In between making a hundred gingerbread men and other orders during the last few days, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Merrill J Fernando the owner or Dilmah Tea. What a wonderful thing  it is to meet someone who has such a beautiful view on life. Mr Fernando told me about how he became a tea taster in the 1950’s. From very early in his profession he chose to share the wealth of Dilmah tea with his employees and with the underprivilidged. Dilmah runs Dilmah Conservation and the MJF Foundation. Tea is chosen, produced and packaged so that the end product is the best cup of tea Dilmah can serve. I felt the philosophy was very similar to how I bake in my little business. It is not about cutting costs in order to make more profit, we both want to produce something or high quality with the best ingredients.

I thought as a treat I would bake a cake using Dilmah tea and give it to Mr Fernando. I hadn’t heard of it before but thought it would be an interesting idea, and set about sorting out a recipe. Mr Fernando was pleased when I presented it to him. I have included the recipe for you to try. When brewing your tea make the tea strong so the flavour goes through the cake. Of course I used Dilmah tea. I was pleased with the cake it was delicious



65g unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup caster sugar

2 eggs (organic free range)

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cup self-raising flour, sifted

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup of strong Dilmah tea

A sprinkle of nuts of choice for the top


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 4.5cm deep, 20cm round cake pan. Line base and side with baking paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla together for 2 minutes or until combined. Stir in half the flour, then half the milk. Repeat with remaining flour, tea and milk. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Level top. Sprinkle a few nuts over the top.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 5 minutes. Turn, top-side up, onto a wire rack.

Make the tea nice and strong

This is the one I presented to Mr Fernando







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