26 July 2013

Earl Grey Cupcakes

I must say I was sceptical about these ones. I really did not think that the use of 3 teabags would make any difference to a vanilla cupcake, however I must swallow my pride and say that actually I was wrong. The admittedly subtle taste is a lovely twist on the plain old vanilla cupcake and one that can easily be applied to the many hundreds of tea varieties.

The method consists of 3 teabags to 3 tablespoons of liquid for 30 minutes soaking time (as if I was that patient). First you soak the teabags in boiling water and add to the batter and for the icing you soak them in the milk and add to these to your butter icing. You could also soak in a tablespoon of boiling water and mix this with icing sugar to make a runny icing. You use the same three teabags making this one of the most economical Hummingbird recipes.

When mixed with the egg and the milk, the tea creates some wiked colours and patterns which reminds me of the exciting time that we got to do marbling in year 4 art. These are the moments where I would support the argument that baking is not just a sciene but live art.

Straining the teabags is great fun, but don't get over zealous and split the teabags, or over-efficient and chuck away the teabags before you can use them for the icing. This is why the books always nag at you to 'read the recipe before you start' and give it due attention before starting to bake.

I love the combining of the dry ingredients with the wet. It's great to see how quickly it all comes together.

The tea turned the icing a lovely golden colour.

As with every Hummingbird recipe, it left me with excess frosting which I ocassionally get round to using up. Be warned that having a tub of frosting in the fridge does coax the inner child to dip in to the fridge for a dollop of frosting on passing.

I patiently spaced little pearls all over the cupcakes. I think these cakes make great afternoon tea treats and are a little ironic. Adding pearls makes me imagine the dainty, classy ladies who drink from china with their fingers sticking out, dripping in family jewels and punctuating their sentences with 'darling'.

Just typical - the day I bring in cakes (ok, ok I do this a LOT so it was going to happen at some point) someone else brings in cakes too. They were in a white and a were bit like a Krispy Kreme selection box - a lucky dip of flavours in a variety of bright colours. I picked this pretty pink one and the sponge itself was also tinged pink - too pretty not to share on the blog. It turned out to be strawberry flavour and definitely perked up my Friday.

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