First, I have to address the elephant in my room. To all the people who left supportive comments of a previous post that I have since deleted, either on Facebook or here, Thank you so much!
I mainly wanted the conference organizers to hear me, and I think they did. Whether they learn from it or not is now up to them. Me deleting a message is not an apology. I still hold the same views.
I still feel very strongly that a photographer, whether professional or amateur, shouldn’t be taking pictures of people in public who do not wish to be photographed. And said pictures certainly shouldn’t be published, or shown to a room of 400+ people at a conference. It may not be against the law in some places, but I still feel that it is wrong to show pictures, either at a conference, or in a publication, or online, and to profit from such photos. It’s not edgy, it’s offensive.
When a photographer’s subject matter is a human being, that human should be respected. It seems odd that I have to type that out. And having a lack of consideration and respect for a photographer’s human subject shouldn’t be encouraged by someone who is looked up to in the photography world. But it was. At the conference. And to not object to this, as a conference organizer, is to accept and condone it. And I was offended, and that’s why I left the conference and posted something on the FB page of the conference, as well as here. And that is my right. And people chose to attack and bully me for holding those views.
So, again, thanks to all who understood that, or commented to offer their support and understanding. That really means a lot. And if those of you who disagree with me still feel the urge to tell me how I should have reacted to the conference, or to let me know how offended you are that I was offended, please don’t bother; your comments will be deleted.
Let’s talk about cake!
In my research for coming up with a name for this, I found that there are two types of drinks that are called London Fog.
One is an alcoholic cocktail made with Gin and Pernod. The second one is more of a hot, non-alcoholic beverage containing Earl Grey tea, hot milk, and a shot of vanilla. (Starbucks had a London Fog Tea Latte, but I’ve never ordered it, nor do I know if they still offer it.)
Since this cake contains all the same ingredients that are in the second drink mentioned, I’m calling it a London Fog Cake based on that.
But what this really is, is my take on a Hot Milk Cake recipe. The main difference really is that I steeped a whole bunch (8 teabags!!) of Earl Grey tea into 2 cups of milk, then used the milk for the cake.
I was also about to make this Earl Grey whipped cream, to use as a topping, but after tasting the cake itself, it already had plenty of the bergamot flavor. Less is More, right?
Feel free to make the whipped cream as well, but I prefer the more subtle Earl Grey flavor of the cake itself. I think with or without Earl Grey whipping cream would be good, it just depends on your preference.
I was inspired by Chloe Cramer of FoodlikeCake, to also try modifying the same recipe that she uses for her Hot Milk Cake, originally posted on Taste of Home. (Chloe has quite a collection of recipes, so make sure to check her awesome blog out! I’m inspired by her food stylings and photos!)
I guess I could have called this an Earl Grey Hot Milk Cake, but I do like London Fog Cake better. Sort of gives it an aura of mystery, no?
I just hope people don’t read this name and then expect the boozy, cocktail type of London Fog in cake form. Maybe that’s for another post. I do like Gin. I love Pernod, too, especially the color, which is a color similar to my previous post. Chartreuse! Hmmm….
In the end, all I wanted to use for garnish were the last bit of summer fruit I had–blackberries, and a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar. I hope you enjoy!
London Fog Cake
8 tea bags of good quality earl grey
2 cups milk, scalded or near boiling
10 Tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small 1/2 Tablespoon cubes
4 eggs, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 and 1/2 cups cake flour, presifted
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
In a small to medium sauce pan over a stove, bring milk to a near boil, or until just about simmering, then promptly add the milk to a 2 cup capacity glass container containing 8 tea bags of good quality earl grey tea. Steep for at least 45 minutes, lifting and pressing the tea bags gently without puncturing bags. While this is steeping, you can get the other ingredients and do other steps before you need the milk.
Grease the bottom(s) of baking pan(s), line with parchment paper at the bottom(s), letting it hang out from two opposite sides, and greasing the parchment paper in the area that covers the bottom. I used two 6-inch square baking pans, but you can also use one 9-inch square pan. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and stir with a whisk. Set aside.
In a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, add the four eggs, and mix on medium for about 1 minute, then gradually adding the sugar in three increments while mixing on medium-high speed for about 6-7 minutes, until tripled in volume. So, roughly every one to two minutes, I added about a third of the sugar at a time.
Add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated, roughly less than a minute or so
When volume has tripled, remove from mixer and sift one third of the flour mixture over the bowl. Fold the flour gently but rapidly with a rubber spatula before sifting in the next increment of flour mixture to fold in. Complete folding and incorporating all the flour mixture into the batter.
Add the cubes of butter to a medium saucepan and pour the still warm milk over the butter. This should melt all the butter, but also reheat the milk along with the butter, until the first sign of it simmering or near boiling. Remove at once, and pour into the mixing bowl and fold immediately to incorporate the milk/butter mixture into the batter. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that flour and milk mixture are incorporated into one batter.
Pour into prepared pan(s), dividing evenly if using more than one pan. If you use two 6-inch pans, you may have a very small amount left, maybe just enough for a couple of cupcakes.
Bake until golden brown on top and when the top surface no longer jiggles and may also be slightly cracked. A toothpick test should come out clean from the center. My cakes took roughly 40 minutes, but that’s because the 6-inch pans I used were filled up to almost the top with cake batter. If using a 9-inch square pan, it may be 20-25 minutes when you first check on it. Try not to check on it too soon, or too frequently.
Let cool in the cake pans for about 20 minutes, then turn over unto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioner’s sugar, or if you really want strong earl grey flavor, make the earl grey whipped cream recipe from the link above and use as topping. Garnish with blackberries, if desired.