows she knows what works for her and works her look with poise. She wears glasses like these and absolutely pulls it off. When the guy approaches her, it’s easy for him to over think it. A head full of all those books he’s seen her read and how well she dresses, he’s really worried about flubbing his opening lines. Then he notices that this time she’s reading his favourite comic book. Even though he feels out of his depth, she makes him feel immediately at ease. All that refinement and poise, and she still has an abundance of sweetness that shines through and is so easy to relate to. He can absolutely see himself taking her home to meet his mother. She’s the kind of woman who knows to tell someone they did well, not they did good, but won’t look down on someone for an inability to find the correct adverb.

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So yes, I overthought the making of this cake a little, and flubbed a few of the steps. Browning butter is not something I’ve got the hang of yet. Something went a little funny with my cake batter, so when I added the 50mls of milk, it did not go very far towards making the batter a smooth mixture I could pour into the cake tin. Thankfully the recipe was forgiving enough that it still tasted great without properly browned butter and a sort of ad hoc let’s-just-add-milk-until-it-feels-right cake batter (I’m also not sure if I left enough air in the egg whites once I folded them through everything). This is fairly well removed from the sort of cake I’d normally make, but I knew right away from reading the recipe that I’d find the flavours easy to relate to. I feel so refined when I get a mouthful of earl grey, I almost subconsciously extend a pinky finger as I hold the cake in my hand. Having the sweetness from the peaches and vanilla drizzle with their subtle interplay of moist fruit and icing crackle just finishes the whole story off for me. Certainly, a cake I took home to meet my mother and father.

Delicious, and well worth the effort to make it. Go on now. SEG’s wonderful website is waiting over here just begging for you to bask in their inspiring photos and take on the recipe.

22 thoughts on “SEG Way Browned Butter Earl Grey Tea Pound Cake with Sweet Yellow Peaches and Vanilla Drizzle (and a Partridge in a Pear Tree)

  1. Reblogged this on Sassy Earl Grey and commented:
    Read all about Mr. P’s tumultuous but very successful journey to SEG’s earl grey tea pound cake! And a riveting third person prose revolving the cake’s personification of a woman. Ever charming, and the photos are just swoon-worthy!

  2. Loved your personification of the cake. I felt the library setting was so fitting. And eating the cake with a pinky sticking out? Love the imagery. (P.S. is the comic book scenario borrowed from RL experience? ;))

    So sad to hear about the milk-batter mishap. I zoomed in on your batter though, and it looks fine! So I’m not very certain about why that happened, but maybe it is to do with the flour type. Flour in Japan, even all-purpose is slightly lower in gluten and so maybe the particles don’t seize up as quick and requires less liquid. Definitely will test it out some more!

    Honestly though, your cake looks almost too good to eat. almost. Your peaches just sort of suspend at the top, much better than mine did! Gooooorgeous! I hope Peckish Sr. and Mama P liked it well enough.

    “Having the sweetness from the peaches and vanilla drizzle with their subtle interplay of moist and icing crackle just finishes the whole story off for me.”

    Got to smile at that. 🙂 Well done, Mr. P! Despite your claims about making browned butter unsuccessfully, the cake looks Poifect.

    1. Haha, no, the comic book scenario is in no way applicable to real life, other than Mrs P’s fondness for Iron Man/Avengers/X-Men/Christian Bale Batman movies.

      Yeah, I don’t know what happened with the batter. I was having one of those mornings though, I was making little mistakes all over the place, even with the Guinness cake. I was just a bit miffed at myself for not handling the recipe more smoothly.

      Unfortunately we had way too much food yesterday, as is usual with my parents, so I had to make sure I took enough home with me to properly taste it this morning. I think Mrs P was surprised at how much she liked the cake.

      I’m definitely going to have another go. There’s a blog on wordpress that organises baking for hospice patients, workers and families in Auckland. It’s hopefully going to fall in the inter semester break so I can bust out another one of these and one of le pirate’s lemon and white chocolate joint.

  3. PK – in this gluten-free (me), dairy-free (LM) household, I can only dream… But I salute your choice in glasses 🙂

    I’m heading home for a few days next week. Girls weekend in Matakana – how’s the weather?

    1. It’s been pretty wet and wild. Flooding in Auckland again. We’ve still go this really weird it’s a bit cold but a bit humid thing going on (either that or it’s just my weird body thermostat again). Hope the weather behaves for you when you get back, hope you enjoy your stay. Will you be able to enjoy dairy on your Matakana interlude?

  4. Love the way you describe things! I have a perfect picture in my head of the woman in the library scene (great glasses) ever thought of putting that talent into a novel? The cake looks delicious, especially that drizzle! 🙂

    1. I have a few novel ideas, but I find plotting really difficult. Plus I don’t think I read enough or observe enough in what goes on around me yet. That’s something I’m hoping this blog will help with, both in observing what goes on around me before I document it, and reading how other people express themselves here so I can learn from that.

      Sometimes I feel like my style is just personal and maybe only works for smaller audiences. In the end if my writing doesn’t go much further than the small band of cool people like yourself who take time out to come here, I feel like that’s more than enough.

      1. Totally get where you’re coming from, I feel the same way about my photography blog. If not a novel, you would be perfect for writing reviews in foodie magazines or the like, that’s for sure! 🙂

    1. Woah, look at you and your website with the quince jam and Hungarian shortbread. Talk about recipes that would be right up a Peckish parent’s alley. I’ll have to have a closer look at that one and see if I can give that a whirl in my kitchen over a weekend soon.

      I’m most humbled that you came over, and pleased that you made yourself known, now I’ve got a great new blog to follow.

  5. Another superb piece, Mr. P. witty as always, and your readers are joining in the fun.

    May I give some instruction on making browned butter?

      1. You did great the first time! Half the battle is getting it all together and baking it.

        Here we go: Browned Butter Technique
        1) Best to focus your attention on the process. Distractions aren’t fatal, but you’ll be scanning the web for Cajun food recipes (Black Butter is one of the dominant ingredients….)
        2) For the first few times you do this heat you pan over medium-high flame/temperature. Control is a good thing here. So, best that you manage your heat.
        3) Plop your butter into the pan. It will do the following: melt, bubble (this is the water boiling off), settle, then slightly foam as the milk solids start to brown. This will take anywhere from 15 seconds to about a minute. Maybe longer if your heat is on the low side. Use your nose. The butter will smell nutty. Of course, your eyes will be able to tell that the butter is browning.
        4) Here’s the cool thing. You can make a large batch of browned butter and keep it in your fridge for a month. Cover it or it will take on the flavors of the fridge. Brown butter poached eggs? Brown butter apple and chicken sandwich? The sky’s the limit. Think of browned butter as the sophisticated sister to any butter in any recipe.
        5) And, if you do make black butter, it will hold in the fridge as well. Then you can start investigating the joys of Cajun Cuisine. Are there alligators in NZ?

  6. Oh, far out. This cake looks absolutely divine… well done! I’ve visited SEG’s blog quite a few things but for some reason hadn’t stumbled across this cake yet. That is about to change, mister! Thanks!

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