My first Autumn weekend was a success, how was yours? Friday came and it was grey outside, a thick sea mist had rolled in with the tide and settled over our town. After a morning of experimenting with packaging designs I needed something pretty to eat and discovered nothing sweet in my cupboards, so I reached for the baking books and decided to try out some Earl grey cupcakes.
I found the Earl Grey flavour to be a little overpowered by the almond essence so I adapted the frosting recipe to include the delicate tea flavour as well.
Earl Grey Cupcakes
(from Primrose Bakery)
125 ml milk
4 Earl Grey tea bags
110g unsalted butter
225g granulated sugar (I used a mixture caster and 30g of soft brown sugar)
2 large eggs
¼ tsp almond essence (optional)
125g self-rising flour
120g plain flour
Preheat oven to 180c/ gas mark 4. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.
Heat milk in a saucepan over a medium heat until it begins to boil. Remove from the heat and add teabags. Cover with a lid for about 30 minutes.
Cream butter with sugar in a bowl until the mixture is pale and smooth. Add almond extract and eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Scrape bowl with a spatula to make sure that the mixture is well combined.
Combine the flours in a separate bowl. Add a third of the flour to the butter and sugar mixture and beat well. Pour in a third of the milk/tea mixture and beat. Repeat until all the flour and milk has been added.
Carefully spoon mixture into cupcake cases, filling each one two-thirds full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Test to see if they are cooked. Leave in tins for 10 minutes, then place on wire rack to cool.
Earl grey frosting
(adapted from The Humming Bird Bakery vanilla frosting Recipe)
Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes.
250g icing sugar, sifted (I use M&S organic as it doesn’t make a huge cloud of sugar dust when beaten!)
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
25ml whole milk (warmed in microwave with an early grey tea bag and steeped for 20 minutes)
Few drops of lilac food colouring.
Combine the warmed milk and tea bag in a small bowl, steep.
Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a hand-held electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Then add the tea to the butter mixture a couple of teaspoons at a time.
Once all the milk has been incorporated, add the drops of lilac food colouring and turn the mixer up to high speed.
Beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.