2 Tbs. Earl Grey tea leaves, steeped in 3/4 cup hot milk for 10-15 minutes
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten with 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and grated zest of 2 limes
Confectioner's sugar, for dusting
Have all ingredients at room temperature. Posistion rack in lower thrid of oven and preheat to 325F. Butter and flour wells of a swirl cake pan; tap out excess flour. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside. Pour milk through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Press liquid from tea leaves; discard leaves. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes; stop mixer and scrap bowl occasionally. Add eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. On very low speed, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk and ending with flour; blend each addition until just incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl occasionally. Fill wells in pan a little more than halfway. Bake until cakes spring back when touched and pull away from sides of pan, 10-12 minutse. Transfer to a cooling rack, cool to the touch and remove cakes from pan. Repeat with remaining batter. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Serves 12
Adapted from Sweet Miniatures, by Flo Braker (Chronicle Books, 2000).