Recently we acquired some new cookie cutters, one of which was the most adorable little tea cup, with a matching tea pot. Well, I just had to make something with them, the tea cups were so small, we thought about using them to top a cupcake.. But what cupcake would have a tea cup on top..? And then it hit me – A tea cupcake!
I love tea *grins* it is the answer to everything and the perfect cure all! I’m not actually a fan of drinking Earl Grey tea.. and have been known on occasion to refer to it as poncy!
Earl Grey, named after the 2nd Earl Grey who was Prime Minister in England in the 1830s, is a blend of Indian and Ceylon teas flavoured with oil of bergamot.
However, while I don’t like drinking it, I do have a habit of using it as a flavour in other dishes. Back when I was in class I made a panna cotta that had been infused, and when in England I once had the pleasure of eating a duck breast that had been steamed in earl grey tea before being seared.
I took my vanilla cupcake recipe and set to work. The recipe has milk as it’s only liquid, so I warmed it up and added some tea bags to steep. It’s so little liquid in a batch of batter it needed to be nice and strong to carry the flavour through, there were 5 tea bags in 2 ounces of milk! I left it to steep for a long time too.
The rest of the batter was made as usual, but taking a taste the tea flavour wasn’t strong enough. So I opened another bag of tea, making sure the leaves were ground small, I added it straight to the batter.. That tasted better! Portioned into cups and baked off they were then left to cool.
Next I made some lemon sugar cookies (more on them next week) and cut out my tea cups. Their size meant they took no time at all to bake.. I think I may have even over cooked them a little!
Finally, the icing! With a tea cupcake and a lemon cookie the icing needed to involve honey. We had some cream cheese in the fridge so I decided to run with that! Beaten down I added some powdered sugar and then some honey.. But the honey in a large enough quantity to taste made it too loose, so more powdered sugar was added, and then some cold butter to firm it up. Back and forth adding a little of this and a little of that until I got a taste and consistency I found acceptable.
A swirl of the frosting on the top of the cake, the cookies were iced with royal icing and placed on top and they were done! I actually think these were my most successful cupcake to date. The flavours balanced well, the tea was flavourful but not too strong, the honey didn’t overpower the tea but complemented it, and the cookie was a nice finish, and an attractive garnish.
Have no fear, I will be making these again.