Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Chocolate Ginger & Cardamom Tea Bread

I've had my eye on this tea bread ever since I bought Paul A Young's book Adventures with Chocolate last year. I'm not quite sure why it's taken me so long to actually make it, but with tea being this month's special ingredient for We Should Cocoa, I was spurred into action. Assam tea was Paul's tea of choice, but as I didn't have any of that I used Earl Grey instead. Earl Grey is a black tea but has the addition of Bergamot which gives it a lovely scent and flavour. Bergamot is also meant to be uplifting and helps relieve anxiety, so combined with the antioxidants in the tea and chocolate as well as the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger and detoxifying cardamom, this loaf is positively loaded with health giving goodies.

This is what I did:
  • Made 200ml of very strong Earl Grey tea using 4 tsp of leaves.
  • Poured this over 100g raisins and 250g crystallised ginger.
  • Ground the seeds from 20 cardamom pods and added this to the tea together with 2 heaped tsp powdered orange zest.
  • Stirred in 1 large duck egg.
  • Sifted in 200g flour (100g wholemeal spelt, 80g white, 20g quinoa) and 2 level tsp baking powder.
  • Finally stirred in 100g chopped 70% dark chocolate.
  • Spooned mixture into a lined 2lb (1kg) loaf tin and baked at 160C for 1 hr and 20 mins, reducing the temperature to 150C after first 45 mins.
  • Cooled in tin for 30 mins then turned onto a rack to cool completely.
The house smelt absolutely wonderful throughout the process of making this cake. First a wonderful scent arose from grinding the cardamom seeds, then soaking the fruit in tea and orange was highly fragrant and finally the long baking released a heady mix of all of the above with the addition of ginger.

CityHippyFarmGirl reported that she was disappointed with this when she made it last year, but I was really pleased with it. True, this is not for the faint hearted: it has strong robust flavours and tasted quite strongly of tea; in my youth, I would not have liked this loaf. The smell and taste were quite similar to chai and the butter smothered on top helped to reinforce that impression. The loaf was moist, not too sweet and cut really well. It also lasted well over a week (only because we were away for a few days). CT thought it was good restorative provender following a few hours slogging away outdoors; he pronounced that a little went a long way and one slice was enough. I can, however, vouch for the fact that he did actually enjoy it and managed to have one slice on quite a few occasions.


  1. Interesting. I think perhaps it might be more palatable with the Assam which is just a black tea without any added flavouring.

  2. About time young lady :-)
    Yours looks much more appealing than mine. Glad you were happy with it. I think the fresh cardamom would have smelt beautiful in it.

  3. I keep meaning to buy tea.. Do I still have time? I have the idea and everything just need the tea.

  4. Bergamot! Is that what's in Earl Grey tea!! I always wondered why it had such a distinctive perfume! Thanks for the enlightenment, Choc! :)

  5. Janice - you could be right. tea is such an individual taste isn't it? I quite liked the bergamot flavour.

    CityHippy - All good things come to those who wait (or so we're led to believe)!. I couldn't tell the difference between yours and mine - even the cracks looked to be in the same place.

    Kath - oh good, so glad you are going to enter. Yes you still have until midnight (if you so wished) on Friday. Though, as I don't mean to be up compiling the post at just gone midnight, you'd be all right for a few more hours! Look forward to seeing what you come up with.

    Celia - but do you like it?

  6. This looks great. I've tried earl grey in biscuits which were fantastic. I've just seen a recipe for banana and earl grey bread but I'm waiting for my bananas to ripen.

  7. What a unique recipe! I'm loving the chocolate and early grey idea.

  8. Oooh I can almost smell the lovely aromas! Not sure if it would be my "cup of tea" (sorry), but I'd definitely try a slice!

  9. Amazing. I've tried chocolate and earl grey and I've tried chocolate cardamom and ginger in macarons but adding them all together with the orange and raisins too? Packed with gorgeous flavours - sounds gorgeous!

  10. What an interesting flavour combination - looks gorgeous.

  11. Baking Addict - yes I saw a recipe for earl grey biscuits that looked rather good. Don't leave your bread too late!!!

    Brittany - I had some chocolate and earl grey ganache a while back when I went to a chocolate tasting and it was a great combination.

    Catherine - it's alright, I won't force feed you ;-) It's fine just to enjoy the aromas - they were pretty good.

    Jill - thank you. On the whole I quite like simplicity, but sometimes it's good to have a big mix.

    Foodie - thank you

  12. How utterly splendid! This loaf looks perfect and sounds fantastic!

    You have a lovely blog!


  13. That's a beautiful loaf. Would be so tea for tea with friends.

  14. My boyfriend adores ginger and tea (he's a little obsessed with the latter) I may have to make this for him

  15. Another one? Now you're just showing off! Seriously, I love the sound of this as I adore cardamom. AND (my turn to show off), I met Paul A Young a few years ago and he was such an amazing, interesting and all-round super guy. I think he deserves every success!

  16. love your blog, I'm following!

    ~Would love you to enter my amazing GIVEAWAY - pasta lesson and meal with wine for two:


  17. Tammy - thank you for your kind comment and thanks for following too.

    MaryMoh - a slice of this goes very well with a cup of tea.

    KitchenMaid - not showing off, just desperate to have something to put into the round-up ;-) Really good to hear that Paul's a great guy. In what context did you get to meet him?

    Milly - thanks for following and thanks for the info on your giveaway. I did check it out, but I'm rather a long way from London.

  18. Nice blog you have here! I'm a great fan of chocolate too and I'm surprised I've not visited here before!! Keep up the great work!

  19. That's a perfectly baked cake, ginger must have given a extra flavour..yum!

  20. I don't know how I missed this post! Another lovely looking teabread to add to the challenge entries. I really must make one of the recipes, but it's hard to make a choice now!

  21. It sounds like magic deliciousness!

  22. sounds delicious - all the sort of flavours I love - as you can tell by my recent earl grey cupcakes - would be interested to see if the bergamot is stronger in this cake!

  23. 20 cardamom pods?! Sounds like a lot! Several of my favourite flavours in here though so I'll definitely put it on the 'to try' list. Many thanks!

  24. Dharm - thank you and hope to see you again.

    Sushma - the ginger was certainly obvious.

    Suelle - your choice is about to get harder as I hope to post the round-up soon.

    Anon - thanks, chocolate is magic ;-)

    Johanna - I used very strong tea and yes, the bergamot was present.

    Christine - it's surprising how little 20 pods grind down too. I didn't have the 2 teaspoons stated in the recipe.

  25. I think I'd love this as I love cardamon.


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