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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Constant Comment Tea

Yesterday I blogged about the Charleston Tea Plantation which is owned by Bigelow Tea, and whenever I think about Bigelow Tea I think about their most well-known product, the one that started it all for them - Constant Comment Tea. (The book My Mother Loved Tea is the story behind its creation.)

Constant Comment Tea is a memory trigger for me and holds a special place in my heart: it's the tea my parents drank together at the kitchen table on week-nights as they caught up on each other's day. Mom was a part-time piano teacher and stay-at-home mom; Dad was a plumber. After the kids were tucked away in bed, it was "teatime" for Fred and Bernadine. Lovely memory.

One of the ways I particularly enjoy this tea is in the cake recipe printed inside boxes of Constant Comment tea. This is similar to a spice cake but much more subtle. It's a perfect teatime treat.
Constant Comment Tea Cake:
½ cup milk
5 Constant Comment tea bags
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1-2/3 cups flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 9″ round cake pan.

Combine milk and tea bags in a small saucepan. Heat over medium/low heat until bubbles form around the edge, stirring occasionally. (DO NOT BOIL.) Remove from heat and let cool (15-20 minutes); remove tea bags squeezing out liquid. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and whisk to blend. Add the cooled milk; continue to whisk until thoroughly combined. Add flour and baking powder; mix until a smooth batter forms. Pour batter into pan. 

Bake approximately 35 minutes, or until center of cake springs back when touched. Cool on wire rack before removing from pan. Let cool completely before serving. Dust top with confectioners sugar (or cinnamon sugar). Yields one 9” round cake.

Image used by permission: Deborah Tisch

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