Earl Grey cupcakes
October 30, 2009 § 6 Comments
I think I’ve become obsessed with cupcakes. Truly. Especially putting flowers and leaves in them, for some bizarre reason, because it always seems to turn out the best ever cakes I’ve eaten – and I don’t usually have a sweet-tooth. Now, before you start saying I’m tooting my own horn, try making these and then tell me it’s not better than the usual victoria sandwich you crack out at tea-time.
My fascination with Earl Grey tea is no secret, that’s for sure. I have turned many to its wily wonders, including my best friend Tim. Earl Grey is a distinctly British tea, having been presented to the second Earl Grey, the British Prime Minister in the 1830s. As the story goes, he was gifted with a present of tea leaves flavoured with the oil of the bergamot fruit, extracted from its rind. There’s different variations on the original Earl Grey tea, including French Earl Grey which apparently has additional rose petal flavouring (oooh) and also a concoction called “London Fog” which comprises of Earl Grey tea, steamed milk and vanilla syrup – a delicious combination. Incredibly rich in antioxidants, Earl Grey tea is an all-round winner when it comes to everyday tea-drinking.
So why put them in cupcakes? Well, why not? It seems as though the contents of teabags are perfectly delicious when added to cupcake batter, so it was time to test the theory out. The result is a tea-time treat that is a wonderful substitute between a tea-bread and a cake, that you can have with tea or quickly munch on the go. It’ll even give you a bit of a caffeine boost! To make about 15-20 cupcakes (give or take a few) you’ll need:
- 120g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 240g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 360g self-raising flour
- 120ml milk
- 1 tbsp Earl Grey tea (or 1 tea bag)
First you’ll want to preheat our oven to 175°C and line your cupcake tray with cases, alternatively greasing it generously. Beat the butter until creamy, adding the sugar and creaming them together until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Then add the eggs one at a time, beating them well until properly combined to produce a smooth mixture.
At this point, you put the tea leaves into a pestle and mortar and grind until powdery, so you won’t get a mouthful of leaf when you eventually take a bite out of the cupcakes. Then add half of the flour to the egg mixture with the ground tea, mixing well. Add the milk to loosen the mixture a little, then the remaining flour, stirring until just combined.
While you’re adding the milk, the mixture will resemble cookies and cream ice cream but should become more sticky and firm after the second half of the flour is combined. Fill your cupcake cases with the batter so that they are two-thirds full. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
When you take the cupcakes out of the oven, cool them on a wire rack and then you can serve them with some tea (Earl Grey is you must) or eat them as they are. They’re really quite the treat, and as a thoughtful gift you could bake up a batch of these and give them with a tin of loose Earl Grey tea.