Lavender Earl Grey Cake
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 150°C/315F. Grease and line two 6” cake tins.c
Simmer the milk in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Cover the pan and leave to infuse for around 30mins. Remove the teabags, squeezing out any excess liquid. Measure the remaining milk and ensure that there is 250ml. If it has reduced slightly add more milk to bring it up to 250ml.
Cream together the butter, vanilla extract and sugar by hand or in a mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Sift together the flour, baking powder, ground tea leaves and salt.
Pour the flour mixture into the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with a third of the milk each time and mixing gently after each addition.
Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for approximately 40-45mins until springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10-15mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the lemon curd, melt the butter with the sugar, lemon zest and juice in a small pan over a low heat. Beat together the eggs and the egg yolk in a bowl and add to the lemon mixture. Stir gently over a low heat until the mixture has cooled enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
To make the lavender icing, place the milk and lavender flowers in a small saucepan over a low heat. Bring to a simmer, remove from the heat and leave to infuse until cool. Beat together the butter and icing sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (approx. 10mins). Strain the lavender from the milk, add the milk to the buttercream and beat again. Add a few drops of purple food colour if desired.
To assemble the cake, level the cakes and cut the top off of one for a flat centre. Place the first cake layer on a plate or cake stand. Place a layer of buttercream on top followed by the lemon curd – this will make the filling. Add top layer and coat edges and top with the rest of the buttercream. Add lavender flowers for garnish.